Rehman Afshar, who is popularly known by his musician moniker Maanu, has been dropping single after single during the past year. We spoke to Afshar towards the end of 2020, when he released the music video for his single Khwaab – a video that was shot during lockdown. Since its release, Khwaab has been a public favourite and a commonly requested song on radio channels. And now, in 2021 Afshar has given us another song that literally feels like how this entire time has felt.
The opening shot shows Maanu staring out of a metro window with another passenger sitting behind him in a mask; the shot quickly transitions to that of the singer sitting in between friends at a party but the stark disassociation from the scene – a theme that is a constant in the music video – is what is so captivating. The bottle of champagne on the table, with the label ‘Yain’, is a reference to Maanu’s debut album ‘Yain City’, which he says, ‘is a body of work that is dedicated to Lahore; it chronicles a series of experiences I’ve had living in the city my whole life’.
Both the music video and the lyrics scream nostalgia and loneliness, but in a bittersweet sense as Maanu croons, ‘Teray bina rehta hun main yun tanha, kyun tujko dhoondon har jaga’. Interestingly, the isolation that Maanu portrays in the music video while sitting between so many people is a reality most of us have felt in the past year and are still experiencing. Perhaps it is this disconnection with others in the song that makes it feel even more personal for the listener.