One of the songs in Pakistani rock band Noori’s recent album comes with the moniker Begum Gul Bakauli Sarfarosh. Titled 1947 — the year that holds much importance in the subcontinent’s history — the song describes the pain of a woman who comes to Pakistan after losing her family.
The song, which talks of new beginnings and peace, was rehearsed in the basement of a plush locality in Lahore’s Airport Road. This song, along with others, will be performed in the city Saturday at the popular music festival, NH7 Weekender.
Noori’s scheduled performance comes in the wake of the Shiv Sena’s growing attacks on Pakistani artistes after unrest on the border. The forced cancellations of Ghulam Ali’s Mumbai and Pune concerts and that of Pakistani band Mekaal Hasaan in Mumbai and Hyderabad were recent additions to the list.
The happy crew is off to Delhi for Bacardi NH7 Weekender Festival tomorrow 28th November, 2015. Performance… https://t.co/LMtoZ9o6Iu
— noori (@nooriworld) November 27, 2015
Despite a lot of Pakistani musicians choosing not to perform in India at the moment, Noori will not back out, said Ali Hamza, who started the band along with his brother Ali Noor.
“I wanted to give it a shot, come and sing here. We function differently. It hasn’t really hit me that things can go wrong or I may be unsafe because that would be a wrong assumption to make. I am taking it as it comes. If it does happen, we’ll see. Zindagi aur maut hamare haath mein nahi hai. (Life and death is not in our hands) But for now I just want to create music and perform,” he said.
In the Pakistan of the early ‘90s — when gigs used to be a frenzied affair and where music meant creating pieces that were against the regime or social conditions — Noori was busy creating songs that did not have any political statements. Instead, they wanted to rouse the youth to do something for themselves.
“The idea was one of pop revolution, to motivate the youth. We wanted people to feel happiness, sadness, even pain, and wanted them to do something for themselves,” said Hamza.