Beggar at Ghazi Chowk


Jhoom Lay, But Do It Outside the Country.

28 Apr 2010

Up there you have Noori’s latest video, Jhoom Lay. The song is brand endorsement for Cornetto, a Wall’s Ice Cream variety, and of course the song has been criticized for its commercial, catchy leanings uncharacteristic of Noori. That’s a whole other debate, I’m personally hoping it was so that they could raise money for their next album. Yes I’m that big an optimist. Though I remember when I first heard the song I was talking to friend, and equally enthusiastic Noori fan, and said the song was ‘meh’ (A term I love now, also ‘enh’, so expressive), but the beat was interesting. His reply? “Noori hai yaar…” (It’s Noori man…). It was going to get on our heads either way.

While the song in itself has nothing to do with the war, evidence that a Pakistan exists beyond it, there is an aspect to the video that bothers me.

The video, like many nowadays, was shot outside of Pakistan, this particular one in Bangkok. South East Asia is becoming increasingly popular. Production quality aside, for me this means more.

For some reason (this might be just me stretching it, but I had to write), it seems all conventional love stories must now escape from Pakistan. All normal happenings, scenes from college, a little fun, must be shot in a location that is not familiar to the audience. It could just be so people concentrate more on the content rather than the setting, or simply because an unfamiliarity with the setting of the scene might give the viewer a more neutral perspective. But there could be more… (drum roll)

The urge to escape can be a consequence of the war. I can imagine remarks of this being highly unrealistic, or laughable even, if the concept of the video was laid out as a story from Lahore or Karachi. Some might be okay with it, but people would find it odd too. It may be subconscious, or the director may have thought about it, I know I certainly did.