Pakistan’s musical history has always been rich. The music that was composed in the classical era of the Pakistani cinema remains a favorite to this day. The current trend of Pakistani music aims to have a more global touch however, there is someone that has stuck with the classical roots of Pakistani music.
The grandson of renowned Pakistani music director Khawaja Khurshid Anwar is following in his late grandfather’s footsteps. Rameez Khawaja Anwar who was born and raised in Texas had always shown a keen liking and interest in the music composed by his grandfather. His childhood was shaped by an eclectic mix of music ranging from western pop to classical Lollywood and Bollywood music.
Reminiscing the classical melodies
Rameez’s musical journey consists of him covering western pop songs on classical instruments like sarangi and the tabla. The music that he has composed for the song Woh Umeed Ki Nayi Manzil also features these instruments. The arrangement of the song is similar to how the old Lollywood songs used to be. The song is an audio-visual treat that immediately transports the listener to the world of classic Lollywood cinema.
Zeb Bangash has led her strong and melodic vocals to the song’s poetry. She decorates the melody with the kind of delicate flourishes typical of singers from that era while maintaining a pathos that is perfectly tailored to the emotional lyrics and musical accompaniment.
A visual treat
The music video was directed by Maham Khwaja, Rameez’s cousin, and another of Khurshid Anwar’s grandchildren. From the black and white images; to the makeup, hair, and wardrobe; to the stunning garden setting overlooking a winding river; to the frames full of fog – the entirety of the music video has been shot with much care so that it closely reflects the time and world of the movies which originally featured the melodies composed by Khawaja Khurshid Anwar.
The level of thought and care that went into this project is plainly evident, and it’s safe to say all that effort has paid off: it’s hard to shake the feeling that one has unearthed some long-lost music video from the heyday of the Bollywood-Lollywood film industries.
A fitting tribute
Khurshid Anwar’s concern for preserving music traditions was well-documented; after all, that concern is what animated his production the 96-volume Ragamala. In producing Woh Umeed Ki Manzil a song that attempts to revive a rich tradition of Subcontinental film music, Rameez and Maham have hit on fitting tribute to their grandfather.