QB pays homage to Faiz with cover of ‘Aaj Bazar Mein’ | The Express Tribune


Singer Quratulain Balouch, popularly known as QB, has paid a soulful tribute to one of the most celebrated poets of Pakistan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, with a rendition of Aaj Bazaar Mein, composed by Arshad Mehmood.

QB channeling the pain and reflections of Faiz with her powerful vocals is perhaps the remedy we all needed. The cover rings of perseverance and love, the kind that Faiz speaks of in the poem he wrote back in 1959, upon being sent handcuffed in a tonga from the Lahore central jail, only to be followed by a procession of admirers.  

The singer dropped the cover on Sunday to mark Faiz’s 38th death anniversary. “On Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s 38 death anniversary, we pay homage to one of the great poets and thinkers of Pakistan. In humility, an ode in prayer, remembrance and aspiration,” she tweeted.

The almost four-minute rendition evokes a sense of rebellion and restoration. QB’s vocals haven’t been treated to the extent of ridding the song of its emotions. In fact, the almost unfiltered voice carries a timbre necessary to convey the strong feelings put into words by Faiz. Although she wavers off in places, the song isn’t unkempt. And revives a message conjured by the tribulations of time.

Faiz Ahmad Faiz, was one of the most regarded poets of the Urdu language. Outside literature, he has been described as “a man of wide experience” having been a teacher, an army officer, a journalist, a trade unionist and a broadcaster.

He wrote Aaj Baazar Mein when he was imprisoned under Ayub Khan’s martial law. He was taken to the Lahore fort’s torture cell passing through the streets of Lahore in a horse driven cart with his fetters on.

Faiz was an avowed Marxist, and he received the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union in 1962, along with a nomination for the Nobel Prize in literature. His work remains influential in Pakistan. He was posthumously honoured when the Pakistan Government conferred upon him the nation’s highest civil award, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, in 1990

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