Video Release for 'Shayar' - A musical tribute to Ahmad Faraz by Sarmad Faraz

محمد بلال اعظم

احمد فراز مرحوم کی چوتھی برسی پہ اُن کے صاحبزادے سرمد فراز نے "شاعر" کے نام سے ایک ویڈیو ریلیز کی تھی، جو شاید آپ نے دیکھی بھی ہو، میں یہاں وہ ویڈیو شئیر کر دیتا مگر یو ٹیوب بلاک ہونے کی وجہ سے نہیں کر سکتا۔

اسی ویڈیو کے بارے میں ایک کالم جو کل سرمد فراز نے فیس بک پہ شئیر کیا تھا۔

Social media buff and journalist extraordinaire Shoaib Taimur has written an excellent piece on Shayar.


(This post was originally written 1 month ago. Due to an unfortunate incident this piece was not published in the paper so I decided to share it on my blog.)
Ahmed Faraz may be no more but he certainly has not been forgotten by the Connoisseurs of Urdu Literature. Faraz saab was one of the most renowned revolutionary poets of Pakistan who was quite passionate about change and progress. It was his criticism of the Military Dictatorship that got him arrested during the Dark days of the Zia regime. Pressure from the dictator’s regime led to a self imposed exile which spanned over 6 years in the West, but was in no means an end to his literary talent as he wrote some of his best work during that period. His distaste for Military regimes was evident when he returned the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (awarded in 2004 for literary achievement) in 2006 to protest against the Musharraf regime. “My conscience will not forgive me if I remained a silent spectator of the sad happenings around us,” he said at the time. “The least I can do is to let the dictatorship know where it stands in the eyes of the concerned citizens, whose fundamental rights have been usurped.”
It was a sad day on the 25th of August 2008 when Ahmed Faraz passed away at the ripe age of 77, leaving behind a wife and 3 sons. His legacy lives on in the shape of his son Sarmad Faraz who honored his memory by releasing a musical tribute “Shayar” on his Fourth death anniversary. Sarmad chose “Shayar” as it was the first poem in Faraz saab’s first book “Tanha Tanha”.
The poem is quite simple and shares the tale of a poet who transforms himself to being an entertainer for royalty to becoming a voice for the common man. The message of change, motivation to try harder and challenging one’s fears to achieve goals is conveyed through this poem.
“Shayar” was written in 1954 and yet it does not feel dated as one can identify with this poem. In these difficult times, our people are not able to embrace change nor are they able to move out of their comfort zone. The power of change lies within and it does not matter whether you are an artist, student or intellectual as small acts can make the biggest difference. One should be able to pursue his/her dreams without conforming to the pressures of society. So many individuals are unable to pursue their dreams of being artists or entrepreneurs because it does not give the financial security they want. If they are able to conquer their fears they will be able to achieve their goals, make a difference to society and be happy. Sometimes in our pursuit for the greater good, we lose ourselves and fail to follow our dreams.
The music video conveys the story of four characters from different segments of society who are going through the motions of life. They are unable to achieve their dreams because of the pressures of society and are stuck in a loop to make it ahead in this rat race called Life. In short they all have their respective epiphanies and move on to pursue their dreams.
It is not an easy task to mash poetry and music together as the results can often be half baked. “shayar” works because the music and poetry complement each other. The star of this video is the powerful voice over of the Late Ahmed Faraz, who had made an audio recording of this poem a long time ago. The music is also pleasant for the ears and satisfies the soul. Sarmad’s labor of love is evident throughout the video as he has poured his heart and soul into the music. The thing which gripped me the most is the subtle use of images pertaining to Ahmed Faraz throughout the video. It has a slightly subliminal effect on the viewer and has been done tastefully to remind the viewer that it is a tribute to the great poet. It is heartening to see that the progeny of the great poet has preserved his father’s legacy with this beautiful music video. It’s a fitting homage from a son to his father and has been handled with a lot of love and passion. Ahmed Faraz may be no more but his poetry will live on forever.