Feb 16, 2009 - published work    29 Comments

The First Rant

Dawn launched its new website and I have been asked to write a series of blogs about what Pakistan would be like a decade down the road. Here is the first installment of iRant.


Shoaib Akhtar: Conscience of the Superstars

What quips, quirks, snafus and scandals does Pakistan’s future hold? Tazeen Javed time travels to 2017 and blogs about what makes the Land of the Pure tick – or is it explode? – in the coming decade.

April 1, 2017

LAHORE: The last remaining super star of Pakistani cricket, Shoaib Akhtar, is still battling it out with the Pakistan Cricket Board. When the TV cameras caught up with Akhtar outside the cricket board offices, he vowed to make it back to the team and shared with the media his new fitness regime, which consists of him walking 100 meters without either a walking stick or power enhancing drugs. He also blamed the board for his poor performance and lack of consistency and said that he spent a better part of the day getting the cricket board to pay his old unpaid medicals bills dating back to 2009 – as a result, he cannot concentrate on his game.

Apart from the long drawn out battle with the cricket board on unpaid medical bills, Akhtar is involved in 11 other cases and is being considered for an award for his role in keeping the lawyers community afloat. He is a joint contender for the award along with Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, who has been fighting for a free judiciary for a whole decade. Of the 11 lawsuits that Akhtar has been fighting, one is against Kolkata Knight Riders for unceremoniously dumping him eight years ago. The team has changed ownership twice since then (Shahrukh Khan’s wife got the team in divorce settlement, but later sold it to Karan Johar. The erstwhile Mrs Khan was of the opinion that Johar can appreciate dirty, sweaty men a lot more than she ever could). But Akhtar is still battling on.

Other legal cases include, but are not limited to, a hit-and-run incident on Rawalpindi-Lahore Motorway, growing marijuana in his backyard and gifting it to neighbours’ under-age kids, two cases of assault against teammates, three paternity cases in two countries, and a couple of lawsuits against a cola giant for dropping him and causing him irreversible emotional damage. In order to pay for his ever-mounting legal fees, Akhtar has decided to auction his infamous bat with which he assaulted a former teammate. It is rumoured that the former teammate, who now supplies soft drugs to the whole of the Middle East since their legalization following 2010’s Dubai’s real estate market crash, will be buying that bat for nostalgic reasons.

Last but not least is his ongoing battle with the Indian judicial system, which has repeatedly denied his attempts at adopting an Indian orphan. It was almost nine years ago when Akhtar first revealed the intention to adopt a child from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. When asked why he singled out Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, he said that as he was always partial to the name Teresa and would want it to be part of his adoptive child’s life. When contacted, a member of Indian judiciary revealed that it is not his history of violence and substance abuse that is hindering his chance at adoption, they are more concerned about the probable influence of Akhtar’s former teammates who are now running Hajj and Umrah tours and have close ties with Osama Bin Laden and Junaid Jamshed. It is heard that the state of Malawi slackened its adoption laws, especially for celebrities from far far away lands. Akhtar, being the philanthropist softie he is, does not mind adopting a child from Malawi, as long as it get the same media coverage as an adoption would get in Mumbai. Unfortunately, adoption agencies in Malawi cannot guarantee that as they do not take care of adoption-related PR. It is clearly stated in the standard adoption contract that the celebrity is required to arrange his own post-adoption press junket and cute baby photos.

Like the original playboy of Pakistani cricket, Imran Khan, Akhtar is also building a hospital. Unlike Khan, who built the hospital in honour of his mother who perished from cancer, Akhtar’s hospital would be devoted to cure skin diseases. It is still unknown if it is being built to honour a particular person or if it is something he likes to be associated with? Some detractors of the national hero said that there would be a special ward in the hospital for the ‘thick skinned’, to honour the cricketer himself.

Akhtar believes that he is the most misunderstood celebrity of our times and blames the cricket board and media for the PR debacle that is his life. Although many would disagree, Akhtar fills a huge vacuum in Pakistan’s media industry. We do not have people like Prince Harry and Paris Hilton, but we need people who can fill the air-time of local TV channels and serve as tabloid fodder. Akhtar is doing just that. Who can help but be charmed by such social service?


PS: Can someone please fwd this link to Shoaib Akhtar if they happen to know him?

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29 Comments

  • This is hilarious! Good job!

  • Very nice. I wish I could write as flawlessly as you can. And for the first time in my life, I am getting something so entertaining which is completely free. 🙂

  • effin’ brilliant!!!

    you’ve just steamrollered the guy (and many others).

    love it! this is one of those classics i’ll keep referring back to for howls of laughter.

  • Hahahaha! Lol! =D

  • I didn’t know that growing marijuana was a illegal in Pakistan or selling it to neighborhood kids…I mean come on this is Pakistan in 2017 and Justice Iftikhar Chaudry is still on the road…

    I thought Meera was playing the role of (to borrow a phrase from our finance ministry) ‘home-grown’ Paris Hilton.

  • ^^^

    I doubt it is. Bhang contains M and it’s available freely in India, at least. I don’t think things would be too different border paar.

    Tazeen,

    Nice! And Dawn! Wah! Aap to badi eshtaar hai

    And Tazeen Javed? I always imagined you’d be an Akhtar. You disapoint me.

    Hades

  • Hilarious. But why did you get poor Shahrukh and Gauri divorced?

    Definitely, feeding the tabloids also feeds so many media people and their families. Hurray for SA and his ilk!

  • Hey congrats. 🙂

  • Well done Tazeen! Funny but poignant commentary.

  • Ibrahim and Hades,

    This is a fictionalized account of something that hasn’t happened yet, it is my wishful thinking that growing marijuana in your backyard would be illegal down the road, let me live with my fantasy, please.

    Hades,

    I used to work at Dawn at one point in time, believe me, its not big shit.

    Banno ji,

    I dont know, Kolkata Knight Riders took me to Shahrukh and I cannot think of Shahrukh with out Karan Johar, the wife just had to go.

  • he he, this was nice Tazeen and Dawn? So you’re getting somewhere eh? and when u make that movie, make it a cross border movie, i’ll act for free 🙂

    He does fill a huge vacuum for your media as well as a small part for ours as well. Just imagine, what would be your first post otherwise?

  • girls,

    Thanks a lot.

    Khadija

    Long time no see, hope things are going well at your end.

  • Rakesh,

    If i ever get to make a film, it would not be cross border, it would be global. I cant think in borders, why should my film be that way?

  • Lol!
    You might just give Khushwant Singh a run for his money. Absolutely hilarious with the right tinge of satire!

    You know, you’re so right about Dubai, only difference, it’s happening in 2009. Right now.

  • A) Thank you. It was just something that popped into my head…

    B) Insightful Satire? From Pakistan, no less?

    *golfclap*

    And three degrees? *tsk tsk*. You should know that’s too many. =P Who’s going to marry you now?

  • hilarious! the only person you forgot to mention is sheikh rasheed who will undoubtedly be giving unasked for political advice to the then prime minister and chairperson for life of the pakistan people’s party, asifa bhutto zardari.

    unless of course it’s hussain nawaz in the secretariat.

  • Still thinking,

    Khushwant Singh!!!

    Not really, everything I write is PG 13 at max.

    Dreaminglass,

    Believe me or not, we are a funny lot. What do you think makes us go round? Our sense of humour.

    Xille,

    Shiekh sahab ka number bhi aye ga … this is just the first rant.

  • Just at a time…

    When I was about to fall in love with Shoaib–urf Shaiby, not for who he is, but for who he is not.

    Just when I was about to fall in love with him because there’s a lot of things that he didn’t do. Like, treating his opponents with a little bit of love and a garland of flowers, or perhaps, even a little bit of a kiss on bret lee’s cheeks.

    I almost fell in love with him because he is not polite, and is a rude brat. He lives in the hearts of every teenage little girl who wants some bad boy to make her feel good. (and this also applies for non-teenage non-thinking girls as well) The dude has some attitude to show off to those with snobby noses.

    I’m almost in love with him for everything that he hasn’t done to keep the PCB at bay–the inevitable source of enmity that has caused him to take more drugs and make him more aggressive on field. That he is least forgiving to the PCB for causing him to behave like this. That he then alleges PCB for discriminately disciplining him for the things PCB has caused him to do, is in itself a turn on for those who love circular logics.

    Just at a time when my love was about to ripe for him and grow in maturity with him, a Tazeen comes along bashing at everything that my Shaiby did to make him what he has been. Tazeen, first it was Imran Khan’s love that you jinxed out of my system. And now its my Shaiby!!!!

    NAHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

    (btw, a wonderful piece on our adorable shaiby)

  • This is brilliant. Loved your sharp wit and candor. shoaib akhtar always reminds me of a salamander. and he always looks in dire need of a bath. eeek

  • Haha…I like the way you make the connections. But why give so much importance to Akhtar in the first place?

    He could very well OD on strenght-enhancing drugs in a few years…

  • Awesome blog entry. Loved the bite in the humour LOL. I totally agree, ShahRukh and K-Jo …. the wife has to go.

  • well LOL. Great humour.DAWN has found a winner in you.God bless.

  • Nice write up…

    But I still can’t understand the dig at Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar…like the world around us have you started categorizing ppl. As far as I know…they seem to be pretty normal ppl who are comfortable with each other in spite of ppl around them trying to read more than prolly there is…reminds me of Aamir Khan’s Shahrukh fixation.

    But…freedom of speech and all that jazz 🙂

    Peace.

    Rahul

  • absolut classic…

    i can just see him, wheeling away on a wheelchair, strands of greasy hair gamely attempting to hide his scalp, his muscles all limp and flaccid from years of steroid abuse, and still with his arms outstretched, waiting for that elusive icarus’ flight…

  • 100% hit…..

    waitn 4 more..lol..;-)

  • Wah jee wah!!! Kamal hee kamal.

  • Fantastic piece Tazeen!

  • Tazeen, damn good imagination here:) am blog rolling u:)
    thanks for this free quality entertainment:):)

    ur PS is damn too funny..daring Akhtar n all :):)

  • A wonderful conjucture of future in an entertaining mode!

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