Bally hangers out at Walton airport
By Mariam Qureshi
LAHORE Asian British DJ Bally Sagoo kept the crowd dancing till 6.00am on Thursday morning at a huge party in a hanger at Walton airport. This was his first performance in Pakistan.
The Gulls event management company spared no expense in setting up the party. Bally’s giant DJ system, a mass of turntables, amplifiers and monitors, faced a big dance floor with strobe lights and smoke machines. Comfortable couches sat in mellow light on the right side of the dance floor, near the bar serving expensive drinks and lavish snacks for free. Trays of free cigarettes with Zippo lighters crowded the counters. The guests came from Lahore’s upper classes, having paid a minimum Rs 2,000 to attend, but that did not stop them from pocketing the lighters before the end of the night.
The guests started streaming in about 11.30pm, ninety minutes late. The event was strictly couples only, security filtering out any unaccompanied men. The partygoers turned out in their funkiest outfits, several clearly out to win the craziest costume competition. Film stars Noor and Resham were there, stealing surreptitious glances at each other to see who looked better.
Ayesha Omar got up on stage at 12.30am to introduce the star attraction. There was a murmur of excitement in the crowd as the pioneering Indian-born DJ walked on and settled in front of his mixing board.
The crowd was a bit shy at first, not daring to venture out on the dance floor, but that changed when Bally played one of his most popular remixes, Mehbooba O Mehbooba. There was a mad rush to the dance floor and it didn’t abate. The dancers had most energy during Aaja Nach Lay, Noorie and Jado Hansidi. A dhol player accompanied some of the songs.
Most of the crowd enjoyed themselves. One guest, Asma, said at the top of her lungs: “The party is in full swing and I can’t resist the beat.”
Others were taken aback by the hedonism of it all. “This is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and this is no way for an Islamic nation to behave. With this sort of an atmosphere we should be declared a secular state,” said Fahd.
Gulls is run by Mustafa Ali and Ahmed Ali Butt, the grandsons of the late Madame Noor Jehan and the sons of Zile Huma. The event was a fundraiser for the Fatmid Foundation, which provides blood transfusions to thallasaemia, leukaemia and haemophilia patients. The organisation supplies blood to 1,200 patients in Lahore alone, and has branches in Multan, Karachi, Hyderabad and other cities.