Lost pop, help!

Friend of the newsletter Aizaz Ahsan writes:

… i've been searching for this late 90s/early 2000s Pakistani song that I dont exactly remember. Thought maybe you could help.

What I do remember is:

  1. It played once or twice at the end of a tv show on PTV/PTV world. The tv show was either Kollege Jeans or similar to it.

  2. The video was shot b/w and featured the lead singer (a woman) on a roof.

  3. Somewhere in the lyrics there was a line that went along 'raasta bohat khatin hai'

I couldn’t help Aizaz, but I’m hoping one of you has some clue. Please write back if you do know this song.

To make up for my failure here, I’m attaching another song that is close to this genre. I’ve loved this song ever since I first heard it. It’s also a soundtrack to a TV show from around the same time (Kaisey Kahoon). And a few years ago some friends rediscovered this and felt like they’d found something they’d lost.

So many songs from this time live as memories. Since so little was written about them, and everyone just knew them from playing on TV all the time, search engines are not so great at finding them from vague descriptions as they can with lots of Western media. You can’t just search for Pakistani TV soundtracks from the early 2000s and hope you get something.

This is a common pattern across much information from South Asia, especially Pakistan. Search for ‘world’s biggest cities’ – Karachi and Lahore are unlikely to be on the listicles you find. My diagnosis of this is that not enough primary or secondary literature exists about life in Pakistan today for modern digital infrastructure to understand, index and preserve it. Or perhaps I should argue that not enough of this literature exists in formats that will make it useful for modern digital infrastructure. For those of you know that know my other work you may have heard me make this argument.