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    Thursday, 11 October 2012

    Soundtrack: Another win for Sahir Ali Bagga

    Veteran director Farooq Mengal is making his way back to the silver screen with a new Pakistani feature film which has not yet been publicly announced. The music for the untitled film is directed by the talented Sahir Ali Bagga and the lyrics are written by the famous Indian poet Gulzar.

    Bagga, who was recently recognised for his music contribution in Bollywood film Cocktail tells The Express Tribune, “I am a great fan of Gulzar sahib and it was my dream to work with him.”

    Bagga explained that he had met Gulzar on his visit to India and the poet appreciated some of his work. When the initial work on this untitled Pakistani film started, Bagga advised Mengal to approach Gulzar to write the lyrics for the songs.

    “I had a couple of meetings with Gulzar sahib over Skype, he liked the script for the film very much and wanted to work with us,” says Bagga. There is no detail of the film’s storyline yet, but Bagga explains a little about the roles and subject. “Basically, this is a Pakistani film, but we have cast some Indian actors as well. It is going to be a mix of entertainment and art, specifically for the Pakistani audience.”

    Talking about the film’s soundtrack, Bagga says that classical singer Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan will be singing the title song but other singers such as Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Nasrullah and himself will also be contributing. Referring to his experience of working with Gulzar, Bagga tells us that it was extremely valuable to him as an artist due to the impact of the poet’s prose. He also says, “At the launch of the film’s soundtrack, Gulzar sahib will come to Pakistan.”

    “When I spoke with Gulzar sahib, he expressed that it was his dream also to work with Pakistani singers one day,” Bagga happily shares. “And I feel lucky that his wish is being completed through me!” Bagga explained that his love for his own work was the defining aspect in his poetry and lyrics.

    With much appreciation for Gulzar’s work, Bagga says: “When I showed him the musical composition, I was surprised at the ease and skill with which he was able to construct lyrics. He gave me options of what lines to use and so on.” Bagga feels that the suggestions that Gulzar gave were indicative of the great class of language and prose which young Pakistani lyricists can learn from.

    “Gulzar is famous world-over and there are various examples which show that he is not limited to a certain type of poetry. He has been able to earn commercial appeal and also compose very creative, situational poetry,” says Bagga.

    Meanwhile, Bagga himself is adamant to stay connected and contribute to the Pakistani film industry. He discloses that the soundtrack for Zinda Bhaag would be launched in the near future. Getting back to the question of working in India, Bagga remains content with his focus on the Pakistani music scene.

    “For art and music, there are no borders or boundaries to restrict talent. The fact that collaborations are happening on both sides of the border is a good thing,” he adds.

    Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2012.

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