Who’s heard of Junaid Jamshed (MURHOOM)? During his school days, he was training to become a doctor. Not because that was something he aspired to be but because that was the trend at the time. Later on, the trend shifted towards business administration and then later on to IT, but the herd thinking of the Pakistani nation is a subject matter for a later time. I picked this chap because not only am I a fan of his work but he’s also an inspiration to Pakistan’s Sufi scene.
Religious songs in favor of a single god who’s compassionate and merciful is a common theme in Kawalis. An artistic expression that managed to capture the hearts of minds of many groups of people situated within the borders of the Indian Subcontinent. However, in this day and age, Islamic values are being eroded by the onslaught of cheap drugs such as opium and heroine from our neighbors to the East.
It was in this background that Junaid Jamshed’s band of musicians known as “Vital Signs” single-handedly redefined Pakistan’s pop culture. To this day their evergreen song “Dil diL Pakistan” is fondly remembered by fans of all ages. It’s memorable lyrics captured the imagination of an entire generation as they sang praise to the meager accomplishments of the newborn Nation of Pakistan. Reviving long lost imagery of simpler times when Caravans crisscrossed the silk road trading with merchants far and wide fueling a sustainable economy for the betterment of forthcoming generations. The song quickly became a patriotic song which was eagerly broadcasted via state media during national holidays.
“Vital Signs” produced many more memorable hits in the years to follow but alas, all good things have to come to an end. The band broke up which allowed JJ to launch his solo career. At the time he admits feeling a need to get in touch with his religion. The band had also produced many romantic songs which enticed adolescents to seek out soul mates for themselves instead of relying on traditional match making techniques. JJ felt a sense of social responsibility and was conscious of the fact that he may be misleading the next generation with regard to matters of the heart.
However, the recording studios beckoned his soul searching would just have to wait. He continued fulfilling demand by churning out one love-struck song after another. I bought one of these albums and it suites my personal taste because it mixes the old with the new. You get a nice blend of folk music with modern story telling techniques an initiative which is greatly appreciated, here's a look...
He invested the revenue generated from the album into a successful line of designer wear and ithr (non-alcoholic perfumes, suitable to apply to clothing to be worn during prayers). Financially secure he took a daring step and denounced his hipster ways redefining his public persona as a full-fledged Sufi. He let his beard grow and wore traditional clothing, standard dress for Muslim Clerics. He decided not to entice the youth and horny elders towards fornication and began singing naat. A form of artistic expression that is oral in nature and praises the prophet of Islam. Who is considered to be the last messenger (in a long line of messengers including Adam, David, Moses, Jesus and many more[MAY PEACE AND BLESSINGS BE UPON THEM ALL])
UPDATE: I WAS SADDENED AS ALL PROUD PAKISTANIS WERE AT THE PASSING OF THIS NATIONAL LEGEND.
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