Blooper? Jazba-e-Junoon was bigger than Dil Dil Pakistan, says Salman AhmedPakistan
Could you choose between 'Dil Dil Pakistan' and 'Jazba-e-Junoon'?
Should you have to?
It may have never occurred to fans of Pakistani pop and rock music to play favourites with the two definitive anthems of the '80s-'90s era, but Junoon founder Salman Ahmed teased the debate in a near-sacrilegious statement to the BBC: "...'Jazba Junoon' became bigger than 'Dil Dil Pakistan'."
Cue our gasps of horror.
Ahmed was talking to RJ Noreen Khan for a radio documentary Pakistan Rocks!, which interviewed him, Rohail Hyatt (Vital Signs/Coke Studio), Asad Ahmed (Karavan) and Gohar Mumtaz (Jal) in the attempt to explore the arrival and evolution of guitar-driven music in Pakistan.
Among other things in the interview, Salman Ahmed explains his departure from Vital Signs, which he believed "didn't want to push the envelope in terms of music". So creative differences caused him to split from Rohail Hyatt & co and form a new band, the first of its kind — Junoon, with its unique Sufi rock veins. Which is great – we owe many memories of our childhoods and adolescence to his vision.
But then he went on to utter the words: "It took a long time, but in 1996, I wrote a theme song for cricket, and 'Jazba Junoon' became bigger than 'Dil Dil Pakistan'."
For what it's worth, there couldn't have been a 'JeJ' without a 'DDP' with its patriotic vibe, which lent legitimacy to the previously banned rock outfits, deemed too close to Western culture to be alllowed on the local airwaves. And 'JeJ' has been a tough act to follow, for we can't remember another anthem gaining the same kind of iconic status.
Ahmed didn't provide any context for his statement; we don't know whether he meant 'bigger' in terms of sales or audience reach. But we've cherished both 'DDP' and 'JeJ' for the fond memories of '80s-'90s cricket that they evoke, so we feel the comparison is unnecessary.