By Haseeb Peer
What would happen if a drummer like Gumby, who has had a history of operating with some of the high-flying bands of Pakistan, and Faraz Anwar, who has been called as “Pakistan’s master of progressive rock” collaborate with the enthralling Sufi Music inspired band “The Sketches”? The result is Main Sufi Hoon!
Main Sufi Hoon is a tremendous collection of poetic verses penned down by Bulleh Shah and Sachal Sarmast, now presented by The Sketches duo Saif Samejo and Naeem Shah, and mixed in New Mexico, United States by Jono Manson. It is an astonishing attempt to promote peace in Pakistan – a place that has often been characterized with dark shades of aggression and bloodshed.
The song starts with tremendous soft strumming of the guitars and the enchanting magic of Faraz Anwar is clearly publicized as the song progresses forward. The song is basically about an individual and his lord and this is clearly revealed when the poet says: what cotton is to clothe; a man is to his lord. These miraculous and whimsical lines take away all the worldly tension and an individual’s mind gets chopped off from the present world which continues on when the chorus is heard several times, describing the poet as a mystic Sufi who wanderers around with no one interfering his way. These lines open up the mind of the listener and the passage into the Sufi world allows him to think beyond his own imagination.
A lot of things that an individual misses to think about in his life have been penned down by the poets and beautifully resonated by Saif Samejo’s vocal chords. The poet questions his lord about the present day world and how, the Almighty creates everything and then criticizes his own creation. Saif’s vocal power has struck a chord with the poetry and is numinous enough to create an enduring impression on the mind. Faraz with his lead guitars has constantly come to the fore front and it looks as if the words of the song persistently pierce through the vacant spaces created by the strumming of the guitars and fill the voids completely. Gumby has silently struck the drums in the prologue of the song, but his eminent strokes come forward as the song progresses towards its epilogue and sluggishly reveals its effect. The magic of Gumby that was so clearly visible in the Coke studio once, is clearly perceptible again as the master strokes have given an obsolete yet enthralling effect to the song.
On a concluding note, the song is an absolute treat to listen – the rating for the song has to be as high as 9 out of 10 as the orthodox poetry has been clearly understood by the musicians and the clear sense of feel given by the instruments and the vocals have allowed the melodies to come to the fore front and cast their spell on everyone.