LAHORE-Out of 40 singers in the Coke Studio’s version of National Anthem , hardly six of them were able to strike the node like it truly deserved. We agree the high notes in National Anthem are hard to perform and its lyrics are frequently flubbed, but this recreation of the patriotic song by Strings was just terrible.

Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi gave an emotional and gripping beginning to it making the listeners expect something exceptional to look forward to. But right after first 10 seconds, the listeners realise that was only icing on the cake. The middle part of composition of the anthem has not only been under played but it is quite apparent from the singers that they are extra careful in getting the notes right.

In doing so, they completely lacked feelings and passion that is supposed to be the sole purpose of any country’s National Anthem . It basically symbolises a country’s attachment to its traditions, culture and patriotism. It serves as a reminder on every other important occasion each year to bask in the glory of freedom.

However, this star studded anthem started to lose its purpose when Ali Sethi, Jaffer Zaidi and Natasha Khan appeared on the screen. Their performance in the song was like watching a re-run of a show which we’ve already seen many times before. The trio was dominated by high vocals of Natasha making the other two almost inaudible.

Next came Humera Arshad, Rachel Viccaji and Aima Baig who preserved through a train wreck of performance and left many angry. They seemed apparently more happy than passionate to bring the anthem to life. Nabeel Shaukat and Farhan Saeed almost killed the verse with extremely low and fading notes.

Next came Quatulain Balouch and Umair Jaswal; the vocals were dominated by Quratulain, her strong voice totally nailed her national duty but Umair’s talent was wasted.

Strings duo inclusion could easily be avoided because they did not really help the anthem. Danyal Zafar also made an appearance along with Ali Zafar and Momina Mustehsan. But Danyal’s voice could not get out of the mess.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s lines were another highlight among many disasters and along with Salman Ahmad and Ali Noor who came second last.

The ending hymns were sung by Sajjad Ali, Akbar Ali, Zaw Ali and Javed Bashir who saved the ending with a passionate, soul stirring prayer for the homeland.

We took views of public and celebrities regarding the recreation of Nation anthem by Coke Studio Season 10 and here is what they said:

TV director Saife Hassan said “I failed to feel the warmth with which a National Anthem is carried in its content composition, music and its presentation. The final content was so dull and lusterless that I’m obliged to say it felt to me not the kind of National Anthem which we have been hearing since a decade,” he said.

Actor Ahsan Khan was of the view “I think it was a perfect composition by Coke Studio. Why we always have to criticise on everything, we should support our talent and give a message of peace across the globe,” Ahsan said.

Qawwal Shaujat Ali Khan said “Coke Studio has become the sound of our nation and has since produced exemplary music that is not only heard in Pakistan but across the world. However, this time it badly failed to give us the goose bumps while listening to the recreation of National Anthem . This time we saw such faces presenting the National Anthem that dominantly are related to modeling and have never experienced singing,” he said.

Film director Anjum Shahzad said “Till today I get immense inspiration for the National Anthem which is presented on cinema screens. We should not do experiments with the National Anthem rather follow what we have been doing traditionally. If this new experiment by Coke Studio Season 10 aims at bringing both new and old talent together under one roof then it is acceptable otherwise it was a big disappointment,” Anjum said. 

Producer Sana Shahnawaz said “The National Anthem of Coke Studio season 10 seemed like the most beautiful tribute to our country. The patriotic song is beautifully composed and sung by some of the renowned singers. I found it to be very moving and uplifting,” Sana said.

Mrs Tahir, who is a housewife was of the view “Our National Anthem is full of energy and has a beautiful rhythm to it. Everyone gets goose bumps while listening to it. Coke Studio’s video for the Independence Day is a huge flop. Pemra should make sure that it is not relayed on TV as it has killed the spirit of National Anthem ,” she said.

Ansa Razzaq, who is a student of Lahore College for Women University said “I was so much excited when I heard 40 singers are going to perform their version of our National Anthem . But after listening to it I would say there were no emotions in the song. Simply dead voices, it would’ve been better had our National not presented in this hopeless way,” Ansa said.