I've been maintaining this blog (for better or for worse) over the last eight years. Over these years, its natural evolution has led it into becoming something of a niche place for discussion of music in general and Qawwali in particular. Rather than trying to return my existing blog to its pre-Qawwali eclectic roots, I decided I’d start anew on Tumblr. So if you’re interested in music, Qawwali and subcontinental culture, keep reading/listening/watching/commenting here. For all of the above and everything else under the sun, head on over to my Tumblr page .

Thursday, July 5, 2007

...Of Road-Trip-Music

The "BIG SUMMER TRIP" is upon us finally,praise the Lord !!.

Sitting at home watching barnacles grow on my derriere,although an admirable pursuit,soon loses charm.And with a brigade of seven cousins,two uncles and two aunts straining at the bit,things start getting cagey unless some excursion diverts the attention.So,tomorrow,taking advantage of the strategically placed Long Weekend,I'm off.Off to Shogran,as pretty a place as can be.The sleeping bags,long mothballed,finally get their moment in the sun,or rather moon.The picnic baskets are being packed,the motel reservations completed.The three cars are being prepared for the ordeal of their lifetimes,namely,lugging 600 pounds of prime Sargodha meat and sinew up the most treacherous roads in Pakistan.May God have mercy on their souls...

The best part of the summer trip ?

The respite from heat ?
No.

The beauty of the magestic mountains ?
No.

The basketfuls of mangoes ?
Err...maybe

The music playing along the way ?
Spot On !!

One of my oldest memories is driving down the old Jhelum bridge one night,just me and my dad,with Faiz playing in the car stereo.Then there's the Elton John album that was playing one rainy morning when our car skidded on a road in Chakwal and hit a tractor.The first time I heard John Denver singing,"Country Roads" somewhere in the foothills of Murree.Jagjeet Singh,Kishore,John Denver,Faiz,Faraz,Ghalib...the first time these names entered my mind was in the back seat of a car when I hesitantly asked dad to turn up the volume and asked him who that voice was.

It's been a vital part of my education,this roadtripsong.How many couplets have I heard,only to be asked a moment later by dad to paraphrase or explain it.My many stumbling responses awoke the appreciation of poetry in theHow many folk songs have I listened to,trying to make sense of the obtrusely elegant Punjabi,only to be revealed in wondrous detail on the next trip.How many songs are part of my family album,just because Nana hummed along with them,or Dadi Amman rememberd them from a Bioscope seen long ago...

Soon the tide turned.It was now my job to get the music for the roadtrips.Dad was introduced to Clapton,Sinatra,Lobo,Ella and many more via me.I was told to take trips to Islamabad to buy this CD of Kafis from Lok Virsa,that cassette of Talat Mehmood from Bombeat etc.And then there's today...

Daunted by a five hour trip up the mountains accompanied by a bunch of noisy kids,dad's asked(read ordered) me to make five tapes of his favourite stuff out of all the tons of stuff in my PC.After two hours of exhaustive selection,I stand ready to make these tapes ala High Fidelity.To make 'em,tentatively titled "The Tripped Out Tapes Vol 1-5",I've been presented with a behemoth of a recording console.It's old,it's clunky and it's short circuited,and I have before me at least six hours of headphone-wearing,monitor-staring fun.Here's to making music..


Song Of The Week,"If You Gotta Go,Go Now",Bob Dylan
Movie Of The Week,"Invasion Quartet",1961

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