A few days ago netizens were swimming in waves of nostalgia as Lucky Ali performed an acoustic version of one of his most popular hits — O Sanam.
As the 63-year-old strummed the chords of his guitar, the listeners (especially the ones born before the millennium dawned) were transported to a wistful heaven. This heaven included the paraphernalia of the cassette or CD with the singer’s face on the cover, the player and headphones.
O Sanam is the opening track from Ali’s debut album. The title of the album implores you to listen. Sunoh (1996), it is titled. Literally meaning “listen”.
And if you have listened to the album as many times as most of us have while growing up, and yet if you don’t melt to the lines, “Aankhon mein basi ho, par door ho kahin; Dil ke qareeb ho yeh mujhko hai yakin; O Sanam, tere pyaar ki kasam,” then it is time for you to get your emotional and romantic quotient tested.
The eponymous track — Sunoh — is a message from up above. Set with strong classical undertones while still maintaining the indie-pop overtures, this song is one of hope. The album has ten songs in all, and each one is a gem — with elements of love, hope, reflections and faith — to be preserved in your music hard drive for eternity.
The lyrics for songs were by Syed Aslam Noor — Ali’s childhood friend. The music for each of these songs by Ali maintained a perfect balance and amalgamation of pop, classical and folk. Even the duration of each song is such that it leaves you yearning for more. So does it then come as a surprise that it launched Ali’s career, bagged so many awards (including the Best Pop Male Vocalist at the 1996 Screen Awards and the Channel V Viewers Choice Awards in 1997), and stayed on the MTV Asia Charts for 60 weeks? And went on to become one of the landmark albums of indie-pop?
Listen to the singer’s magnum opus. Even if you were born after 1999, you will relate to the songs and of course, to Lucky Ali’s golden rasping voice. So listen to it. And thank us later.