The band Garam Anday consists of Areeb Kishwar Usmani on vocals and guitar, and Anam Abbas on vocals. The two women met by chance in Karachi, Usmani ended up singing on Abbas' YouTube series, Ladies Only, (https://youtu.be/pFeOVmZ5PPM) and from there Garam Anday was born.
Garam Anday literally means 'hot eggs' and is comically implying two powerful protests; a reminder of the millions of women entrenched in servitude at home, often physically abused and even killed for serving cold food; and how a Pakistani woman's role is often reduced to pregnancy. Usmani << Eggs and their symbology are meant to repeatedly reference women’s characterisation as strictly reproductive beings with only childbearing and child rearing potential. So it’s fun to play with that >>
A convicting example of this is when one poster at the first Aurat (woman) March organised in Karachi last year told men in big bold text to “heat your own food” and provoked huge male outrage.
Their new song and video MBKD watches girls run riot over Karachi: overturning tables, riding bikes, smashing televisions and magically destroying the eyes of leering men. All in the name of reclaiming public space for women.
<< A lot of the scenarios were supposed to show women reclaiming public spaces and we were actually doing that while filming the video. We drew huge crowds of jeering onlookers while we were filming and that initially made me nervous.
But a friend told me that I should consider this as a dialogue that we’re all engaging in.
There is a liberation that comes with the expression of anger and this is why comedy is equally important in the song, lyrically and visually…I think we take power away from the other by approaching these (issues) so irreverently because when you come into your power the ‘threat’ loses its power. The second half of the video is equally as important because we are free and we are light and the 'danda' itself is taken comedically because we have already won. >>
Sharing memories of how the band and its own personal movement came together Abbas writes << A group of women, friends and feminists would get together in my tiny apartment and for hours we would generate ridiculous lyrics, fantasize about scenes for music videos laugh and unleash our angst while Areeb riffed on her guitar.
The band that was to be, created a space of behenchara [sisterhood] and radical imaginings and catharsis which gradually morphed into actual music! >>
On the making of the video Abbas says << This music video was made very collaboratively, with a group of women friends- we write the lyrics together and many if the scenes of the video were thought of even before we had a song/or simultaneous to our song writing sessions.
I wanted to contribute to the sort of swag/femme movement in feminist music globally and also stick to my DYI/no budget approach to creating content.
The video allows us to play out revenge fantasies but also in this moment most importantly it expresses in no unclear terms our absolute intolerance of so-called mullahs who are spreading fitna (incitement) in our communities and the spineless institutions that allow these devils to play free. >>
The song has made an impact, with the classic expected reaction <<We still get called the Illuminati and chased down with #notallmen >>