Rock band Zero Bridge enchants new generation Kashmiris

Srinagar: From last year`s Ragda to Zero Bridge this year, Kashmir seems to have travelled a millenium.

When the American rock band, named so after a bridge in Srinagar, sang `Dirty Apple`, a crowd of new generation Kashmiris swayed in trance.

The audience was a college going generation of the valley - whose economically tangential counterparts last year swarmed the streets, raising their fists, filling the air with slogans and trampling the ground in a similar trance to the rhythms of Ragda! Ragda!

An Urdu variant of Ragda, a 1960s Punjabi war song of Pakistan, has been a trademark of protests in Kashmir that swept the region for last three summers.

Last evening`s musical event was organised by One Young Kashmir -an independent initiative by students and entrepreneurs.

"It is like a dream performing in Kashmir," Mohsin, born in United States to emmigrant Kashmiri family and drummer of Zero Bridge, told PTI.

Mohsin`s brother, Mubashir, who was born in England and is the lead vocalist of the band said, their goal is to be the best Rock-n-Roll band in the world.

They aspire to be the new age Beatles, a never before heard aspiration in Kashmir.

"We have been to many countries to perform, but in Kashmir where our roots are, I cannot believe it is happening.

To see the crowds here in the backdrop of the mountains... we did not know how it would have happened, but Alhamdullilah (thanks to Allah), it has been a success," Mubashir said after their first performance to an all Kashmiri audience.

The musical event named Lets Paper Bag!, also witnessed the comeback of Ladishah in front of the youngsters, who barely knew him.

Ladishah, now increasing becoming a history in Kashmir, was part of the folk culture decades ago and used lyrical satire in his performances before the audience.

Unhindered by his going into an abyss over the years, Ladishah made his presence felt as the new generation laughed to his crisp lines.

Backstage, a young man was jogging restlessly around a hall room, rehearsing the lines of a `Fist Held High`, as crowds outside shouted his name.

MC Kash was the star of the night.

Kash, whose original name is Roushan Illahi, became an instant hit among the youth last year with his `I Protest`, a rap song which included the names of dozens of young men who died in the summer protests in 2010.

When, Kash went on stage with a first time B-Boying performer, 14-year-old Monis Ahmad, crowds cheered, followed by a silence caused by a fault in the audio system.

Moments later, Kash returned to complete his first open air performance. The singer proved his performance skills as he connected with the crowds, walking amidst them and making them raise their fists in air.

Last night, the silence, a feature of post-dusk Kashmir, was momentarily disturbed.


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