Of Pain and Pining: 4 New Music Videos Striking Old Notes in Kashmir

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Four music videos—“Janaan”, “Hosh Ho”, “Jhelum” and “Khuaftan Baange”—were recently released on social media as a fall collection depicting the deep-set melancholy of the landscape grappling with the perpetual pain.

By Sajida Ali

NOOR Mohammad, Kashmir’s country musician known for his native folk-singing and Rabab playing, is back with new cast and crew in a brand-new music video.

This time, Noor is singing “Janaan” on the ghats of Jhelum, near the shrine of Shah-i-Hamdan.

Previously seen with “Alif” in his “Wafadar Mouji” number, the musician has now collaborated with Irfaan Bukhari of “Raah Bakshtam” fame.

Shot in Old Srinagar, the video beautifully captures the ambiance and pulse of life in the valley.

But while Noor is singing dirges for the departed beloved, his previous music partner Mohammad Muneem aka “Alif” has come out with his new video called “Hosh Ha”.

Hosh Ha is reminiscence of life beyond existence,” reads the description of the video. “Hosh Ha is every single breath of life often taken for granted. Then, what is it to die?”

In the beginning of the video, Muneem and three others, including penman turned performer, Afzal Sofi, can be seen discussing about “Gawas” or witnesses.

In the between-the-lines conversation hinting at the larger reality of the land, Muneem finally lets his vocals talk, but not before voicing the resounding remark: “I feel everyone is Shah Tcoor (air stealer).”

The lyrics of the video sound dark and disturbing—apparently a comment on the politically-plagued life in the valley. Besides resounding lyrics, the cinematography of the video is equally remarkable and true depiction of the glum landscape of the valley.

Another addition in the fall collection in Kashmir’s another lockdown year is “Jhelum”, “a story of loss”.

“It is a story of a boy who is in search of something that would give him and his mother the necessary closure. Hope has been tiring them. They want it to stop,” writer Faheem Abdullah and director Imbesat Ahmed said in the video introduction.

“The boy sets out on a journey with his friend and seeks God’s help while doing that. The closure is painful as his hope dies and despair takes over. It is excruciating. Jhelum is the story of every Kashmiri.”

In a darood-resounding dawn of downtown, the video starts with a noisy radio announcement about Jhelum upsurge, before the singer sings, “Jhelum roya… Kashmir ke’liye… Jhelum roya…” (Jhelum cried… for Kashmir… Jhelum cried…).

“A masterpiece I would say,” a netizen commented on the video. “From the act to cinematography to sound design to colours… it’s flawless. And the message you delivered takes us deep inside the writer’s inner-fight life, and shows us how loud he/she wants to speak out. Commendable work guys.”

Equally engrossing is “Khuaftan Baange” or “The Call To Night’s Prayer”.

In this music video, performers named Sarfaraz Javaid, Suhail Ahmad, Zeeshaan Nabi and Ubaid Parvaiz create an elegiac enactment.

The performance looks par-excellence, so do lyrics of Sarfaraz Javaid, translated in English by Kashmir’s noted poet, Rumuz.

Khuaftan baange czoang ha czhyeti goum
Pyom ha maale mandnean shaam
Nanni Nabbi douth pyov myaenis waeraanas
Mae jahanas annigot gov

My lamp went out by the Call to night’s prayer
Evening’s gloom overtook afternoon’s shine
Hail, from clear skies, has my desolation hit
Darkness has consumed my absolute world.

“Everything is perfect, from lyrics to vocals, from the jingles to the notes on the guitar,” a netizen said in a comment section of the video.

“This isn’t a music video,” said another user, “this is a wildfire.”

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