Kashmir the band made it onto everyone’s playlist after the very first episode of Pepsi Battle of the Bands Season 2. It came as very very little (practically none) surprise when they were crowned as the winners of the show’s comeback season. Their music had been consistently beautiful and haunting, and they’re pretty much on their way to becoming one of Pakistan’s biggest bands, ever. Mazaak ke ilawa, thori legendary feels aa rahi hain. I know I might sound highly biased (I kinda am), but it’s the truth.
However, while their music is goosebumps-inducing, as it is, if you take a closer listen to their lyrics, you’ll realize that Bilal’s swooning voice is actually singing about some very deep-pressing issues. Things you wouldn’t generally think about so much.
So whether it was Soch and Faislay that depicted a person’s inner struggle with themselves and insomnia, or Parwana Houn, that spoke of a connection with a Higher calling. Even the full-on springy and fun Kaaghaz Ka Jahaaz is about how a person sheds off their sorrow and moves on with their lives, shrugging off the whole ‘log kya kaheinge’ taboo that our entire society is drowning in. And if that ain’t something we should all learn from, we don’t know what is.
Pareshaniyan taught us how to deal with all the adversities that life throws at us. To not be afraid of our own selves. That if we put our minds to it, we can pretty much do anything in the world (thanku bby i needed to hear that). Khwaab was a plea to people to let go of what holds them back, to not worry so much about what’s gone by, and to look forward to achieving their dreams, because, babumushai, zindagi kesi ye paheli, haye.
Their last two songs, however, are a lot more direct. They speak about mental health, how to deal with it (in a way), and how we deal with people who are struggling with their mental health. The soothing Pari, will definitely send a shiver down your spine, because it’s actually a call to people who are struggling. A shout out to them to look up, to realize that even though they feel like absolute shit, now, things will be better. They will find meaning in life. That giving up is not an option. This song is literally a hug, that’s what it is.
And their last masterpiece, that they debuted at the stage of the 4th season of Pepsi Battle of the Bands, Bhaago, actually puts a HUGE spotlight on the society. Don’t let the upbeat-ness of it fool you, one bit. The band has quite literally held up a mirror to our faces to show us how heartless and hypocritical we can be. How we tend to ostracize those who are struggling with their mental health. How we kinda just let them be, and distance ourselves as much as we can from such ‘downers’ (I swear I’ve heard people use that term).
All I want to say, at the end, is that whoever’s writing these songs, whatever you’re struggling with, here’s a big virtual hug, from our end. We’re always here. You’ve got a friend in us.
Please keep your doors open for those who might not have any strength left in them to knock. Watch out for signs of depression, stress and anxiety in those around you. And please, please, please be kind to them. Okay byeee ~