The Curious Case of Taher Shah

By Sonya Rehman

Much has been said and written about Taher Shah, Pakistan’s very own internet superstar, who gently slipped into the ‘scene’ after the release of his first single, Eye to Eye in 2013.

Dressed in a white suit and swaying with his long, curly tresses, Shah crooned into the camera – the country’s biggest Romeo was here to remind Pakistan that we were all in dire need of some loving, some romancing.

While some of us viewed the video in an uncomfortable state of what-did-I-just-watch, others, took to their keyboards having a field day ripping Shah’s singing ‘prowess’ to shreds, poking fun at his lyrics, his overall look, and most importantly, his utter audacity to produce such a ridiculous, retarded ditty. Heck even Bollywood’s Ranveer Singh made a silly Dubsmash video aping Shah’s song.

Come 2016, and Shah has done it again with Angel. Featuring a slimmer Shah in fields of emerald green, dressed in robes of azure and royal purple, and angel wings, et al, the star’s video has, suffice to say, gone viral. Shah has done it again.

Personally, I find Shah’s confidence and self-belief inspirational – no matter what his critics say, he jovially goes about doing his own thing, no matter how many memes of him do the rounds on the internet, and the deluge of curses, mud-slinging and bullying he faces across his social media accounts.

The arrival of the new year has already brought it with so much angst, psychological trauma, frustration and pure hopelessness in Pakistan – what with the numerous suicide attacks in the country, the senseless killing of our minorities, the meaningless spiels with empty promises delivered by those in positions of power, the monkeys (and puppets) in our Parliament, our dear Prime Minister featuring in the Panama Papers and so on – that somewhere down the line we’ve forgotten to laugh, to just be…

Shah’s latest offering comes at the right time: ludicrous or not, it allows us to, for once, not feel so weighed down by something horrible in the news, on home turf, in our own backyard. As a nation, collectively, we move in pockets of herds – cookie-cutter, standardized personalities that are scarily homogeneous for comfort.

But along comes Shah with this sparkly face and angel wings, singing about peace and love, and our sense of normalcy tips. We can’t handle it. Forget quality, forget categorizing ‘good’ and ‘bad’ – the act, the judgment has always resulted in our undoing.

Shah reminds us to chill the heck out, and at times like these, I couldn’t be more grateful.

Taher Shah in his latest song, 'Angel.' Photo: Taher Shah's official Facebook page.
Taher Shah in his latest song, ‘Angel.’ Photo: Taher Shah’s official Facebook page.




One thought on “The Curious Case of Taher Shah”

  1. Good attempt but revolved around just one point. Comic relief! But how about the fact that Tahir actually challenged the hegemony of Pakistani cultural elite and a sophisticated narrowness of what is right and acceptable in industry and what is not.

    That alone is a success and that you could have explored a bit more or in a sequal.

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