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August is always a bittersweet time for us because while we’re celebrating Independence Day – this year marks Pakistan’s 70th – we also get pulled down by everything that is wrong in the Pakistan we live in today. From the ugly head politics keeps rearing, from terrorism and inflation, to the atrocities against minorities, women etc. Thankfully, every now and then we also get to hear something fresh and fabulous that allows us to swallow the sorrow, clear out throats and sing at the top of our voices. While classic and vintage milli naghmas are an essential listen through the Azaadi month, it’s songs like this acapella version of Alamgir’s ‘Khayal Rakhna’ that is refreshing and uplifting!

If this doesn’t lift your spirits, nothing will!

We’ve got Ali Noor, Ahsan Parvaiz, Sara Haider, Rachel and Zoe Viccaji on the vocals and while you may think you hear instruments in the background, there are none. A silent vote of appreciation also goes out to the wardrobe consultant (whoever you are) for choosing colour above the usual green and white. While we love green and white in the flag, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should all become mini-flags come August. There are other ways of declaring your love for Pakistan and this ethnic pop of colour is glorious.

This version of the song can be heard and downloaded from Patari: