I never thought I would be writing this. Never ever.
People die everyday. Some memorable, some not so much. How do you mourn for someone who lay somewhere in between? THAT seems to be the debate on social media since last night ever since the unfortunate news broke about the horrific crash of Flight 661 in Havelian, Pakistan.
47 passengers were on board this doomed flight and as it were, there were no survivors.
As news started coming in from witnesses and officials, Pakistan had already made up its mind about deeming it an unfortunate event and locking it up as soon as the sun rose the very next day. However, something shook even the most hard-hearted of us: when the news came of the untimely demise of pop icon-turned-evangelist-Junaid Jamshed.
For people growing up in Pakistan, or with even some South Asian roots, Junaid Jamshed is no strange name. For someone like me growing up in the 90s, it was a privilege to have grown up listening to THE icon.
I don’t know if it was him or just genetics, but there wasn’t anyone in the family who wouldn’t start swooning the second his songs were played. Kids today would never know the struggle to wait for your favorite song to be played on the television. Owning a special cassette of the album was considered a thing of envy. It was a reason of pride if you had learnt the lyrics to his songs the very week they came out.
Junaid Jamshed was a name the entire family was PROUD to say out loud. It wasn’t a taboo to like or even LOVE a musician anymore. You could freely enjoy his music on loud and not get a stern talking to. THAT was the power in his voice, in his words. This was the 90s you wished your kids had experienced, this was the 90s you wished never ended.
Alas, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Junaid Jamshed has left us with memories and memories only- ones we may continue to cherish for as long as we may live. His life was not free from controversy unfortunately. Someone who gave up the life of a music icon at the pinnacle of his success, and reverted to religion, became a evangelist is not someone you see everyday.
Junaid Jamshed defied stereotypes and called upon his ardent following to listen, and respect the message he was now going to preach. Some welcomed it with open arms, some turned against him. However, in this transition what remained was the person Junaid Jamshed. Yes his beliefs took a turn, his views altered, but his graciousness, his kindness, his soothing melodious voice all remained the same.
And on his death, some still don’t want to remember the kind spirited person, who literally united Pakistan, no. Today they want to shame him again. Bringing up controversies he himself has defended for many a times.
I request such people, let us mourn today. Us, who grew up admiring this icon for whatever reasons we did. You can go on hating tomorrow for there is no end to spite. But today, give us a moment to reflect on this brilliant life and what has come to end so soon.