Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Karachi's Classical Music Scene of 60s and 70s

An absolutely fascinating documentary from Dawn TV on the Karachi music scene from the 1960s into the 1970s. About a Karachi that is no more. A Karachi where Duke Ellington and Quincy Jones fly in to play. A Karachi which had the only piano manufacturing facility in all of pre-1947 India. A Karachi that even the Beattles passed through.

Absolutely fascinating. Or have I said that already! This is about a Karachi from a very different time. A Karachi that moved to a very different beat.

Nostalgia - and the glamorization of nostalgia - not withstanding, this does not mean it was a ‘better’ time or a ‘better’ beat. It was also a time with many many problems. And big ones. Of poverty. Of economic divide. Of intolerance of a different kind. In many ways - and for some people - it was a much more innocent time. In other ways - and for other people - it might have been harsher.

But it was, quite clearly, a very different time. And that, of course, is the point.

What one sees in this documentary was not the only face of Karachi of that time. Karachi had many many faces. It has always had many many faces.

It is too easy to forget that it still has many many face. And that, of course, is the point. And not just about Karachi. About any place, really.

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