There is no denying the fact that Pakistan and India are facing some real tiffs between them. Issues ranging from Kashmir, terrorism and sporadic violation of ceasefire keep the two nations distant and cold. However, certain things tend to hold back the age old threads and keep these nations united. Music is one such magical wand in this case.
No two nations in the world share as much similarities as India and Pakistan do. This is possibly because it was one nation just 70 years ago and generations still live who have grown up in British India before the partition. We are connected by social ties, family bonds, Language, culture, art, history, and what not. Well, endless love for music is one of them as artists transcend the border divide in popularity and fan following. Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar have been more popular in Pakistan than Noor Jehan or any other Pakistani singer. Similarly Shahrukh and Salman are ahead in fan following in Pakistan than any other Pakistani star. Both the nations are known to produce music geniuses and even share a few of them; as they date back to the times when India and Pakistan were a single entity.
We are in the times when most of our generation is grooving on the steps of Bollywood music whose quality is seemingly on the decline, largely because of the influence of western rock, rap and pop. However, a part of the same generation is hooked to the folk and classical music and is supporting high quality ethnic music. Coke studio, is an invitation series across the world that encourages such music. Coke Studio recently hosted a Pakistani music television series that is changing the definition of music industry and broadening the taste among the masses in both the countries. The series features live studio recorded music performances by various artists. India also runs the popular program for folk and classical music that is already a dope for music lovers.
The show has been successful in producing numerous musical master pieces. Legendary singers along with the highly talented instrument players and musicians recreate the age old folk songs and even create new compositions. In India, A.R Rahman, Gurdas Maan, KK, Shankar Mahadevan, Sukhwinder Singh, Arijit Singh, are among the various artists who have performed on the show.
The best accomplishment that the show has been able to achieve is that it has united the two nations. Talents from both India and Pakistan cross the borders to perform for each other’s version of the show. The latest one being, our Shilpa Rao. The ‘Khudaa Jaane’ singer gave her debut performance for Coke Studio Pakistan. Along with Noori, the Pakistani sensation, Shilpa Rao truly weaved the magic as they sang ‘Paar Chanaa De’, an indie-rock track that transcends soulful vibes along with a distinct instrumentation and melody. The song has already encapsulated our hearts. You must listen to it too. It just seems out of the world when Shilpa Rao takes over the vocals with her moving voice. Noori is a heart-throb already!
Atif Aslam’s Coke Studio Tajdar-e-Haram is being loved by Indian audiences too. Similarly, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is playing a pivotal role in Indian Music Industry from a long time and has now shifted base to Mumbai applying for an Indian resident visa. All this has happened because of the love of music. It is music that truly heals the wounds of war and applies a soothing balm of love and compassion to the people of the two nations.