After Laila O’ Laila, Ali Zafar has churned out a rendition of the majestic Sindhi folk number, Allay Munja Mar Wara, with Urooj Fatima featuring rapper Abid Brohi, stated a press release.
The song itself is a treat to the ears as Zafar and Fatima belt out commanding vocals on the traditional Sindhi folk tune which has been reproduced for modern audiences around the globe.
The three have utilised the song’s visuals to highlight the ethos and rich culture of Sindh. The video goes on to voice the need to save Sindh’s cultural heritage, with a special focus on preserving the dying art of Ajrak. It demands a decent pay for the makers of the original Ajrak rather than benefiting those that print fake Ajrak patterns for profits.
“Sindh is the pioneer of the richest Indus civilisation (3500-1500 BC) and Ajrak is the identity of Sindh and Sindhi people,” it says. “But unfortunately, the real Ajrak industry is declining due to the low wages of the workers, since the wholesalers want to keep high profit margins,” adds the closing of the video.
“This has also resulted in the decline of real Ajrak, since the process leads to the replacement of originals with the quicker, printing method produced copies of fake Ajrak patterns. This trend needs to be changed to save Sindh’s cultural heritage,” it demands in the end.
Zafar, who was recently nominated ambassador of Pakistan’s first knowledge city, has promoted Pakistani culture through his art and music a number of times.
Since recently, through his Lightingale Records, he has also started promoting aspiring talent. Last year saw the launch of Yashal Shahid of Sajna fame and Urooj Fatima, the then 12-year-old Baloch girl who crooned a rendition of Laila O’ Laila with the Channo hit maker.
However, according the Express Tribune’s review of the remake, Zafar turned the folk anthem into a peppy pop number, stealing all the ethnic elements, while leaving behind an empty vessel. It may even be catchy, but that’s due to the magic of the folk swing and not his particular take on it.