From episode 3 of the ongoing season of Coke Studio is this gem by Jal and female semi-classical folk singer Quratulain Balouch (If that description makes you imagine an older but elegant woman, hah!)

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The song begins with one of Jal’s first hits Panchi and melts into this song Tere Ishq Mein Jo Bhi Doob Gaya. With such wonderful melody and poetry I have to say: I’d pay to live in a universe where god existed and was so tangible like the song describes.

The original Tere Ishq Mein by Allan Faqir and Mohammad Ali Sheikhi:

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I’d also pay to live in a universe where I could sing the song below with the devotion of Areib Azhar but without having to abandon intellectual honesty.

Even though the gods we often describe don’t exist I still love devotional music. It is a strange experience though, something like holding on to the rails of faith to climb a rock, experiencing the view at the top, climbing down and walking away realizing that it is unwise to carry the rails all the time.

Translation here.

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Pakistan: Where are your not-very-beautiful women? And I suppose I speak on behalf of girls (and in few cases, men) everywhere when I ask: Where are your not-very-handsome menfolk? (Is being a maulana the only career choice for them?)

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I have recently become a fan of the videos. With my little knowledge, I think they are shot and edited to perfection.

I see so many parallels between a well designed gadget and the production of Coke Studio. Let’s start with the user experience: Each video, without trying too hard, takes the viewer through the sounds. Often, these are sounds so deep within layers of music that you wouldn’t have noticed it without the video edit. The music never descends into cacophony (like here): Sounds appear and disappear when required. The attention to detail: Notice how on the lyrics page, the lyrics are called Poetry. Poetry sounds so much more apt, no?

Granted, these details were probably not even intended. But that is to be expected: Good design happens because it is in the DNA of a group. One cannot decide to design something well. (Amusing fact: This simple realization often takes decades.)

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I wish I could meet Rohail Hyatt in person and thank him for the gift that is Coke Studio. I cannot count the number of of times the music has taken me through hikes, moods, exhaustions and mountains. [Dannah Pan Daanah took me through the heat of the Grand Canyon three weeks ago, Senraan Ra Baairya through the snowy slopes of Mt. Tallac last weekend and I suppose Panchi will be around for the icy steeps of Mt. Shasta this weekend.]

I imagine the same is true of all the readers here.

[Tip: To feel awwww at any time, Chal Diyay, 3:33.]

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P.S. A mea culpa about Coke Studio at MTV. I knew I was quick in writing it off. It took me a weekend and many, many listens to understand what the artists were going for.

I am addicted to Chadhta Sooraj. Compare it with Aziz Nazan’s original or even Sonu Nigam’s version (although some of the improvement is because of a rhythm-change). O Majhi Re is tastefully done and that deserves praise. Hoo is wonderful (It the only song that ought to remind you of Coke Studio). Yaar Basainda took the longest to like but I got there.

That’s about it. I tried hard to like the rest of the songs — but I blame the dissonance.

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