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      Pardesiya – Come home to my heart

      Pardesiya is an eastern classical inspired raga rock written by lyricist Asim Raza and performed by classical singer Zara Madani. Part of week 3 of Coke Studio 2020, Pardesiya was one of the first melodies composed and structured. The song is about one’s search for God, and the longing for peace which one prays to the Almighty for in times of distress.

      Explaining the concept of the song, Zara Madani said, “In life, as humans, we are constantly in search of something. We await the arrival of something bigger, some form of an answer. This thirst for an answer or an impending destination is common to us all.” 

      This experimental song has been sung in Raag Bhimpalasi with its baant in a jhaptaal of 10 beats. Raag Bhimpalasi has originated from thaat Kafi and is considered to be the Shanti Rasa (a conscious cultivation of inner balance, equilibrium, wisdom, and serenity) of Indian classical music. Exhibiting the suppressed longing of a lover, but serene, with dignity, and yet throbbing with deep emotion, Bhimpalasi is a raag usually sung from late afternoon to sunset. The raag is poignant and passionate, filled with yearning.

      Talking about the composition, Madani said, “The most intriguing and unique elements about this song is that its baant, which is in 10 beat jhaptaal, makes it very difficult to compose songs and bandishs within the time frame.” Adding that, “This made it challenging to compose a tarana in the half-time jhaptaal.”

      The song depicts a quest for peace driven by profound, almost crazed yearning. “Perhaps this is the story of one’s search for God, or maybe it is about someone’s search for a lover. The song is about longing… be it God, peace or a loved one,” said Madani. 

      “O lover who has left for distant lands


      I am trying to calm my tangled thoughts

      But no calm comes to me

      I am trying to talk to myself

      Nothing I try seems to work


      My love has left for distant lands

      And I have become crazed with longing

      And I have become crazed with longing

      …crazed with longing


      There’s the bird who sings, the flowing river, and the refreshing breeze

      It’s the rainy season of love – a beautiful rainbow has spread over the sky

      But it all feels barren and colourless to me, for you are not here by my side

      Nothing and no one can please me”


       “Singing the song gave me a very strong feeling of one’s search for beauty. It is a song in which one is yearning for something that is very beautiful in nature,” said Madani, adding that, “Whatever the object of this quest is, there is a strong association of beauty to it and an almost desperate appeal to somehow avail it.” 

      On the bells, ghungroo and tinchu percussion, Pardesiya has Nepalese musician Siddhartha Maharjan, producer Rohail Hyatt himself is on the keyboards and acoustic guitars, on the electric guitars is Asad Ahmed, Turkish musician Volkan Öktem on the drums, Kamran ‘Mannu’ Zafar on the bass guitar, Shehroze Hussain playing the sitar, Nawazish Nasri on the rabab, Abier ‘Veeru’ Shan playing percussions and Babar Khanna on eastern percussions. The backing vocals have been given by Kumail Jaffery, Nimra Rafiq, Shahab Hussain and Wajiha Naqvi.

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