By Muhammad Asad Ullah
With his good looks and command over the small screen, Ahad Raza Mir, Pakistani actor, quickly garnered a whole lot of love and appreciation from fans, especially females, and critics alike. He proved his acting prowess in Hum TV’s Yaqeen Ka Safar (2017) that earned him New Sensation Male and Best Actor trophy at recent HUM Awards 2018. Ahad Raza Mir fans have been waiting for his Coke Studio debut ever since Season 11 kicked off. We heard that he would be making a debut with singing sensation Momina Mustehsan, which would hopefully propel his singing career the same way Afreen Afreen catapulted hers.
Momina Mustehsan, in just a span of two years, has successfully placed herself on the map of Pakistan music industry. Her short but accelerating career has been a roller coaster that only went up, until now.
Momina Mustehsan alongside Ahad Raza Mir recently performed a cover of the super popular evergreen Ahmed Rushdi’s track, Ko Ko Korina, picturised on Waheed Murad, known as Pakistan’s chocolate hero, in Coke Studio Season 11. Hours of release and the track was deluged with public scrutiny. The cover version has elicited the red, hot rage of Pakistan’s audience.
In the long history of Coke Studio, it is for the very first time that any track has received more dislikes than likes on YouTube channel: 56k likes and whooping 166k dislikes with 3.1million views in total.
Amidst all heated tweets, Instagram posts and memes taking over the social media, Momina Mustehsan said, “I’m okay with people not liking it. I did my part and so did Ahad. It’s just a song. Dislike it, but there’s no need to be unnecessarily rude and crude. Dislike this, sure, but don’t discourage or jump on bashing wagons. People need to know where to draw the line.”
Concerning social media trolling many Pakistani celebrities also came out in support of the duo. Sajal Aly, Pakistani actor, recently posted on Instagram, that said, “Instead of picking each other up we don’t lose an opportunity to put others down. Why not bring a #nayeesoch (new thinking) to #nayaPakistan (new Pakistan). Spread love not hate”
Similarly Mawra Hocane, Pakistani actor, said, “We’ve all become so insensitive while we express ourselves, mock people, define careers and characters – all in the garb of giving opinions and stating facts. I urge all publications, fans and followers to be kind. It’s not okay to scar other with your words. Let there be kindness.”
Ahad Raza Mir also politely responded to the backlash. He tweeted, “I loved the way everyone got together to talk about the song. I’ve seen all the memes and I have to say they’re hilarious. Just shows the fantastic sense of humour of this nation. Trust me I take it all very positively.” He added, “I am honoured that I got to cover Ko Ko Korina. Some people enjoyed it and some not so much, which is fair. Look at how we love to appreciate and criticise. It shows our nation is alive, even after hearing the song.”
Adding to the long list of people who hated the song, Adil Murad, Waheed Murad’s son, publicly apologised for letting Coke Studio cover the song. “I profusely apologise to all Waheed Murad fans for allowing Coke Studio to remake or should I say ‘ruin’ the classic ko ko korina. I trusted the Coke Studio brand but I guess it is now completely run by idiots!” he said.
The latest Coke Studio offering by Momina Mustehsan and Ahad Raza Mir although did fail to leave a mark on the listeners, disappointing many, But one cannot simply judge the credence of any performer by one performance merely.
My take? Another, comparatively easy track to make a singing debut with, would’ve been better. Ko Ko Korina, a widely celebrated song, holds the stature of being Pakistan’s first pop song and to perform such a track is an uncanny responsibility. Also, people always prefer original tracks when it comes to the old classics. When an original is so well done, why to remake in the first place?
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