NEW DELHI: They say art imitates life and for many in Pakistan’s Pashtun belt, life is beset with violence and bloodshed. The region is wracked with militancy and US-led drone strikes play an important, albeit tragic, role in the daily narrative.

Bombs and violence, therefore, intercept daily life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the region’s film and art.

For instance, take the song titled “Za Kaom Pa Stargo Stargo Drone Hamla” (My Gaze Is as Fatal as a Drone Attack) where the actress sings “My lips are sugary, I sing sweet songs, my intoxicating look is like a full glass of wine,” before singing the song's title lyric: “I attack with my eyes, as lethal as a drone strike.”

The six minute track -- that has over 50,000 YouTube views despite the Pashtun region having low internet penetration -- is reportedly being blared at weddings and events.

VICE translates the lyrics of the song as:

“My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack
The touch of my lips sweeten words
Intoxicating wine are my looks
My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack
Coquettish stare is a snare of beauty
Smile fresh as early morning dew
Ensnares lovers with amorous pangs
My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack
O lovers! Go through a lover’s agony
A leaping flame and a rose bud
The clink of my bangles leaves one enchanted
My smile rustles desires in many a heart
Tests lovers’ courage
My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack
My beauty and body
At its prime
Leaves many going astray
My gaze is as fatal as a drone attack.”

Another example is the song by singer Rahim Shah titled “Shaba Tabahi Oka” (Come On Destroy Everything) from Pashtun-language film “Ghaddar “ (Traitor).

An article in Dawn newspaper translates the lyrics as follows:

“Come, look straight into my eyes, attack my heart, come destroy everything, come destroy everything,” croons popular singer Rahim Shah in the video to “Shaba Tabahi Oka” (Come On Destroy Everything), as the famous Pashto-language film hero Arbaaz Khan dances.

An actress gyrates her hips in response, singing: “Look at me, bomb my heart, come destroy everything.“

Then the hero, jumping, rolling and dancing, replies: “My Laila is carrying bombs in her eyes, you are killing me with your eyes, your lips are on fire — your short top is killing me and your trousers are tight.”

Another such example is a song written by Zafar Iqrar that asks his lover to not return to their home village -- which has been destroyed by an army operation. “Oh my beloved do not come to the village — here everyone is mourning, you will feel ashamed — here, division and hate rule supreme.”

The fact that the conflicts have become a part of art, music and film reflects how affected people are by militancy, army response and drone strikes. The article in Dawn quotes Aslam Taseer Afridi, a Pashto language poet and professor of history who also heads a government college in the Khyber tribal district saying, “It's a fact that violence has affected our society, our culture, poetry and film songs.” “You see when the kids play, one group act like soldiers and the others act like militants and these are the psychological effects of this dilemma on our society.”

However, as the article notes, not everyone is impressed. Popular Pashto singer Bakhtiar Khattak said some artists were cashing in on the bloodshed. “It is true that poets write what they see in society but some film makers are deliberately mixing violence and vulgarity in songs… Despite substandard poetry, a segment of the society like such songs, it's now a market trend, they (producers) do it to get more business. “Other songs set against the backdrop of war, however, are considered moving,” the article quotes Khattak as saying.

Khattak was quoted in The Guardian that while “a lot of losses because of this war. People hear about so many different incidents that it becomes part of their psyche,” it is unfortunate “that these things are being taken lightly and people are even dancing to these sorts of tunes.”