Happy pills

Coke Studio is like my boomerang music. No matter how far I fling it, it comes back. Harder. Knocking me down all over again, like it is the very first time. That is probably the single biggest thing that separates good music from the bad. The good stuff never really leaves you. Like the classics, like good old real rock, like The Beatles. You know how you never outgrow them? That’s what I love about it. Repeat-value. Even after a 100 plays, I am still as excited and enchanted when these playlists make a comeback into my system. I’m pretty sure many years from now I’ll be sharing the Coke Studio awesomeness with several nieces  and nephews.

It all started with the kickass first scene of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, along with the rest of the lovely soundtrack that featured several Coke Studio favourites of mine. Naturally, I’m back to savouring these little happy pills again. In not-so-small doses, of course.

Can you tell I really, really love Coke Studio? Is it too early to do round two of my ode to them? So soon after the last one? If you think it is, shut this tab and go back to whatever it is you were doing. If you want some more nuggets of musical genius, stay. Scroll, hit play, enjoy.

Coke Studio has done a lot of good for my listening. It’s widened my perspectives and introduced me to kinds of music I wouldn’t know. Like Pashto — traditional Afghani music, characterised by the use unequal metres in percussion. There’s just no way you can listen to a pashto track sitting down. It is smack-you-in-the-face, get-up-and-tap-your-feet-music music for me. Unless of course you’re in an office. In which case you make do with some not-so-subtle shoulder shaking and grooving, ignoring the speculative stares your co-workers give you. At least, that’s what I used to do.

Speaking of happy music, nobody does it like this man does. If a song has the capacity to make you break down into a stream of happy tears, its done its job.

And then there’s my go-to light, happy-happy instrumental track. Never fails to make me groove a bit. In the car, in my home walking from my desk to the kitchen, while cooking and when the dude in the kitchen opposite me is staring into my kitchen window, while out for a walk, any.goddamn.time.

That is my track that proves you don’t need words. You just need some good old musical sense. The kind that seems to be fast disappearing off the face of this planet. That, and some funk. Like the old man violinist at 1.01. Oh and if you have a pretty face like the backing vocals girls Zoe and Rachel Viccaji, it definitely helps.

Okay, I can see why good music is a rare package to find. Hmm.

Then there’s my quintessential rain music. The few tracks that always make a comeback when the rains hit, get played over and over till the husband wants to throw me out of the house, with complains about how we never listen to his kind of music. I don’t know how this kind of music can ever get dull, or monotonous, or unpleasant.


Do you think its something they eat that makes their voices so unbelievably grainy and sexy? Grain with lilt is the ultimate sex-on-tape music for me and that’s why I love these men.

Or maybe its that grubby stubble that makes me a little weak in the knees and clouds my judgement.

And because this whole second helping of happy pills was brought on by the soundtrack of that movie I just watched, I must share with you the other favourite track that was covered too, by Atif Aslam. Here is the original by an original diva. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Apart from introducing me to Pashto, Coke Studio has showed me a riffy side to traditional Qawwalis, another one for a dark, rainy night.

Forced me to give Atif Aslam another change, and he did so good.

Showed me the powerhouse that is Abida Parveen.

Most of all its given me hours of endless happy music and kept me coming back for more and more and more. But I’ll stop now, and let you discover the magic for yourself.


17 thoughts on “Happy pills

  1. I have Coke studio bookmarked and every time I pull open an episode of it on Youtube I add another link to the favorites tab. It’s growing and growing oh so quickly!!!


  2. I love love love coke studio too. I was lucky to have grown up listening to sindhi folk music, even now “Jiye munjhi sindh ma ta ghoryan penji jind’ (Love live sindh I shall sacrifice my life for it) is like a personal anthem even though I haven’t ever been there it just tears my heart.

    The first time I heard Pere Pavandi Saan …..I cried too but in my case also with a sense of longing to visit that place, the place that tugs at my heart …..Sindhri … sigh!


    1. I have always thought sindhi is such a beautiful language. If only my in laws would speak it more often, in a way to teach it to me rather than have secret conversations that are meant to be kept away from me :P

      Pere pavandu saan killed me for its sheer joy. Then I saw the behind the scenes video, and all hell broke lose. I was a happy mess :)


  3. Love your post. Your writing is very action inducing. Like you wrote about beaches and that made me go to the beach. Now you have ruined my today’s well laid plans and I will end up listening to music and daydreaming.


  4. Shashank

    Finally I’m going to leave a comment. I laav this piece. And every song and that Mithu baba is finally here :P I think one more post is due given that Sanam and a few others haven’t found their place no?
    And one evening is due dost!


    1. OOUUFF the pressure to comment!
      Mithu Baba should have made the first list, this was a ghor apraad on my part, I dont know how I forgot it. And putting him in round 2 doesnt do justice :(
      Also, cant you tell by now that top 5, 10, even 20 is impossible for me to do? I probably have more coke studio posts than haathi posts on this blog :P and that is really saying something!

      Once the rain starts, we need to put that plan into action.


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