Lately in Pakistan, the atmosphere for women hasn’t exactly been one that makes one feel fine and dandy. Be it all the hateful vitriol towards Asia Bibi, encouragement of abuse against women in comment sections of Pakistani drama clips or just the constant backlash against our me too movement which was a long time coming and the general ‘y u faminismz’ mentality.
Maan Behn Ka Danda by Garam Anday came out last week with a perfectly fitting music video and we can’t find room for anything else in our head. Not only is it an ear worm, it is such a cathartic and refreshing break from all the misogyny we see on a regular basis on Pakistani social media and real life. This song and the angst portrayed through the music video is how us Pakistani women feel on a DAILY basis.
The song was produced by Haniya Aslam with Ibrahim Akram on drums and Basim Usmani on bass. The song was sung by guitarist Areeb Usmani along with the other garam anda Anam Abbas who also directed this ass-kicking video. The image of Areeb and Anam sitting in a beat-up vehicle with crushed cars around them, mixed with kachray ka dher, perfectly visualizes how Pakistani women feel in this society. Of course, that kachray ka dher being an apt representation of all men that enjoy male hegemony in Pakistan. Moreover, there are many other gems in this video as the song progresses and I haven’t felt this kind of fun in a long time. You’ll see what I mean when you watch it.
The best part is that this pop-punk number is great to sing along to, whether you’re driving along Karachi traffic or singing in the shower after work – there is a special kind of satisfaction when you belt out ‘kuttay ka bacha! Line pe aa!”
It’s heartwarming to see women finally take up this male-dominated space as well. While it has been done before in random bursts throughout Pakistan’s music history, it has never been enough and we hope to see more of this Garam Anday #badbeti influence on the music landscape in Pakistan. Throughout of my years of music exploration in Pakistan, yeah there were a handful of bands to appreciate but for every handful there was always one girl and her musical prowess overshadowed. But it’s songs and music videos like these that I would love to see my little niece and her friends be influenced by when they grow up and be able to SING this narrative and critique of male dominance that barely existed in the past.