Thursday, May 05, 2011

The End Of Aunty Disco Project

Aunty Disco Project is breaking up. We've been sitting on this decision for a long time. Now's the time to tell you guys. Here's our official statement.

To all our fans and friends,

It is with a heavy heart that we're announcing our decision to end Aunty Disco Project.

We are in no way breaking up because of personal animosities or differences. We will always be family to each other. We're breaking up because the demands of real life were too difficult to ignore and because of our duty to fulfill individual personal and family commitments. We have decided to give each other the space to pursue our own ambitions.

We never in our wildest dreams imagined we would achieve what we did and we've savored and cherished every single moment. All we ever wanted to do was be in a rock band and play the kind of music that made people feel something. All we have ever wanted to do is give people an experience at our shows that they would always hold on to. It has been one of the greatest, most rewarding and magical experiences of our lives and it is time for us to leave while we can still hold our heads high.

We aren't ruling out the possibility of performing together in the future but Aunty Disco Project will formally cease to exist as of this summer.

In the coming months we will try to release several recorded songs, some of which you've heard at our shows, some of which are brand new. We'll also continue to be active on our Facebook page.

We will be performing one final time on June 25th, 2011 to say goodbye and thank you for all the love and unending support you have shown us for the last 5 years.

Thank you all for your love and understanding. We truly hope you'll continue to listen to our songs and tell your kids about us someday.

Most of all, thank you for the memories.

Aunty Disco Project.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Video Blog !

Here's our latest video blog, showing us working (hah!) in the studio recording our latest single "Kisi Aur Ka Intezar"

Watch it all the way to the end to hear a preview of the song!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Are You Dating A Crazy Woman?

In my travels, I have come across many species of women. There are many things I have learned and many more things I wish I never had to learn. One of those things is the ability to spot, at a great distance, and with great accuracy, a Crazy Woman.

The Crazy Woman is one of nature's most devastating forces, especially since they are so difficult to spot. Most guys spend their time making apologies or rationalizing the behavior of the Crazy Woman they are dating because they just assume “she's difficult” or “she's opinionated' or “she has a tiny but adorable tendency to be a raging bitch'. Crazy Women are never, ever crazy to begin with. They are also almost always, hot. This coupled with Male Stupidity and Male Horniness increases the likelihood of a Crazy Woman preying on a Nice Guy with alarming frequency.

Normal Women however can spot a Crazy Woman from miles away, because Crazy Women tend to be their number one competition in finding a good man. Sadly in the world of Crazy Women, everything is upside down. Nice Guys never listen to Normal Women who tell them about Crazy Women. In an cruel twist, if Normal Women complain about Crazy Women, they in turn are labeled Crazy Women.

So I have, in my vast experience observed both the behavior of Crazy Women and listened to the advice of Normal Women. I used graphs, bar charts and rigorous statistical analysis and found that Crazy Women do in fact exhibit an extremely predictable pattern. Here are my 10 surefire signs to spot and avoid a Crazy Woman. Now in isolation, any one of these 10 points may be harmless or insignificant. But taken as a whole, you've got yourself one huge pile of batshit that you need to eliminate from your life. If you spot more than five of the following signs you're dating a Crazy Woman.

1.She hates your friends. And loves your enemies.

That's right, she not only hates your 'bros' but makes it a point to hang out with the assholes you hate. She avoids hanging out with you and the guys, gets quiet when she calls you and you're out with them, she glares when you narrate some awesome anecdote about the last time you were with them and subtly drops hint that she thinks your buddies are tiny little shit pieces. Now, most of you rational women will protest because hey, let's face it, most of your boyfriends have at least a couple of douchebag friends that you don't like. There's a key difference. No one likes a douchebag. But a Crazy Woman will hate the nice friends or the extra friendly friends even more because they represent someone who is more pleasant/nicer than her. Conversely, they will enjoy the company of people you cannot stand. It will scare you how accurate this is. Oh and you know the guys you can't stand because they always think they have a shot with her when she's with you, she'll definitely want to hang out with them the most.

You know what you should do right? You should tell her that you have a problem with this, because open communication is the best thing for any relationship.

Haha. No. You're an idiot.

2. She can dish it out, but she can't take it

Crazy Women claim they have a great sense of humor. They usually do. When it's at the expense of somebody other than them. They will constantly berate you and insult you in front of your friends under the guise of “oh c'mon, can't you take a joke?”. She'll bring up embarrassing times when you've tried to be romantic, draw attention to your stress acne and make fun of your failures. Because she is hot, people around her will laugh. You, being the schmuck that you are will be lulled into a false sense of “oh my girlfriend is so cool, we can totally make fun of each other” and you will try to retaliate by playfully teasing her about something. Hey, looks like she's been getting a little round, so you affectionately put your arms around her waist and whisper “I love your chubs”. Haha. You're an idiot. Hell hath no fury as a woman's chubs discovered. She will remove her shoes and beat your testicles with them, while screaming incoherently about carbs and happiness.

3. She has crazy moodswings without being pregnant

When a woman is pregnant, all bets are off. You need to shut the fuck up and be there for her, no matter how crazy she gets. Us men understand this. We give you women that license. However, you may not under any circumstances receive pregnancy treatment if in fact you are not, pregnant and are in fact, Crazy. Does your girl go from laughing to crying within five seconds? Does she make a joke about fat people but when you laugh, does she turn the tables on you by saying “do you think I'm fat?” Does she appear amorous and romantic one minute and switch to Lorena Bobbit the next? Yup. You're dating a crazy girl. And you're fucked.

4. She has a scary laugh

Does her laugh make your junk shrivel? A beautiful woman laughing is one of the best sounds any guy can hear. However, a Crazy Woman laughing might be the most terrifying thing to hear. The way to certify this is to look at her eyes. Do you feel like you're staring at Satan's butthole? Is there a vast chasm of emptiness, blackness and terror. Go ahead. Listen to her laughing closely. Is it joy? Or a prelude to torture. When she laughs, can you imagine her waterboarding you?

5. When she 'playfully' hits you, she leaves bruises.

It's awfully cute when girls playfully punches you in the shoulder when you're teasing them or gently smack you on your thigh when you crack an inappropriate joke. It's a sign of affection.
Crazy Women however, will beat you like Chris Brown. They will never ever hit you if they're feeling genuine affection for you. However, if you tease them, or crack a joke that mildly offends them they will beat you like they caught you breaking into their house. The worst part, they'll make sure they do it in public so that you can't admit that it actually hurts when their delicate little hands turn into tiny little estrogen fueled fists of rage.

6.She hates your mom

You know how most girls think it's endearing when guys have a healthy, warm relationship with their mum (unless that mom is desi). Crazy girls hate your mum. They consider her the root of all your prejudices and complexes about “liberated women” or “free thinking”. They are of course, right. You see most moms, used to be Normal Women. And as I have mentioned before, Normal Women are able to identify Crazy Women faster than frat boys can spot the drunkest girl at the party.

7.She hates her mom

Crazy Women do not have good relationships with their mothers. Their worst fear is that they will turn out exactly like their mothers. Most of the time, they already have. If you are dating a crazy girl who constantly has fights with her mother, complains about how her mother doesn't understand her or has her mom saved on her phone as “Controlling Bitch Birth Canal Person” you need to run the fuck away.

8.They will find a way to be the victim

Did she beat your ass in public, yet you find yourself apologizing? Did she yell at you in front of all your friends, yet you find yourself grovelling? Did she flirt with some other guy at a party yet you're the one begging for forgiveness? Crazy Women will always find a way to make you the fascist, misogynistic mullah in the relationship. If she does anything to upset you, it's because of your inability to handle a 'strong independent woman'. Anytime you cast so much as a disapproving fart in her direction, she will snarl at you while lobbing the eternally despised morality loophole “HOW DARE YOU JUDGE ME”

9.They will take over your Facebook page.

You know how most animals pee in a large circle to mark their territory? Crazy Women will do the same thing to your Facebook page. She will flood your wall with inane comments that will start off fairly innocuously with cutesy, humorous little quips followed by smileys or their immoral cousins, winky smileys. e.g
“Call me today :)”
“I miss you!”
“Haha..this picture of yours is silly:)”

They may seem harmless but they are in fact none-too-subtle messages to the public that she keeps your manhood locked in an old shoebox under her bed. This graduates to more sociopathic behaviour:
'Why are you ignoring me?”
“I hate you”
“Fuck you. Call me”

10. Her ex is visibly relieved to not be dating her

Usually it's always a tense situation when you meet your girlfriend's ex. You start sizing him up, comparing yourself to him, wondering what she liked about him and whether he still has feelings for her. If however, you mention her name and the guy's expression glazes over like he's having a Vietnam flashback you need to be worried. Is he overly enthusiastic about meeting you? Does he give you a man hug and repeatedly confirm whether you and the girl are still together? Does he walk away from you while singing and clicking his heels together like a guy who's just been given free nachos ? You need to be worried. Very worried.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


It'll be a year today since Imran passed away.

It's funny how time passes by so quickly. It doesn't feel like a year. So much has happened in that time.

I think about Imran a lot. I wonder what he would say about the way things are in the music industry today. Imran was way ahead of his time, although he didn't know it. He knew that the Pakistan music industry was going to be all about live shows and songs were going to distributed almost exclusively on the internet. He knew that we were wasting our time chasing sponsors and record deals. He knew that there was no point spending money on big studios when we could record the same quality in our living rooms. I'm sad he isn't around to see how absolutely spot on he was in his predictions. I'm sad he isn't around for me to tell him, "Imran, you crazy bastard, you were right all along"

Imran's family has been absolutely amazing throughout this ordeal. they have show tremendous grace and spirit through the tragedy and they inspire me everyday. His mother still sends me text messages whenever we get a mention in the newspaper, or we come on television. She's still one of our biggest fans.

I pray for Imran and I hope he has found peace wherever he is. I hope he knows we miss him and still think of him.

I pray for his family and I pray to God to give them peace and the strength to carry on.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

The West Indies Get Stoned

No no...not that kind of stoned.

Turns out that us desis have been at it again, going all apeshit over cricket
Last night the West Indies hammered Bangladesh by defeating them by 9-wickets in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The match was at Dhaka, and the Bangladeshi crowd were, less than thrilled. So they attacked the West Indies team bus by throwing rocks at it.

Here's the story at cricinfo

Now don't get me wrong, anytime people get attacked, its a serious matter and given what happened with the Sri Lankan cricket team 2 years ago in Lahore, The WIndies had every right to be terrified. But surprisingly, hilarity ensued.

Chris Gayle (pictured above) took to Twitter to vent his frustration.

henrygayle (Chris Gayle)

"This is some bullshit.....Bangladesh stoning our bus!!! Freaking glass Break!!! This is crap,can't believe..what next bullets!!!! Kiss teeth"

Kiss teeth? No doubt some colorful Carribean expression or maybe Gayle has some unusual ways of expressing anger.

He follows up with

"This is ridiculous!!! Damn!!! W Cup with so many security an this happen!! Big Joke!!! Trust me I'm not keen here!!! Av players lay flat!!!

I love how Gayle types exactly how his Carribean accent would sound.

The Bangladesh authorities were quick to sort out the matter

"A Bangladesh police official said the fans had mistaken the West Indies bus for the Bangladesh bus. "The fans thought it was the Bangladeshi team bus and they hurled stones at it," Imtiaz Ahmed, deputy commissioner of police in Dhaka, told AFP."

Oh alright. That's fine. ...carry on then.

Mustafa Kamal, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, apologised for the incident, but insisted that there was enough security in place. "We are sorry about the incident. This is the first time it is happening here," he said. "Now we will take extra care. Much more security measures will be taken care of."
Kamal said the stones did not come from inside the cordoned-off area, but from far away from the main road. "Enough and adequate security measures were in place," he said. "The teams were moving away from the ground to the hotel, and there were enough convoys. There were three buses: one was a dummy bus and the two others were the team buses. The entire route was cordoned off by the police, and the security was enough.
 Here's my question. Who do they convince to ride in the dummy bus?
"Hey dude, you wanna just ride in a bus for a while?"
"Sure! I love bus rides!"
"Ok cool. Just  pretend to be all cricketery. Oh and you might get shot at or rocks thrown at you. But the plan will have worked because only you will die"

Kamal was at the team hotel to meet both sets of players. "Normally we know our crowd, they are okay," Kamal said. "The match was undoubtedly much below the expectation, and the crowd was a little upset. They wanted to show their anger and frustration against the Bangladeshi boys." 

Yes. They wanted to show their anger and frustration against the Bangladeshi boys. So they attacked.....The West Indies. Bangladeshis = Angry, passionate but mostly confused between most dark skinned people.

However, Kamal rejected the notion that the miscreants were actually targeting the Bangladesh bus.

What the fuck yaar! Who do they really want to attack? Make up your damn mind.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Batshit Article of The Day

One of my biggest New Year's resolutions was to be nicer to people on the internet. I realized that there were things I was reading everyday that were making me want to rip off my own arm just so I could beat myself over the head with something, especially in places like The Express Tribune blog section. Now I've already dueled with commentors on the Tribune site and every now and then I will read something that will infuriate me, but I've been trying to let it go, because hey! It's the internet. Everyone is mean, opinionated, self-righteous, judgemental and batshit insane.

So I choose to ignore most comments and most dumbass articles. However, this latest piece in the Tribune's blog section is once-in-a-lifetime amazing in its batshittery.

Go ahead and read it. Then do what I did and read it again, not believing what you read the first time. Whats that? Can't read the whole thing? Stabbed yourself in the eye? I know. So I'm going to spare you reading the whole thing and give you the highlights.

Title of Article: "Will ICC Investigate England vs. India Match"
Author: Ahmed Fuad.
Premise: The ICC should investigate the England vs. India Cricket World Cup league match because it was a high scoring tie. Also Shane Warne predicted it, proving that it was fixed and Shane Warne is in fact, Satan.

Best Batshit moments:

"I was unable to understand why England was unable to secure a victory against India in the recent Group B World Cup match until I heard the breaking news on TV. Shane Warne’s Twitter prediction, although it reached me late, resolved the whole matter."

Other than the fact that he was unable to stop using the word 'unable', Fuad clearly had major issues understanding how a match could be tied, an outcome that has happened, oh I don't know, 24 times already in the history of One Day Internationals.

But luckily his mental anguish came to an end when he read this prophetic tweet from Shane "Dajjal" Warne.

warne888 Shane Warne
Looking forward to the game between india and England today should be a cracker… My prediction a tie !
And as luck would have it, 8 hours later, England scored 338 runs to tie with India in what turned out to be, indeed a cracker of a contest.

Damn you Shane Warne and your evil sorcery.

Shane Warne, during his early days at Hogwarts.

Warne later faked amazement and amusement that his flippant, cheeky prediction had come true

warne888 Shane Warne
Before u think there was something untoward re prediction of a tie, thought it was going to be a cracker-tie was tongue in cheek-but right
He then offered a terrifying warning about the future mayhem he would wreck on cricket/world order.
warne888 Shane Warne
Thanks for all your nice replys re my prediction.. Will think of some more for the rest of world cup-maybe have a flutter @888sport...
Anyway, our author clearly smelled something fishy using the following reasoning:

"Predictions in cricket are usually about victory or about a close contest, not about a draw. It is not like soccer or hockey where draws are routine. One day cricket matches rarely result in draws, but this is a different case altogether."

Yes. Because a draw is not a close contest. But then Mr. Fuad goes all Sherlock on our asses as he investigates the match itself.

"After Sachin Tendulkar’s outstanding innings in this match, no one knows what happened to the strong Indian batting line. Why could it not survive for a complete 50 overs? ...To me, the reason is that the Indian batting line-up is over-rated by their media and cannot survive when it needs to; they can only perform well in favourable conditions. The same happened yesterday."
To me this is the awesome logic used. The Indian batsmen are shitty. they only score well (like, above 300) when conditions suit them (like when the track is clearly a batting wicket where both teams can score 300). But yesterday, they were even more shitty (by scoring above 300) in conditions that didn't suit them (like when the track is clearly a batting wicket where both teams can score 300). Therefore: While the Indian batting is generally shitty, what is suspicious is when they are generally shitty.
Then there's my favorite part, where he reveals that the Indian bowlers had a plan to not fight back and indeed it was strange/suspicious that they in fact...fought back. But it didn't count as a fightback because they used shitty bowlers.
"The Indian bowlers hardly fought back. It was strange that they managed to topple the England’s batting line up thanks to Zaheer Khan. Now if it had been Wasim, Waqar, McGrath or Shane Warne, it would have been easier to digest."
Translation: The most shocking fact was that they took wickets through that turd with a haircut Zaheer Khan! Zaheer Khan! who has no bowling ability but somehow was only their leading wicket-taker in Tests last year
"But Khan is someone who averages around 30 runs per wicket and has never enjoyed the status of being a fast bowler"
Yes. All this time, poor chootia that he is, Zaheer Khan has been fooling himself into thinking that he's a fast bowler and can't understand why Harbhajan keeps trying to teach him off-spin/bhangra. Indeed he has 'never enjoyed the status of being a fast bowler', so he should stop trying to bowl fast and kill himself.
Zaheer Khan, after being denied fast bowler status and told to fuck off.

Fuad then puts across another plausible argument,
"There could be psychological reasons behind England’s inability to defeat India. They were playing in a stadium where the audience was largely pro-India, a crowd that is known to be hostile. Remember the Sri Lanka/India semi final in the 1996 World Cup and Test match between Pakistan and India in 1999 when players had to leave the ground because of rowdy Indian supporters?"
Yes. So they decided to tie the match on the last ball. Because just outright LOSING it and handing victory to India in a World Cup Match would have just pissed off the jaahil Indians who couldn't decide who they wanted to win.

To end, I will pettily draw attention to Fuads use of the term "the land of bookies" repeatedly throughout his article. I don't really have to make fun of it since it was used legitimately. But since I'm corny and also kind of a douchebag, here is what I think the inhabitants of "the land of bookies" look like.

I believe the last one is Mazhar Majeed.

UPDATE: It appears that the batshit insane response to this whole episode is going to continue thanks to none other than the combined stupidity of The Pakistan Cricket board


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Behind the Scenes of "Hum Naa Rahay" : Return of The Blog

Guess who's back?

Once again, the start of another blog post where I apologize for my long absence and promise to be better in the future. But you guys know better don't've been played before. However you should know that every time I come back and promise to keep writing regularly, I well and truly mean it. However, in my defense, I should say that..well..shit, I'm supposed to be ROCKSTAR. I should be waist deep in a world of guitar riffs, screaming fans and and women of questionable morals rather than feigning literacy on this extremely self absorbed website. However, work, travel and hanging out with my band members (who have sufficiently questionable morals) seems to have taken most of my time, alas it has been devoid of debauchery.  
I find myself returning here to my little dick-joke-filled sanctuary on the internet.

When I started writing here about five years ago, I was 24 years old, I had just returned to Pakistan after living and studying in the U.S. for five years. I had just formed the Aunty Disco Project and was in the middle of recording our album. Here we are five years later, I'm in the middle of recording my second album with ADP. Out of the four original members, Yasir and I are the only ones left. Justin Bieber is the King of Pop. A black guy is the U.S. president. Crazy shit has clearly occurred. We've had the most incredible highs and the most heartbreaking lows. But now, for the first time, we're actually tasting real success. Last year was a big year for us, it featured our performance on Coke Studio that suddenly got us a whole new fan base. For the first time we began to think that maybe, just maybe we had finally made it.

We haven't made it.

But we've come real close. If the popularity of our Coke Studio performance made us feel vindicated, the runaway success of our latest music video "Meray Masoom Dost (Hum Naa Rahay)" was just pure exhiliration.

As of today, the video has already received 13,500 hits. The response has been truly amazing and we've just been riding the wave of attention and praise that's come our way because of the video. A whole lot of credit goes to our two directors Bilal Khan and Shayan Agha over at Forward Media productions and they deserve all the praise they get for their work on the video. I think this is the first video we've done that truly captures the attitude of the band. Over the years we've made a conscious effort to not take ourselves too seriously and to really hold up our music for what it was, which is pure, unpretentious entertainment. , I think I've been the slowest to embrace this kind of mentality, (propagated mostly by Ali Alam and Rahail), I've always wanted to project that air of mystery and unforced cool that was the hallmark of my rock idols, like Keith Richards or Robert Plant. But I guess that's not who I am. And for the first time I'm comfortable with just being a musician without a cool image. Four years ago, if you'd told me I would be doing a music video with a giant panda in it I would have pulled out my rape whistle and screamed. But here I am with an amazing panda music video and a story of just how we got there.

We always knew "Hum Naa Rahay" was going to be the first single we released from our upcoming album. The song is special for us in many ways, it was the first song Ali brought with him to the table when he joined ADP and it was the first song we recorded on our own at Rahails. To see a song become a hit knowing we did everything in it from the composition, the lyrics, the recording and producing, was really satisfying. We finally managed to prove to ourselves that we didn't need to moonlight as whores on the street to pay for our audio recordings. 

So the song got a fair amount of exposure on the radio channels and through Youtube, when we released just the audio version for Superstars For Flood Relief. We purposely chose not to make this song available for free download simply because we wanted all the money to go towards the victims of the floods in Pakistan. Anyway, we were in talks with a bunch of directors for the music video and one day, in the evening we got an email from Bilal Khan telling us he loved the song and him and his partner at Forward Media, Shayan Agha were really interested in making this music video for us. When he pressed us for ideas, I think it was Rahail who brought up the idea of having a person in the panda costume. For us, the panda didn't even have to be central to the theme of the video, we just thought it would be insanely cool to have a giant panda just lurking somewhere in the background while we rocked out. Why? Pandas are inherently funny animals. 
To elaborate:

1) They are bi-colored. All bi-colored animals are for some reason regarded as stupid and hence hilarious. E.g. zebras, penguins, pandas. Black and white animals are especially prone to being stereotyped as being cute and brain damaged.

2) My panda obsession started with a hilarious South Park episode entitled "Sexual Harassment Panda" where South Park Elementary hires a man in a panda suit to teach 5th graders about sexual harassment. Best quote: "When one Panda puts his furry little willy in another Panda's ear, that makes me a saaaaaaaaad Panda"

3) Will Ferrell's incrediblehilariousepicawesome movie "Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy" revolves around a news story of a giant panda giving birth at the San Diego Zoo. Ron Burgundy and his news team cover this news in a series known as "Panda Watch"

4) Then of course...there is this:

So armed with this crucial piece of information, Shayan went and wrote an entire concept for the music video within a couple of hours and emailed it back to us. We loved it. He sketched an entire plot about how the panda was like the sixth ADP member and we did everything with him. We were all just bowled over by the idea and we couldn't wait to shoot it. Literally we were on the phone immediately  setting up meetings and saying YES YES WE SHOOT THIS NOW PANDA SO FUNNY HAHA OMG LOL. 

Luckily for us, Bilal and Shayan were as enthusiastic as we were and they set the ball rolling immediately.

The biggest problem of course was finding a convincing panda suit. I had never seen one in Karachi and all of us went around asking friends and trolling the internet with such dubious search terms as "How To Make Panda Costume", "Panda Costume Karachi" and "Furry Animal Costume Fighting Party". The last one wasn't really relevant but still...I was curious.

Apparently, Bilal and Shayan were able to find the only adult-sized panda costume in all of Karachi, in one of these novelty costume/prop/party stores. I believe this is how that conversation went.

Bilal/Shayan: "Suney, aap key paas jaanwar kay costume hain?" (Do you have animal costumes?)
Shop Dude: "Hain leykin sirf bachon kay size mein hain"  (Yup, but only kid sizes)
Bilal/Shayan: "Baron key liay costume nahin hain?" (Aww man, no adult sizes?)
Shop/Dude: "Nahin...humarey paas sirf bachon key hain....waisey aik adult costume hae...leykin woh panda hae" (Naah...all kid sizes...actually wait, i think we have one adult costume...buts its a panda)
Bilal/Shayan: *spontaneous bhangra* (*instant flailing of limbs*)

Long story short, we got ourselves a panda costume.

 The first time Bilal and Shayan came over with the suit, I thought I was going to die laughing. This panda was not cute. It was terrifying. Especially the eyes. This panda was Satan. We had to make sure the ears were taped up so that they always looked perky (yes...perky panda ears are important to us). We also stuffed its belly with cushions because a skinny panda is a shady panda. With the final piece of the puzzle acquired we set off to shoot the video guerilla style one fine Saturday morning.

No one is a happy camper Saturday morning. Especially not a guy in a panda suit. but our panda, Haris was a real champ. It got crazy hot in there so we had to remove the panda head (much to the horror of any children who were watching us) after almost every shot so that Haris could breathe. The initial scenes of us walking down the street were the funniest because a crowd of chowkidaars gathered out onto the street to gawk at a most retarded sight of five dudes buddying it up with a giant panda. What was more disturbing was how many dogs the panda costume was attracting. Apparently the neighborhood dogs thought they were being attacked by a giant man/panda hybrid and went insane barking their heads off. At one point Haaris refused to come out of the car because he was so sure he was going to be mauled by a pack of rabid pandacidal dogs.

We shot the park scene next in a park that can only be described as a death trap. The swings were rusted, the slide had a huge hole in the middle into which many a short sighted kid must have fallen and many a fat kid must have got stuck. The tunnel slide was coated with a liquid that I do not care to comment on, but I'm pretty sure we should all get tested for STDs.

It's interesting to note looking at this picture that we hadn't actually told Giles what the concept of the video was. Since Giles is a minority, this was to be expected. But it was extra hilarious because he kept asking what the hell the point of the panda was and just being genuinely confused throughout the video shoot. At this point in the picture, I think we were trying our best to get a sad reaction shot of him (upon losing his panda friend) but we ended up just trying to make him laugh instead. Actually we cracked up at several times in the video, because every now and then, we'd look at Haris in the panda suit and I don't know how the guy did it, but he managed to bring the most hilarious/tragic expressions to the panda face. The shot where the panda gets dejected and bows his head in sadness was performed by Haris with the intensity of a Shakespearean death scene.

You won't believe this but the popcorn/movie watching scene was actually shot in the basement of Bilal Maqsood, that's right, Bilal Maqsood from Strings. Don't ask us how we managed this, but basically we needed a room with a overhead projector for us to pretend like we were watching a horror movie together, and so we somehow ended up at Bilal Maqsood's basement and he was gracious enough to let us use it. We even met the great Anwar Maqsood while we were walking in. Which was..awkward. Note to self, next time you meet a television/comedy legend, don't do it in a panda costume. 

Yup, that expression was about right.

That was probably the most fun part of the shoot, we got to eat a whole bunch of popcorn and sit on a couch and act like douchebags.

Food was to feature yet again as we shot the cafe scene next, at The Roadside Cafe, which is one of my favorite, most awesome places to hang out in Karachi. (They were also the only ones who let us shoot inside their premises.) Since their kitchen wasn't open, we got our own food, which if you observe closely you'll see that we ordered burgers from CHIPS at Boat Basin. Try the Roast Beef Burger. It'll make you poop like a bullet train, but it's totally worth it.

The funniest scene at Roadside Cafe was when we asked the old man who was standing guard outside the place to act in our video.  He was massively stressed about his acting debut, the simple action of stopping the panda from coming inside the cafe was making this guy crazy anxious.  I had to bite my lip to stop laughing because this old baba was approaching this acting job with an almost Nicolas Cage-like intensity. If you look at his face during that scene, it looks like he was going to murder the panda on the road. I think we had to re-shoot that sequence a couple of times because the old baba was just making it look too much like Die Hard 4.

The last scenes we shot that day were the ones in my jam room at home. By this time, we had all given each other a variation of the cold or some allergy and we were sneezing like maniacs. You can't tell from the video but there was a box of tissues going around after every take. The "Don't Feed The Panda" sign was my idea and Ali Alam was responsible for the artwork. 
Yes. I have a banana stand.

We also filmed a highly uncomfortable sequence where Yasir, the Panda and I crammed into the backseat of Giles Suzuki FX while he drove like a maniac outside my house, leading the three of us to inadvertently molest each other. By this time, Haris had been inside the panda suit for four hours. I did not want to imagine what he was smelling like inside. (I believe Rahail used the expression "day-old ass")

The next day, we shot the live performance sequence at the BOSE showroom on a tiny stage we constructed. We threw out an open invitation to any fans who wanted to attend and we managed to assemble an amazing crowd who were really patient, really enthusiastic and totally into the whole video. Even thought it wasn't a large number, credit to Bilal and Shayan, the way they shot it, it completely looked like we were in a massive concert. With so much energy and such a great crowd, we felt guilty lip syncing, plus we weren't able to perform with the same kind of intensity. So we ended up playing 100% live. I think that's why you don't see too many shots in the video where the audio syncs up with the video while we were singing, but I'm glad we didn't lip sync. Everything you see during the performance segment is us actually performing and really putting on a show for some die-hard fans

Here's the stage before

I know right? It's tiny! And here's what it looked like while we were shooting

At the end of the day, it really didn't feel like a music video shoot to us at all. It was just like somebody stepped into our everyday lives and decided to document us. (Except we're never that pally to each other in real life. Don't think we've ever gone to a park to play on swings together either). We got to just hang out and eat a crap load of food and not deal with idiot crew members, make up or random technical people. The shoot was really personal and as directors, Bilal and Shayan were completely on top of their game, knowing exactly what shot they wanted and when to get it. I think the best thing about those guys was they just got our sense of humor. When we were sitting around tossing out ideas, nothing was off the table. A lot of the shots were just conceived at the moment and it was just a fantastic, really creative environment to be in. Now that I have effectively advertised you guys, Bilal and Shayan, will you please come back and make our second video and stop wasting your time trying to make other people famous instead.

Anyway, so that's pretty much the back story for how "Hum Naa Rahay" got made, here's some links to what newspapers had to say about us, do be sure to check out the video and spread it around to all your buddies and leave us some comments!

Blog review by Iftikhar Bin Waqar

Review by Maheen Sabeeh for The News Instep Today

Media Gallery and Interview in Dawn

The blog is back!