Is Ho Mann Jahaan helping soundtracks in Pakistan reach a new high?

Is Ho Mann Jahaan helping soundtracks in Pakistan reach a new high?

The film soundtrack boasts a killer combo: 10 tracks traversing pop, local folk and qawali by Pakistan's best musicians
Updated 03 Nov, 2015

Film soundtracks in Pakistan, like all other music genres in the country, has seen its share of highs and lows.

Pakistan's recent cinema revival, though self-styled, has got one thing right: 2015 saw audiences lapping up film soundtracks, even before the films hit the screens.

Perhaps the last time our country appreciated film music like this was during Noor Jehan or Ahmed Rushdie’s time. Or maybe when Khuda Kay Liye came out and dhakka-started the new age of films in Pakistan, and made songs like 'Bandeya' a hit in the process.

Recently, Sarmad Khoosat’s Manto set the bar high for soundtracks in the industry. Jamal Rehman and co.'s beautiful film score and OSTs were a haunting and sometimes whimsical aural complement to the film. It was a refreshing break from the jarring product placements that sometimes worked their way into the choruses of films' songs.

Ho Mann Jahaan’s soundtrack follows suit with a killer combo: it features 10 tracks traversing genres as diverse as pop and local folk, qawali and bhangra and featuring some of the best Pakistani musicians and composers. Zoheb Hassan? Enough said.

The song that packs a punch in this track list include ‘Ghar Nari’, an Amir Khusrau composition sung by Abu Muhammad and Farid Ayaz; ‘Khush Piya’ by Tina Sani, ‘Dosti’ by Zoheb Hassan and Zeb Bangash and ‘Sarak Sarak’ by Mai Dhai.

If it’s not the vocal powerhouse that overwhelm you in each song, it will be the unique style of composition that will hold your attention.

'Dosti' sounds different from the song that made a home in our hearts decades ago, especially the intro.

After growing so fond of Nazia Hasan’s voice, her fans might not take so readily to this version, but one thing’s for sure: if anyone could have pulled it off with Zoheb, it was Zeb. And she made it work not only with her voice but also with the music direction, smartly incorporating different elements like percussions and the brass section sound.

'Sarak Sarak', composed by Mai Dhai along with Zain Ali and Danish Khawaja, is the kind of song that makes one's heart sigh.

Sameer Ahmed’s bassline really stands out in the intro as the acoustic guitar and drums give way to a very jazz vibe accompanied by desi folk. When Mai Dhai starts singing, 'Sarak Sarak' becomes a perfect blend of the East and West, though in theory, Sindhi folk and American jazz influences don’t make sense together.

Both songs, along with a few others like 'Shakar Wandaan', weren’t made for this film, but might give the film a great boost, if it is lacking in other areas.

The rest of the songs, namely 'Baarish' by Jimmy Khan, 'Mann Ke Jahaan' and 'Dil Pagla' by Zeb Bangash, 'Dil Kare' by Atif Aslam, 'Audition' by Gumby and 'Shakar Wandaan' by Asrar, despite having a formulaic approach, do give us the listeners a refreshing change that keeps coming in waves with each new film release.

Gumby’s 'Audition', a minute’s worth of a drum solo, was the kick we needed all these years when we wondered where the country’s favourite drummer had gone off to.

The soundtrack gives us a chance to see Zeb Bangash’s contribution as a film music director and composer. Zeb worked on the background score for the film with Jimmy Khan, Taha Malik and Danish Khawaja. Prior to this, the only time we got to experience Bangash’s talent was when her debut album with her cousin Hania released years ago. Women taking charge in the music scene is always something to celebrate.

Ho Mann Jahaan’s soundtrack gives our music talent a platform other than Coke Studio and corporate gigs. It might become our reason to embrace our music, reclaim our music channels and radio stations, and tell Bollywood that it was good while it lasted, but we've just changed too much and found someone better.


Ghar nari – Abu Muhammad and Farid Ayaz

Mann ke Jahaan – Zebunnisa Bangash

Sarak Sarak – Mai Dhai

Dil Pagla – Zebunnisa Bangash

Baarish – Jimmy Khan

Khush Piya Waseen – Tina Sani

Dil Kare – Atif Aslam

Dosti – Zoheb Hassan and Zebunnisa Bangash

Shakar Wandaan – Asrar

Audition – Performed by Gumby

You can find these songs online on Patari, Saavn, Taazi, and later in movie theatres on January 1st, 2016.


rizwan Nov 03, 2015 02:08pm
Its amazing that pakistan is rising again from ashes. It was about time. great job to the makers of this wonderful looking movie. Looks like pak has taken a turn towards the more tolerant society whereas cant say that same for INDIA.
khan Nov 03, 2015 02:08pm
Love it
saqib Nov 03, 2015 02:25pm
other than sarak sarak and shakkar wandaan, the songs are a disappointment.
analyses Nov 03, 2015 02:25pm
Dosti....such a classic and beautiful song nostalgic feelings as well. The voice of Nazia Hassan is unparalleled and all the songs she sang became such hits that even when some other singers perform on these songs we tend to remember Nazia's voice when she sang those songs. Dosti, Disco deewane, DIl ki lagi, Ankhen milanay walay, Dum Dum dee dee
Yasir Nov 03, 2015 02:27pm
Beautiful songs. Bravo to the whole team.
sindhu Nov 03, 2015 03:29pm
Asrar and mai dhai soud track is the best!
walleed Nov 03, 2015 07:12pm
mahira khan is an mature old woman.she should not do the characters of a girl...
Faraz Nov 03, 2015 08:26pm
Dosti and Ghar nari stand out. Shakar Wandaan, Dil Kare and Mann ke Jahaan are good too. Overall a very decent album, will only grow more with the success of the film hopefully.
shani Nov 04, 2015 01:32am
prem ratan dhan payo much much more better and entertaining, these make me sleepy!! sorry guys ill pass on this.
Mustafa Nov 04, 2015 08:47am
Please avoid songs in the middle of a movie where whole bunch of people are dancing for no reason. If songs have to be put there then they should be in the background instead of the actors lip syncing to it. And please note that no body has time to watch a 3 hour movie. If Lollywood has to follow then it should be Hollywood's style of film making and not the useless one.
anwar khattak Nov 06, 2015 12:06pm
Love the songs ..awsum..