‘Ha Gulo’ revisited: Coke Studio Pakistan brings musical treat to Kashmiris
Srinagar, Jul 12: Almost 70 years after it was written by Kashmiri poet Mehjoor, Coke Studio’s twist to a traditional folk song of love and separation has earned thousands of young admirers in the Valley.
Coke Studio explorer released “Ha Gulo” (Oh Flower) on Wednesday. In less than 24 hours, it was viewed on the Youtube channel by thousands of music lovers throughout the world.
Written by revolutionary Kashmiri poet, late Ghulam Ahmad Mehjoor, the song has been sung for the Coke Studio by a Kashmiri singer, Muhammad Altaf Mir, presently based in Muzaffarabad.
Mir was associated as a broadcaster with Radio Pakistan for a long time and these days he leads a band called ‘Qasamir’.
Mir sang “Ha Gulo” to the accompaniment of the traditional ‘Sarangi’ and the Kashmiri ‘Tumbaknari’ — two prominent musical instruments.
Kashmiris of all age groups are enthused by “Ha Gulo”-revisited as it combines nostalgia and modern trends in music.
Noted Kashmiri singer, Munir Ahmad Mir said: “I saw it yesterday. It has a global appeal because of its folk music that is part of Kashmir’s lofty culture. I am sure it will be admired by all those who love and know something about traditional music.”
The song has also caught the imagination of the commoners in Jammu and Kashmir in a big way.
“This song being re-released almost 70 years after it was written by Mehjoor proves that tradition and music always have lovers provided it is done in its original form.
“I simply love it”, said Abdul Gani Mir, an ardent lover of Kashmiri music.
There are still others who believe the song and its video should have been restricted to only the singer and the musicians.
“The video has a little distraction,” said Tariq Ahmad, who belongs to north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
The younger generation of Kashmiris who are generally seen as lovers of high voltage modern music, has also been impressed by the sheer nostalgia that the song generates.
“The song is simply mesmerising. It cuts across borders and generations as it stands out to prove that genuine music and singing have no dearth of admirers,” said Irfan Ahmad, who belongs to Srinagar city.
Asmat Ashai, president of US-based Funkar International, who has been closely associated with the preparations and the release of this song, said on her Facebook page on Thursday, “Kashmiri music taken to new heights by Coke Studio, Pakistan”.
Ashai said: “I am literally over the moon today. For five long years I planned to have it done by Coke Studio. The intention was to promote and introduce Kashmiri music on this prestigious platform.
“I happened to meet the CEO of Coke Studio through a friend in Lahore. I requested him to have a closer look at our music. It took five years of hard work and preparation that finally materialised in what you see today.
“I had originally planned to have the song sung by artists from both sides of the border. That, however, did not mature due to the prevailing situation between the two countries.
“Anyway, let us hope tradition and music get us closer to each other breaking all man-made borders”.