Sunday, August 25, 2013

[Social Eye] Sona Chahta Hoon


I never thought that the Pakistani music industry had such an insightful song until I came across a news report featuring it. It goes by the name of Sona Chahta Hoon (I want to rest) and is a single from acclaimed pop singer Najam Sheraz's 1996, debut album Khazana (Treasure).



Well this song is anything but pop. It is four minutes of shrill screams coupled with soothing alaaps. It represents the dichotomy that exists within our society; those who are comfortable and those who can never find ease.

تیرے خوابوں میں، کھونا چاہتا ہوں
Tere khwabon mey khona chahta hun.
Getting absorbed in your dreams is what I want.

میں لمبی نیند، سونا چاہتا ہوں
Mey lambi neend sona chahta hun.
A good night's sleep is what I want.

دیے جلتے ہیں
Diye jalte hain,
Lights, there are everywhere,

سائے بولتے ہیں
saye bolte hain,
shadows, they speak to me,

ہوا چلتی ہے
hawa chalti hai,
the air, it whistles about,

رونا چاہتا ہوں
rona chahta hun.
crying my eyes out is what I want to.

کوئی نغمہ کہیں
Koi naghma kahi
Give me an anthem,

کوئی بارگاہ
Koi barigah.
give me a presence.

دے میں آزاد، ہونا چاہتا ہوں
De mey azaad hona chahta hun
For I want to be set free. 

The lyrics of the song are very deep. This is where the beauty (read: inherent ugliness) lies. Sheraz screams about needing to sleep in a beseeching and tormented way, such that the society doesn't let him sleep, that it is too full of distractions, torture and pain. He further sings about getting engrossed in your dreams, which can be interpreted as a dig at the elite. The elite who have everything and sleep soundly at night with soothing dreams aplenty. In these lyrics lie the crux of the song.


I find it hard to believe that this song is languishing in obscurity in times like these. While, when it got released in '95 (as a single), things might haven't been as bad as they are now. Nowadays, we have insecurity, inflation, terrorism and rampant corruption; the perfect tools for the psychological Inquisition of a common man. This song fits like a glove to today's Pakistan.

On a more casual note, it can be termed as an insomniac's anthem. Which, I know Pakistan's nocturnal youth will take up quite readily. It's popularity will only increase once the people learn that it was actually banned by the government for being too wild. Yeah you read it right.

Whichever way it is, this song needs to make a comeback and I see no better platform for it than the famed Coke Studio. For something so minimalistic, yet so powerful can't be created everyday.



1 comment:

Reel said...

I wonder why Najam never tried anything like that again. I totally love it.

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