3 WMDs that crossed the border before Veena Malik

Ali Zafar is taking the world by storm. And by world, I mean Bollywood, and by Bollywood, I mean Ali Zafar’s gazillion Pakistani fans who are sleeping like babies tonight, smug in the knowledge that Pakistan has finally produced a star who crossed the border and is putting Pakistan on the map of ‘People Who Cross the Border and Are Yet Still Decent Human Beings’ (dot com. Some should reserve this domain name for posterity already). But before there was an Ali Zafar signing on Yash Raj Films and teaching Katrina Kaif how to play the guitar and wear just the right amount of hair gel so it doesn’t show, there was an Atif Aslam, who did us proud by becoming the voice of international heartthrob Emraan Hashmi. And before Atif, there was Meera, who invoked the wrath of the righteous in Nazar.

And other things in private.

But how quickly we forget. We may follow with morbid fascination the self-appointed Pakistani WMD Veena Malik’s many, many exploits inIndia, but how many of us are aware that Pakistani WMDs have been infiltrating the ranks of Indian culture since the beginning of time, or the ’80s?

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# 3 – Salma Agha

Decades before there were questionable FHM covers floating around the web, before there was a ‘the web’, there was a precious beauty called Salma Agha. Known for her green eyes, and apparently an album she had cut with her sister on which they sang Abba hits in Urdu, Salma Agha crossed the border, starred in films, pissed off the original king of disco, Mithun Chakraborty, and won a Filmfare. For Best Female Playback. Take that, Atif. And her first big film, Nikah, enraged clerics back home, so, take that, Veena… I guess.

 

Salma Agha’s USP though, has to be her singing voice, which is only comparable to the sound of music made by 20 cats skidding across a glass table as they tear apart your favourite scarf; and is the emotional equivalent of that love letter you spent three hours composing with letters cut out of a magazine for Fawad Khan. Salma Agha disappeared from our lives sometime in the ’90s, and oh how we wish she would sing to us once more. Preferably a duet with Annie Khalid.

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# 2 – Hasan Jahangir

I will go blue in the face saying this, but Hasan Jahangir is the original King…uh, Jahangir. If you were disappointed with the three hour mess Shah Rukh Khan’s Don 2 is, take it back to 1987, when the first Don 2 was made, starring a bunch of people we don’t know anything about anymore, along with a kickin’ soundtrack by Hasan Jahangir.

 

The real Don 2 had some very smart people behind it, who were clearly anti-piracy before it was cool, and flew Hasan out to India to record every song he had ever sung for Don 2. This means that decades before Chaalis Chaurasi even thought to include kitsch Pakistani music to its soundtrack, Hawa Hawa had already made an appearance in Don 2. What they missed out though on was the gem that Hasan Jahangir put out a few years later, Shaadi Na Karna Yaro, which was such a gigantic hit and guide to the plight of the married man, that it was reworked as a jingle for a juice ad. ‘Freezo hee peena yaro, khush rahi gey saari life’. Words to live by.

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#1 – Rahim Shah

Rahim Shah is a national treasure that we take for granted. While his videos are a source of deep intrigue for us, where girls whip out voodoo dolls of other girls and stick pins in them for being audacious enough to dance with a boy who’s taken, his music is a deep well of inspiration across the border. But firstly, and most importantly, what kind of messed up clubs is Rahim Shah partying at? How do we get in? Is the bouncer your local pir? Do tell, Mr. Shah!

 

Rahim Shah registered on our radars with the runaway hit Gham, or as we know it, Pehle Tou Kabhi Kabhi Gham Tha. A beseeching cry of heartbreak, Gham should indeed make it to any post-breakup mixtape/ playlist. Rahim Shah’s Gham was instantly noticed and picked up byIndia’s then reigning king of qawali, Altaf Raja, who mixed in his own magic to the song and sang it for his adoring audience.

 (Altaf Raja’s magical recipe of music: Two mouthfuls gutka, quick blast of diesel-y smog from a passing bus, and a bad girl in a bustier).

Rahim Shah’s musical influece reaches far beyond the likes of Altaf Raja, that hack, (though I do love me some Tum Tou Thehre Pardesi from time to time). His song Channa Ve Channa also features on the soundtrack of 2007 Bollywood flick Raqeeb.

 

If you haven’t seen this song already, you must do so immediately. Who doesn’t love a Jimmy Shergill with frosted tips, lounging on a chair by the shore, swigging beer and watching a girl sing a Rahim Shah song for him? No one, that’s who! If you’re still not convinced, Raqeeb is a remake of Wild Things, and stars Tanushree Dutta, whoever that is.

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So the next time one of your older relations lament the infiltration of our culture by all things Indian, rattle off this list and tell them Pakistan has already gotten back at India. And then some. 

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Categories: Celebrities, Movies & TV

Author:Zainab

I like superhero trivia, Star Wars references, and saying at the end of a conversation about either: 'Yeah, I haven't seen that.' You can read all about it at burgerbachis.blogspot.com

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One Comment on “3 WMDs that crossed the border before Veena Malik”

  1. Kiran
    February 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Haha, great article!
    Fav line : “Altaf Raja’s magical recipe of music: Two mouthfuls gutka, quick blast of diesel-y smog from a passing bus, and a bad girl in a bustier”
    HILARIOUS

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