Last night I was at a Junoon concert. For those not in the know, they were a Pakistani rock band back in the day (90s). Since then they have broken up but the guitarist Salman Ahmed is running around with some new folks and and a new band, labeled imaginatively Junooni. He's a great guitarist but the voice... well... I think he should find a new lead singer. Now he can sing a million times better than me, but I'm not the one running around getting paid for singing. Anyway, the band was handicapped because the location had seats and people were just sitting... it's a rock concert, people, not classical... but they still managed to get the people on board. I love how the tabla guy Salim Khan coordinated with the rest of the band... The band was introduced by a very devout looking muslim guy. So the people next to us started shouting "Osama!!!" very loudly. I thought that was pretty funny, as the guy's name was, in fact, Osama. Well now he's famous on Purdue campus as he came out with, "Junoon is known as the U2 of South Asia, well, I say that U2 is the Junoon of Europe."
There were a bunch of youngsters who crowded around the front of the stage and were up and jumping around for many of the songs, little flames were out for one of the slow songs, which apparently reminded many of those guys that they needed a smoke and so they left for the next song and came back smelling of cancer sticks after a while. We had some good seats and I did get up for Sayonee and attempted some bhangra with my man FC, of the movie review blog fame. His true Punjabiyat was coming out and my fake one (because of my name). It was too bad about the chairs in the auditorium, they would have done well to have the concert at the armoury or something which is a large open space.
Now I have the song 'Khudi' running through my head -
Khudi ko kar buland itna // Ke har taqdeer se pehle // Khuda bande se khud poochhe // Bataa, teri raza kya hai?
खुदी को कर बलन्द इतना // कि हर तक़दीर से पहले // ख़ुदा बन्दे से ख़ुद पूच्छे // बता, तेरी रज़ा क्या है?
Make yourself rise above so much that before decreeding your fate, God himself asks you what your will is.
Of course I also have the alternative version running through my head, which is:
"Khudi ko kar buland itna // Ke jab himalay ki choti per pahunche // to Khuda bande se khud poochhe // Bataa, teri razai kahaan hai?"
"खुदी को कर बुलन्द इतना // कि जब हिमालय की चोटी पर पहुँचे तो // ख़ुदा बन्दे से खुद पूच्छे // बता, तेरी रज़ाई कहाँ है?"
"Make yourself rise above so much that when you get to the top of the Himalayas, God himself asks you where your blanket is."
Salman Ahmed is a UN goodwill ambassador for HIV/AIDS but he didn't get into that, he was more into India-Pakistan friendship issues. All well and good, but if we become friends, then what will happen to the cricket? How can we keep the rivalry going without any incidents of trash talking the other? Even the last Indo-Pak cricket series was kind of boring because everyone was very gentlemanly off the field, except Pakistan's ex-wicketkeeper Moin Khan who accused one of our best batsmen of cowardice and running away from the field. Unfortunately noone from our side retorted and made an issue of it, which would have happened in the past. My conclusion is, let's be friends, but let's have the off-field trash talk.