The buzz coming from Main Campus’s OBS Courtyard as soon as the sun set on the 22nd of November was an indication as obvious as the purple lights interwoven with the trees that something was going on.
That something was Beat Baazi, a collaboration between the IBA Media and Communications Society and the Social Sciences Club, an evening of self-expression through music and song – tone deaf voices and all.
The blaring of guitar strings accompanied by the animated voices of hosts Wasfiya Sheikh (Media and Communications Society) and Shehroze Shaikh (Social Sciences Club) from the speakers cued the formal start of the event. Split into two main parts, a Jam Session followed by a Karaoke segment, the event promised to be a platform for the those who loved music and all that it embodies, even if you were apprehensive of going about it on your own.
However, just like the flow of a good live stream gets disrupted by the gray buffering circle of death, you could almost see the waves of disappointment and animosity directed at the man behind the control box every time a performance was rudely and abruptly cut off due to technical malfunctions in the sound system. Neither the performers nor the host team however were deterred by this setback as they powered through with as much vigor and enthusiasm as they could.
Although all of the live performances were received warmly from the crowd, including being serenaded by IBA Student Council’s Vice President Raamiz Rizvi, there were a few that stood out more than most resulting in their being awarded a free ticket to Rehearsal, (a play by Stage Nomad Productions). These lauded performances (in no particular order) were:
1.Abdur Rehman Sajid (Sang a lot of Hozier)
2. Syed Ghazi (The 11th Grade Outsider who sang Channa Meray Aa)
3. Saniya Tariq (My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion)
4. Dorm 1 (Pashto poetry authored by a Hazarewal, composed and sung by Gilgities with a Wakhi chorus)
5. Nishtar Park (Original instrumentals)
With the conclusion of the live performances and transition into the Karaoke segment, the crowd quite noticeably thinned as those who stayed to support their friends and acquaintances quickly ducked out of the way of potential embarrassment (both first and secondhand) with the announcement of the departure of the shuttle.
Again, this was not a deterrent to those who had made up their minds to sing their hearts out on stage with or without their friends (or even an audience) to bear witness. As was evident with the toe-curling (and not just because of the cold) group performance of the Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way’ and the refusal to relinquish the mic even as the technical team swept up the carpets beneath their feet. The power of music does a lot more good than just soul food.
With the fatigue settling in on heavy eyelids and Management Team humming along as they picked up the litter that was strewn across the Courtyard, the silence and the cold, for perhaps just a moment, seemed a lot more welcoming. So until you feel ready to let us hear your sound again, we’ll be waiting to cheer you on.