Material Mart: Building Blocks
June 7, 2010
Bottled Water: Sometimes old fashioned is best!
June 12, 2010

The show stopper was not Abida Parveen surprisingly even if she’s a veteran and has a huge fan following among the young and old. For some reason, I didn’t like her song selection. It was Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi’s Alif Allah Chambay di booti number while the runner’s up was definitely Zeb and Haniya’s Bibi Sanam Janem By Fareeha Qayoom

By Fareeha Qayoom


oke Studio season three unleashed after a lot of TV and billboard advertising on June  6th, 2010 (over the last weekend). After much media hype and two successful seasons under its belt, this season also debuted with mega-stars like Abida Parveen and Arif Lohar and less famous stars like Meesha Shafi of Overload fame, Zeb and Haniya, Arieb Azhar and Karavan making up the lineup of episode one.

Coke StudioIt was not anti-climatic despite the hype, though; the show stopper was not Abida Parveen surprisingly even if she’s a veteran and has a huge fan following among the young and old, (for some reason, I didn’t like her song selection). It was Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi’s Alif Allah Chambay di booti number while the runner’s up was definitely Zeb and Haniya’s Bibi Sanam Janem.

Arif Lohar’s performance also revived younger generation’s interest in Alam Lohar – the mega-folk star of yesteryears and father of Arif Lohar. Loads of people started digging up his videos of the original Juggni on Youtube and posted them on the Facebook.  All in all, Coke Studio season three has opened up with a bang and there are many more goodies in store for music lovers out there.

For my part, I can hardly wait…this season is sure to be interesting too…next episode will be aired on June 20th, 2010.■



Monday, August 2nd, 2010

My top ten favorites from Coke Studio season 3

1. Mori Araj Suno, Tina Sani and Arieb Azhar




2. Hor Vi Neevan ho, Noori




3. Naway Nei, Tina Sani




4. Alif Allah, Chambay Di Booti, Arif Lohar and Meesha Shafi




5. Mirza Saiban, Arif Lohar



6. Bibi Sanam Janam, Zeb and Haniya




7. Soz e Ishq, Abida Parveen




8. Nigah-e-Darwaishaan, Abida Parveen




9. Jana Jogi day Naal, Rizwan and Mauzzam




10. Manzil e Sufi, Sanam Marvi



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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.


  1. more reading?




    Alif Allah Cham­bay Di Bhooti by Arif Lohar and Mee­sha Shafi

    Jugni Remix by Arif Lohar – original video

    Coke Stu­dio sea­son one

    Coke Stu­dio sea­son two

    Coke Stu­dio sea­son three

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  2. Soundcheck: Bittersweet symphony
    By Madeeha Syed
    Sunday, 13 Jun, 2010 | 08:55 AM PST |

    Coke Studio has raised the bar high on how music is constructed and projected on-screen. It came at a time when the music industry was dwindling for lack of concerts owing to sociopolitical unrest in the country and corporations’ interest (which provide a considerable financial support to performing arts in Pakistan) steering largely towards the fashion sector instead, among other things. It was responsible for bringing not only national but also a large number of foreign audiences together on watching one programme that was simply about bringing our classical heritage in music and fusing it with the more modern, popular form.

    Music transgresses boundaries. And if season one was a starting point, season two was the defining period of CS, raising the standard very high. Last week, the first episode (Belief) from season three was aired across all television and radio networks in Pakistan. The season was opened by a poetry recital by Areib Azhar — a vocalist who participated in season two as well — that was followed by, in Rohail Hyatt’s (the show’s producer) words a Buddha Bar kind of feel to the music. Arieb recited a poem by Bulleh Shah, Nai Raindee Hai, the song begins by a somewhat haunting solo by violinist Javed Iqbal. Unexpected start to the show, very experimental and is definitely an acquired taste.

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  3. Coke Studio EP 1: hot and cold
    Sunday, 13 Jun, 2010 | 08:55 AM PST |

    You thought this time round Coke Studio would begin with a bang. Well, it didn’t. What you saw of the first edition of Season 3 was a pretty sedate, uncomplicated version, which is not a bad thing. Naturally if you have someone of Abida Parveen’s stature performing for you, you tend to close your eyes and just let it all sink in. Her Ramooz-i-Ishq was, as expected, a tour de force.

    However, Arieb Azhar, who has a tremendous singing voice, was a bit underused. Though the kalam that he chose in Na Raindi Hai was profound, it would have been better had he been allowed (perhaps it was his own decision) to sing instead of resorting to tahtul lafz.

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  4. Why we will all be OK
    Wednesday, June 09, 2010
    Mosharraf Zaidi

    …On Sunday night, Coke Studio premiered its third season. Sure, multinational sponsorship of everything should be questioned. Sure, fusion music should be critiqued. But when producer Rohail Hyatt was pouring his life-force into putting Arif Lohar at the centre of an arrangement that sparkled because of Meesha Shafi’s haunting voice, and Louis Pinto’s enduring percussion genius — he wasn’t paying attention to the bad and the ugly. He was making good on Pakistan’s promise. There is genius and beauty in all of us. We should spend a little time, every day, just appreciating that. We’ll all be OK, because we’ll never let Iqbal and Bulleh die. I’ll drink a Coke (and for fairness’ sake, a Pepsi) to that.

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  5. A friend of mine sent this link ages ago…! Somewhere in November 2009. Forgot to post it earlier! Sorry. Its quite interesting….check it out!

    Tuning Out the Taliban
    Pakistani pop musicians are propelling anti-American messages. The lyrics reflect widespread views among their young educated fans who say Pakistan’s problem is the West, not the Taliban.
    Produced by Adam B. Ellick

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  6. The Second episode of Coke Studio aired on June 20th….Overall, it was slightly boring even though Rizwan and Muazzam, Noori, Zeb and Haniya and Fakir Juman Shah were pretty good. Somehow, the material gave me a feeling of déjà vu – you know, something already seen or heard…could be because they started with the Urdu version of Aisha by Khalid sung by Amanat Ali. Even EP didn’t impress – the tune reminded me of a western song but I couldn’t put my finger on it…hmm Oh well…

    Hopefully, next episode (July 4th) might be a little better in terms of innovation….

    Well, gotta go, more later…

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  7. July 4th Sunday episode no. 3 – Coke Studio – Tina Sani and Arieb Azhar – excellent. Sanam Marvi – refreshing and interesting. Abida Parveen – at least a better song choice compared to the first episode – poetry – anybody’s guess…Couldn’t tell for sure but my guess would be all great sufi poets – a bit of this and bit of that (Bullay Shah, Bahu and Mian Muhammad Bukhsh’s Saiful Mulook for sure…) – Aunty Disco project – liked the guitar riffs, but Meesha Shafi – simply hated it. I wish she had chosen an easier song that she could carry off but picking up one of Reshman’s greatest hits was not it…There is nothing like Reshman – she is unique. Even her son has not been able to touch her and he is her student so why did Shafi think she could top her or give us a better or more of an interesting version? They simply ruined it, especially trying to give us the soulful slow version…hmmm. Oh Well…

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  8. original live version of Reshman’s Chori Chori taray naal la lian akhan

    and an earlier PTV pre-recorded version

    Reshman’s son performing with mom looking on – kithay Nain Na jorein

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  9. Lyrics and translation of Tina Sani and Arieb Azhar’s Mori Arz Suno…

    Tina Sani

    Mori araj suno, dastagir pir

    O my Lord, pay heed to my appeal


    Mairee kahun kaa say mein apnay jiya ki pir

    I am a faithful follower of my Creator

    Mori araj suno, dastagir pir

    O my Lord, pay heed to my appeal

    Rabba sachiya, toon tay akhia see

    My true Lord, you had said

    Ja oye bandiya jug da shah ain tu

    “Go man, you are master of the world

    Saadian nemataan terian daulataan nenh

    My bounties on earth are your treasure

    Saada naib the alijah ain tu

    You are the viceroy of your Creator”

    Ais laaray teh torr kudh puchia eh

    After baiting me with these promises

    Kee ais nimanay teh beetiyaan nenh

    Countless years have passed by

    Kaddi saar we layee o rab saiyaan

    My Lord, did you ever enquire what transpired with your man

    Terey shah naal jugh kee kitiyan nenh

    What your man has suffered in this world?

    Kithay dhons police sarkar dee eh

    Somewhere, those in power and with the means intimidate, harass and terrorize

    Kithay dhandhli maal patwaar di eh

    Elsewhere, draft and bribery are rampant

    Ainj hadaan wich kalpay jaan meri

    My soul is shaken down to my bone

    Jeevain phahee ich koonj kurlaundi eh

    Just like a bird flutters when caught in a trap

    Changa shah banayaee rab saiyaan

    You made a fine king indeed, my sweet lord

    Paulay khaandayaan waar na aundi eh

    All I have gotten are endless beatings

    Mainu shahi naeen chaidi rab meray

    I don’t want kingship, my Lord

    Mein tay izzat da tukkar mangna haan

    All I need is a morsel of respect

    Meinu taang naeen mehlaan maraiaan di

    I have no desire to live in palaces

    Mein tay jeevain di nukkar mangnaa haan

    I just want a small nook to live my life

    Meri mannain tay tairian main mannan

    If you agree with me, I will agree with you

    Teri sohn jay ik wi gal moran

    I won’t decline anything no matter how unreasonable

    Jey ay maang nai pujdi tain rabba

    If you don’t look out for me God!

    Fayr main jawan teh rab koi hor loraan

    Then I should go and seek for myself another god

    Mori araj suno, dastagir pir

    O my lord, pay heed to my appeal


    Arieb Azhar:

    Iss surat seh

    With this grimace

    Arz sunatay


    Dard batatay

    Sharing the pain

    Nayya khaitay

    Rowing the boat

    Minnat kartay

    Asking for his blessings

    Rasta taktay

    Waiting expectantly

    Kitni sadiyaan beet gai hain

    Countless centuries have passed by

    Ab jakar yeh bhaid khulla hai

    Only now has it been revealed

    Jis koh tum ne arz guzari

    The one who you had appealed to

    Jo tha haat pakarnay waala

    The one who held your hand and guided you

    Jis jaag laagi nao tumhaari

    Where your boat had docked

    Jis say dukh ka daaroo manga

    From whom you had asked for a panacea for your pain

    Toray mandir may joh nahin aaya

    The one who did not visit your temple

    Woh to tum heen thay

    It was you only

    Woh to tum heen thay

    It was you only

    Poetry: Faiz Ahmed Faiz



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  10. Xcaad says:

    The song by EP was a cover of Sajjad Ali’s ‘bolo bolo’ first pop album ‘babia’, from his and they messed up the lyrics, in coke studio!!
    BTW the ‘original’ bolo bolo might’ve been a copy of some western song 🙂

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    • thanx! No wonder it sounded familiar…but the tune is definitely a rip off of some western pop song…

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  11. Episode 4 – aired on July 18th, 2010-

    Arif Lohar – he’s a stage performer and plays to an audience – I really like the way he enjoys the show he puts on for us! (My mom thought he was acting drunk! :)) but he did a good job. Very energetic performance indeed. The song was not half bad either…

    hmmm. Noori did a good job too…

    The rest were just average…Karavan (a soft number), Sanam Marvi and Amanat Ali did a cover of Abida Parveens two hits as a single composition (Abida could have done it herself – why didn’t she? She would have done a much better job!) and Zeb and Haniya – good job but I wasn’t in the mood for soft and slow…so maybe that’s why it felt predictable tho’ they have been consistently good.

    More later…

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  12. Music Review
    Songs of the Saints, With Love, From Pakistan

    Published: July 21, 2010

    Hands waved overhead. Voices shouted lyrics and whooped with delight. Children were hoisted onto parents’ shoulders. In the tightly packed crowd a few dancers made room to jump. T-shirts were tossed to fans from the stage.

    Yet in the songs that Abida Parveen was singing, saints were praised. They were Islamic saints, the poets and philosophers revered by Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam.

    It was the first New York Sufi Music Festival, a free three-hour concert on Tuesday in Union Square, and it had music from the four provinces of Pakistan, including traditional faqirs who perform outside temples, Sufi rock and a kind of rapping from Baluchistan.

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  13. Soundcheck: Who’s bad?
    Sunday, 25 Jul, 2010 | 03:29 AM PST |

    There’s no other way to say it: Coke Studio-3 hasn’t made the kind of massive impact it did last year. Save for a few individuals and songs that managed to push through and become prominent this season, the show this time around hasn’t been able to meet the bar that it set for itself with its previous installments. Having said that, the second last episode of season three, Form, sees performances by the Noori brothers and their mother Noor Zehra Kazim, Karavan, Zeb and Haniya, Amanat Ali-Sanam Marvi and Arif Lohar.

    Noor Zehra made her debut on the crimson stage with the Sagar Veena, a stringed instrument designed and developed by her father, Raza Kazim. The Sagar Veena has gone through seven prototypes and was first created in 1970. It is a stringed, fretless instrument that is played by using a stone. So far, Noor Zehra is the only musician who can play it, and in CS-3 she performs in a song called Hor Vi Neevan Ho in which she collaborates with her sons, Ali Noor and Ali Hamza.

    Hor Vi Neevan Ho has a calming effect on the listener and one gets the idea that it is best heard in isolation. Will it become one of the biggest hits of the show? Perhaps not, but it might end up becoming a composition that a listener might hold close to his/her heart.

    The album version of the Karavan song, Kaisay Mumkin Hai, is a heavy rock number reminiscent of how this genre of music was done back in the ’90s brought into the current era. Karavan this time around have come up with some very soulful numbers and although the rock element in their Studio performance was very much there, it had been considerably toned down, bringing the energy down with it. Tanseer’s vocals could be heard louder than the rest of the music which proved painful here and there. The song was good, but with some very small changes and a stronger rock appeal, it could have been great.

    As a duo, this band has delivered some stellar performances, from Chup and Paimona in the second season to Bibi Sanam Janam this season. Their initial global hype focused around the fact that they were female musicians from a country that was stereotyped as a place where women were oppressed, add to that they originally hail from Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa (although resided in the capital and have now moved to Lahore). They delivered a brilliant performance of Paimona in the second season, a song written in Dari, Farsi and Pushto. This season they delivered another very good performance of Bibi Sanam Janam which was in Persian.

    In this episode they set their eyes on Nazar Eyle, a song by Baris Manço, which is entirely in Turkish. What next? Their entire recorded body of work, save for Paimona, is in Urdu and even the simple rendition of the lyrics of Nazar Eyle sounded blurred as, except for the chorus, the singer sounds as if she’s mumbling. The original is available online for a listen. Compare both and see the difference. How the song relates to Pakistan is beyond comprehension.

    Sanam Marvi has been blessed with a set of powerhouse vocals that, in her performance with Amanat Ali on Haq Maujood, have managed to drown Amanat and dominate the song completely. I’ve said this before, Amanat has the pipes, but he has neither the soul nor the maturity to pull off a performance of this magnitude. This song would have been perfect if sung by Marvi alone.

    He’s known as Sher-i-Punjab (Lion of Punjab) and is a performer to the core. Arif Lohar brought the house down with his performance of Mirza Sahibaan which was more entertaining to watch than it was to listen. The song which picks up pace and makes you dance along saw everything from Lohar’s signature chimta playing to head-banging to giving a loud victorious animal-like yell in return, signaling the end of his performance by flicking his hair back and breathing “bad!” into the microphone. Arif Lohar exhudes the kind of warm, fun energy that makes you play along with him. — Madeeha Syed

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  14. August 1, 2010, Sunday, Episode 5 – season finale –

    Overall, 4/5 – Tina Sani, Abida Parveen, Rizwan and Mauzzam, and Sanam Marvi were pretty good…Amanat Ali was ok too…

    more later…

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  15. In case you are wondering why I chose these particular songs – its all original material (no covers! At least, even Chambay di booti sounds new!), the lyrics are excellent and tell a story and overall, its a job well done! All of them have collaborated well. Excellent team work. Best of all, all of them have sung it from the heart….

    If you don’t like my play list…you can post your own. No hard feelings! 🙂

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  16. Coke Studio comes to an end
    The fifth episode of this year’s Coke Studio aired on Sunday night, marking an end to weeks of feverish discussion on which artiste was the best – and who ruined the show.

    Five artistes featured on the finale – Tina Sani, Abida Parveen, Rizwan and Muazzam, Amanat Ali and Sanam Marvi – while the rest of this year’s performers were represented through short interviews on their experience during this season.

    While the acts on the finale were stellar, particularly Rizwan and Muazzam who performed a jazzy, electrifying version of “Jaana Jogi De Naal” and Sanam Marvi, who sang “Manzil-e-Sufi”, the disaster of the episode was Amanat Ali.

    Ali, who also performed a cover of Khaled’s “Aisha” and a duet with Marvi during this season, decided to sing a cover of the very popular patriotic song, “Ae Watan Kay Sajeelay Jawano”, which was originally sung by Madam Noor Jehan. The emotionless, flat cover was meant to be ‘fitting for the times’ but ended up souring one’s experience. It is hard to tell at this point whether Amanat Ali’s version was as bad as EP’s “Bolo Bolo”, but nonetheless, they were both travesties.

    After three years and most of Pakistan’s top bands and singers performing on the show, is it time for the show to renew its concept? Introducing elements such as a ‘vote in’ option could help make it more fun, and it may be time to rethink the idea of relying on artistes from previous seasons, given that Noori or Zeb and Haniya couldn’t come closer to new finds such as Marvi or Meesha Shafi.

    This show’s season has also drawn in some high profile fans, including Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, who tweeted last week: “Coke Studio is the greatest ambassador of moderate Pakistan. I watch it in my free time especially ‘Jugni’ (by) Arif Lohar and Meesha. Great music.”

    What Tribune readers say

    “Coke Studio got songs wrong which don’t suit the artists that were put in. They should ask the artists to pick the songs they want to do for Coke Studio and Coke Studio should allow people to pick the artists in season four. It looked like someone in Coke Studio picked songs which were no good deliberately.”

    Salman Jafri

    “I think this season made more waves than the other two seasons. I wouldn’t label Noori/Karavan/Zeb Hania as failures but I agree I wasn’t expecting Aunty Disco Project to do ‘Sultanat’, it’s a good song but not their best and certainly didn’t suit the Coke Studio mood.”

    Muteeur Rehman

    “Coke Studio 3 has not only raised the bar but its biggest success this season is roping in icons like Abida Parveen and Tina Sani. Their performances have been groundbreaking. Abida Parveen with her energetic style and Tina Sani with her soulful voice have enchanted many a heart.”

    Mohammad Umar Khan

    Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2010.

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  17. I just call myself a musician: Azhar
    KARACHI: With his video set to be released this September and his plans to get back to acting, Arieb Azhar talks about his experiences, inspirations and music.
    Why Sufi music?
    I don’t call myself a Sufi musician; I just call myself a musician. I have always been inspired by the folk and peoples music of the world and of the storytelling/bardic tradition.
    If a piece of poetry makes sense to me, I try to internalise it and compose it, regardless of whether people call it Sufi or not. I am a little wary of this tag. If there is such a thing as Sufi music, it’s music that has soul and meaning, in whichever language it might be. In this sense not only are Pathaney Khan, Shaukat Ali and Abida Parveen Sufi for me, but also Bob Marley, Fela Kuti, Leanard Cohen.

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  18. This Post Is Not About Osama
    by Ahmer Naqvi on May 18th, 2011 | Comments (19)

    …..Coke Studio is not entertainment; it is not your new ring tone, or your facebook status. It is not the way to measure cohesion or television ratings, it is not your pick up line or your method of battling extremism – although it is all of these things as well.

    At the heart of it, it’s an event where our music is literally retransforming itself, finding itself in new voices and colors, being heard by new ears and new minds. Coke Studio is taking songs from across our collective consciousness and reimagining them, and that is something that is not merely significant, it marks a new epoch. It marks a time where we all bear witness to how our culture is taking on new forms, and exploring new avenues.

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