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THE GRAPEVINE

December 23, 2018

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Midnight Blues

Atif Aslam’s new song, with a snazzy video, is out. It’s called 12 Bajay. By now it may have been heard and seen by millions of people.

To be honest, the visuals (by Zeeshan Parwez) are pretty good; the song — despite its bluesy/jazzy feel — leaves a bit to be desired, however, particularly the part where the singer hits the higher notes or attempts the very low ones. Still, it’s quite listenable — obviously Atif A has had a good time at night which he wants everybody to know about. And the best time to lend your ears to it would be after midday (dinn ke 12bajay ke baad) when there’s too much hullabaloo around in the city to even notice that the lyrics don’t quite make sense.

Khan Sahib Redux

Bollywood can’t seem to have enough of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It’s been more than two decades since he passed on, but his songs (qawwalis, ghazals, pop tracks etc) are still reworked to add a distinct musical flavour to Indian movies.

The latest in that regard is his song Main Roz Roz Tanha which has been used in the new Shah Rukh Khan film Zero. According to the actor, the track has been reworked in a qawwali form. Well, given that the title of the movie is Zero, and SRK hasn’t had a big hit in a while, one sincerely hopes that the track turns out to be more than zilch.

Anchor Cranker

It is mind-boggling! What are the criteria for hiring an anchor for an entertainment TV channel? Years ago, Aftab Iqbal started a programme in which he gave out information on a variety of subjects and a bunch of comedians (who largely spoke Punjabi) interjected with their jokes. It was a good show. The pattern caught on and now every channel has a similar show.

One of them is called Joke Dar Joke. In one of its recent editions, the anchor of the programme, while discussing Pakistani vocalist Asrar and Indian playback singer Rekha Bhardwaj, said that at a concert at which both were performing, Rekha B became beysuri (went off-pitch). I mean, please, give us a break! Someone tell these anchors that before making such statements they should do a background research not just on the singers they’re supposed to be talking about but also on music.

I Don’t Like Me

One would’ve thought that after doing quite a few successful film and TV projects Sheheryar Munawar must be a satisfied man. Nope, that’s not the case. The actor in an interview has said that he sleeps only four to five hours a day because “you never know when you’ve made it.”

The most striking sentence that he uttered in the chitchat was, “I don’t like myself very much.” Oh bhai, Sheheryar M, clearly you’re not a marketing guy. You don’t say that yourself; others should say that they don’t like you. Only then will you be able to reach newer heights of popularity.

Family Planning

Nick Jonas, husband of Priyanka Chopra, wears his heart on his sleeve. The just-married pop star is uber-happy about being hitched. So much so that, on Dec 13, he even gave away his future family plans to a journo. “I definitely want to be a father some day. I think that’s a real dream, and I think I have to grow up pretty quickly. You could look at it two ways: you could say that was unfair, or you could say it has given me perspective at an early age.”

Well, Nick J, a perspective is a good thing to have but it’s not enough to make you a father.

Taxed!

A year ago, pop star Shakira was in the news for alleged tax evasion. The investigations into the issue went on in a rather hush-hush manner for many months.

But on Dec 14, Spanish prosecutors finally charged the singer. She has been accused of not paying taxes worth more than 16 million dollars in two years (between 2012 and 2014). To be specific, the case has to do with the fact that she had declared her house in the Bahamas as her official residence in that time period, whereas she was living luxuriously in Spain with her partner, soccer player Gerard Pique. Well, if she doesn’t clear her position soon, she might have to shift into another type of gated community.

Published in Dawn, ICON, December 23rd, 2018

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