KARACHI: There aren’t many Sindhi rap songs in Pakistani pop culture that come to mind if one really thinks about it. The language, while being made a mandatory part of the Sindh Board of education, is otherwise barely encouraged throughout the pop culture. Most rap in Pakistan is either in English or Urdu, or Punjabi. However, Ali Gul Pir, who started his career as a Pakistani rapper with ‘Waderai Ka Beta’, a song that starkly represents the feudal culture of Sindh has taken representing Sindhi culture up a few notches in his recent music video ‘Ghareeban Ja Khwab’. For this one, he collaborates with Babar Mangi, a student from SZABIST, another rapper who promotes Sindhi through his work.
The song is a sharp reminder of our realities and how we fit in within a society that only has a handful hoarding most of its wealth. As Mangi and Pir play the characters of two Sindhi farmers engaged in daydreaming and wishful thinking as they plough away their days, we see how we too would have wished for all the wealth in this world at some point in our lives.
The two talk about what they would do, had they been able to get their hands on wealth. While their dreams start small, such as a reliable supply of water and AC in every room of the house, they keep getting bigger and more unnecessary. From befriending Donald Trump, to finding young lady lovers and getting villages named after them while they live in fully airconditioned houses and use gold toilets in the suburbs of Karachi, Mangi and Pir’s music video is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
As the two shed light on the issue of extreme poverty and desperation, we come to realize how a lack of social mobility and resources might never help the two farmers see their dreams turn into reality. All that can really happen is that the two live their lives as rich men until someone jolts them awake.
As the song starts, Babar Mangi comments on the way politicians cannot even cover their tracks as they steal and take part in corrupt practices. Once he gets a chance to be that wealthy, he will never let anyone find out. We all make plans of what we might do if we got rich – investment, luxury, but most importantly how to make more money with the money we already have. His comment not only represents the aforementioned thought process but also subtly suggests that so much money could by no means be made through legal means.
The song is receiving positive reviews. Mostly for its use of Sindhi language, representation of the ethnicity within its cast and crew, along with a simple yet fun and upbeat feel.
Ali Gul Pir is known for talking about social issues in the most hilarious ways possible. With his social commentary, he turns the more negative characters of real-life situations into caricatures – someone people would laugh at. A strategy that removes negativity from the situation, and also enables people to see how silly they would look if they engaged in something similar.
The look and feel of ‘Ghareeban Ja Khwab’ keep everything lighthearted and warm, mirroring the climatic conditions of Sindh, as well as the mood of the video.
A shot that wins however is Ali Gul Pir tossing cards into the air, and one of the cards landing right inside Babar Mangi’s breast pocket. Halar Khoso, who serves as the director and the cinematographer for the video definitely takes the cake for this one: