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Pakistani, Indian artists team up to celebrate South Asia heritage



Born in Saudi Arabia and based in Pakistan, singer-songwriter Rutaba Yakub is among the most promising artists of this decade. She went national with her selection in Nescafe Basement followed by Pepsi Battle of the Bands. Rutaba and her music group, Roots, didn’t win the top prize in the competitive PBOTB but did find a loyal audience.

2022 seems to be the year where Rutaba will go all-out. A sign of this can be seen in the number of songs she has dropped. Among them is a collaboration with Indian artist Abhilasha Sinha for a song called “Nazar/Surma”. 

The song was deliberately released last month as part of celebrating South Asian Heritage month. The two artists never met but knew full well that music transcends borders and employed technology. The music video is surprisingly strong with a clear idea driving it. The sonic side fits well into Rutaba’s growing discography and is full of synth, electro, and dancehall vibes.

She seems open to trying new things as has become apparent with releases such as “Anay Wala Kal/Ghubaray”, “Dair-e-ufuq”, and “Nazar/Surma”.

Talking to Instep Today, Rutaba explained her Indo-Pak collaborative song ‘Nazar/Surma’ and how it came about.

“The story behind ‘Nazar/Surma’ is a discussion on what we would be like or how we would behave and live our lives if we knew no one was watching us, no one was judging us or have expectations.” 

Social media’s many, many platforms, biometrics, metadata, drones watching/attacking from the sky above, the militarization of space and CCTV cameras define the very basics of modern times. 

Big Brother is always watching. 

Rutaba isn’t just talking about Big Brother, though. As she explains, our behaviour, our surroundings and the people around us affect us in unfathomable and overt ways. 

“Everything we do is kind of reactionary and sometimes it’s very hard to lose yourself in it and realize that you’re not really this person. If there were no external factors, you’d be someone completely different.” 

The narrative Rutaba is talking about can be found within the lyricism of the song.

The Urdu lines that start off the song may sound overwhelming to those who suffer from a case of weak Urdu. But its meaning, according to Rutaba, is based on a similar thought process. 

“For no reason, without us asking, it’s so regular for people to give us either their opinion or their critique.” She’s right there. As for the collaboration with Indian artist Abhilasha Sinha for ‘Nazar/Surma’, Rutaba expressed how both artists are fond of each other’s music. 

“She really understood the narrative of the song (‘Nazar/Surma’) and she wrote her verse for it, reiterating the same question(s) but in a different way. But she’s also building up the story to say that we will break free and find the freedom to be our own selves. We’re sharper and we will thrive.” 

The music video’s narrative is a split screen as it begins with childhood videos of both the artists respectively. “We were sharing our home videos with each other and realized the similarity in each other’s childhood. Even though we are borders apart, there are so many similarities. 

We are South Asians so the birthdays and vacations were similar. And, because of South Asian Heritage Month, in August, we feel we should try to share those similarities instead of focusing on the differences.” Rutaba, through her music, is challenging the typical side of music and deliberately taking risks. But in her own fashion. 

“To be honest, I’m completely alright with being an artist who has one specific sound and who’s not experimenting all the time and doing different things with every song.”

Rutaba Yakub describes herself as a collaborative artist and ‘Nazar/Surma’ is simply the latest example. The music video reflects the ideology of the song and though experimental and risky, it is introspective and therefore sounds very cool. With a debut music album called nostalgia @ the keryana store in the pipeline, Rutaba has the confidence and the talent to reach greater heights. This is her third release from said album. She previously released an EP called S**t I’ll Never Finish (2020).


Kahani Suno 3.0? Kaifi Khalil to drop new song soon




Singer Kaifi Khalil, who took over the music industry by storm with Kahani Suno 2.0, has revealed that he will be releasing a continuation of the song very soon. 

The young singer also talked about the story behind Kahani Suno 2.0 during a Junaid Akram’s podcast released on Eid ul Fitr. 

He said that the new song wouldn’t be Kahani Suno 3.0 but it would be an explanation of his previous song. He also said he was trying to release it after the Eid. 

“Kahani Suno was an old song and I decided to rewrite it and do justice to that track. I wanted people to relate to the song as if they are listening to someone’s story,” he said while talking to the host.

He said that he completed writing the song within three days, adding that he was scared it was a love song as this feeling is not taken very seriously these days.  

When asked if his song is based on a real story, Khalil said he would answer this question in the next song that he is about to release as it would continue. 

Replying to a question if a female version of this song would come, the singer said that he has no idea about it. 

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Here are details of world’s second deepest blue hole




Blue holes are believed to be the mysterious space underwater that go very deep and are abundant with plant and animal life. A similar blue hole has been identified by scientists at Chetumal Bay off the coast of Mexico.

The second deepest blue hole is named Taam Ja in Mayan, meaning “deep water”. It is estimated to be 900.2 feet (274.4 metres) deep.

The first deepest hole is located off the coast of China, with a depth of 987 feet (300.89 metres). It was discovered in 2016 and was named Dragon Hole or Longdong.

The observation and survey were carried out in 2021; however, the experts have revealed its existence in recent research published in Frontiers in Marine Science.

According to the team, based at Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), a research centre in Mexico: “The information gathered revealed a maximum recorded depth of 274.4 metres below sea level (mbsl). This makes the now-named ‘Taam ja Blue Hole (TJBH)’ the world’s second-known deepest blue hole. Origin and geological evolution of the TJBH deserve further investigation.”

The blue holes are similar to sinkholes on land. The only difference is they’re filled with water which makes it possible for boats and ships to pass over them.

The Mexican researchers said that knowledge provided by local fishermen prompted them to investigate this particular location. This was despite finding no references to blue holes at Chetumal Bay in the existing scientific literature.

With the help of echo-sounding, the team determined its dept whereas it sought scuba diving to measure upper depths.

The researchers said that “Taam ja has a nearly circular shape at its surface and steep sides with slopes of more than 80 degrees that form a large conic structure, adding that the walls of the blue hole are covered by a fine-grained layer and coated by brown algal biofilms — slippery communities of algae that bind together to survive.”

They also noted that the blue hole is close to the coasts of Mexico and Belize and its discovery could lead foreign and local visitors.

The researchers concluded in their paper that currently, the local population is not aware of the existence of the TJBH.

“[We] encourage the scientific community to explore, monitor, and broaden the research of the TJBH to settle an adequate basis for responsible social appropriation in the near future,” they maintained.  

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Naseem Shah reveals who responded to Urvashi Rautela




Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah has finally revealed that it was not him, but his manager who responded to Indian model and actress Urvashi Rautela’s comment on Instagram, which has since become a hot topic for the rumour mills of both countries.

During a talk show on a private TV channel, the interviewer asked Naseem what the plans were regarding his upcoming tour to India for the ICC World Cup 2023. 

Before he could even complete the question, Naseem responded: “My only plan is to play cricket. I have no other plans.”

The interviewer then asked if he had no plans to see Rautela, Naseem said he had none.

The purported social media interaction between the young pacer and Rautela has been one of the most interesting topics lately as Pakistanis want to know if there is actually something cooking between the two.

Naseem and the ex-pageant winner have been associated with each other due to a fan-made video, posted by the model after a Pakistan-India match in Asia Cup 2022. Naseem was playing in the match and Rautela was among the spectators.

The video showed the model smiling and blushing, and coincidentally, Shah was also recorded smiling during the same match — giving her the opportunity to juxtapose herself in the video.

Ever since the video came to light, Naseem Shah and Rautela’s relationship has been the talk of the town and this made the fans hunt for any interaction between the two on social media.

Months after posting the video, the Indian model and actress Urvashi Rautela was at it again.

She wished the pacer a “happy birthday” on Instagram as the cricketer turned 20 this year.

The ex-pageant winner commented on an Instagram post shared by Naseem congratulating his fellow teammate Shadab Khan on his wedding.

“Congratulations mere Chotay bhai @shadab0800 […]may Allah bless you both on this day with a lifetime of shared love and joy,” the cricketer had written in his caption adding “Best Wishes Always” for his colleague’s married life.

Deep down in the comments section was a birthday wish by Rautela for the young pacer alongside a congratulatory message for being conferred with an honorary Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) rank by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police.

Naseem Shah reveals who responded to Urvashi Rautela

“Happy birthday @inaseemshah congratulations on being conferred with honorary DSP rank,” she wrote in her comment.

To everyone’s surprise, the young cricketer responded to the model with a humble “thank you” followed by an emoji gesturing gratitude with both hands joined together.

However, during the interview, Naseem finally broke the silence on the matter and shared that it was not he that replied to the comment — but his manager.

He said that he doesn’t see his Instagram account much so he had told his manager to respond if he received any birthday wishes.

“I didn’t know that he [manager] would write thank you to just anyone,” the young cricketer said smilingly.

When prompted to tell if he likes Rautela or not, Naseem said that he loves all the people.

“Everyone is a human, everyone is good and I like all humans, but I don’t take anything personally,” he said.

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