I was out of the country for a few days and what happened out there was another horrific tale but when I got back I was reassured that things remained unchanged in my absence and we are still gripped by the same stupendous inanity. One of the two things that assured me of our national ridiculousness was the latest Qarshi Gripe Water advert which markets its product for infants as Halal! It’s a product for kids, chances are that it won’t contain alcohol anywhere in the world. But just to be sure, I asked my friend who happened to be a pediatrician, if there are gripe waters that contain alcohol.
Her response was laughter and mockery. She laughed at my question and mocked the fact that I skipped Chemistry in high school for Economics. She told me that some products use to contain a very minute amount of alcohol to solubilize and preserve the essential oils of the active ingredients, but that too has been out of practice and most gripe waters are alcohol free. Even back when they used to contain alcohol, the percentage was negligible and as far as adverse effects of alcohol were concerned, there were none because the quantity was insignificant. But in this day and age of televangelists where everything is sold with the tagline of religion, a product for infants also deems it necessary to use religion to increase its sales. Welcome to the dystopian heaven called Pakistan.