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Since its first episode, Coke Studio Pakistan (CSP) has never failed to amaze us. With its spellbinding musicians and awe-inspiring song selections, CSP has set a high bar for music in not only in Pakistan but in South Asia. With its impressive legacy set in mere nine years, CSP has shown that the fusion of modern, classical, and spiritual music is possible. And the latest season nine was a perfect example of that. From Aaqa to Aj Rung Hay, one can pick any song which suits their taste.
Khakhi Banda-The 8:37 minutes musical duo composed and penned by Shuja Haider in his debut season. Impeccably staged by Ahmed Jehanzeb and Umair Jaswal, it may not be a popular pick as per the viewing numbers suggest of CSP Season 9 but it sure does qualifies to be the soundtrack of Hollywood Rumi biopic having the touch of drama, tale & thriller deep into its notes.
Whenever Rumi is mentioned one can quite familiarize themselves with Forty Rules of love by Elif Shafak especially the young generation. Who have read the book Know about the basic premise about the book’s foundation which is settled on two personalities: Maulana Jalal-u-din Rumi an admired renowned Islamic scholar of 13th Century and Shams of Tabriz a wandering dervish who left behind the materialistic world to follow his heart.
The encounter of these two remarkably yin-yang personalities gave rise to one concept which is to ultimately conquer one ego, Nafs. Rumi at the mirage of his social and intellectual stature handed over himself to Shams who was just a nomadic heretic, what could be a more protruding example of surrendering one Nafs grasping the meager worth of human self.
The very meaning of Khakhi Banda’s lyrics entwined with Bulleh Shah kalam states that there is no use of acting like Gods as humans are just made of clay which fate is turning into dust, depicting the very same notion of Rumi Tabriz Encounter-conquering ones Nafs.
Being influenced by this life changing book one can easily relate this Rock-Sufi song as a conversation between Shams of Tabriz and his pupil Maulana Jalal-u-din Rumi. Ahmed Jehanzeb soft vocal quality can certainly be assumed as Rumi’s and Umair Jaswal’s powerfully firm vocals age easily relatable to Shams outspoken personality. The wonderfully choreographed and well-placed orchestra will take you to the mystical journey the moment the words Khakhi Banda are chanted into the ears.
Close your eyes by having Rumi-Shams flukes in your memory, the strumming of acoustic guitars will certainly give you a sound of Shams drifting places to places on his horse in search of Rumi. The words firqe wanḍe ‘ilm na wanḍya is a constant reminder of Shams preaching to spread love respect knowledge to all, irrespective of their caste creed religion.
Going further at 3:59 another articulate piece of Tabla, Guitar & harmonium structured in harmony like a river, set the stage for the scenes of Shams Meeting Desert Rose a harlot, saving her from bay bars while she was listening to Rumi’s sermon in a mosque in the disguise of a man to finally being able to convince her that for redemption there is no prerequisite.
If my memory serves me right the ending of the song from 7:29-8:37 unleashing the bursting power of the house band, singers and chorus has the perfect consensus with the first chapter of the Forty Rules of Love drenching the murder of Shams. The melancholy ending could easily place you in Shams mind where his stone cold eyes from the well were watching Rumi crying, beating his chest and stomping his feet saying They killed my Shams!
The true essence of the song is to conquer of one’s ego which is reflected in all Sufi literature. Considering it a Sufi song, having ethnic variances seeded in wakhsh, shooted in Nishapur nourished in Baghdad, settled in Konya, and older in Uch, is already a winner.
According to David Franzoni, (screenwriter) and Stephen Joel Brown(producer) on the Rumi film they already have started documenting hagiographical biography and actual biography about him. The upcoming biopic was already in the news feed based on speculation of casting Leonardo DiCaprio as Rumi.
Franzoni and Brown clearly conveyed that they haven’t come to the casting part yet but maybe they can give a thought to what a soundtrack of Rumi biopic should be.