Browsing "Shahid Afridi"
Sep 24, 2012 - Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik    4 Comments

Shoaib Malik is one lucky dude!

Shoaib Malik is one lucky guy, he gets to go home to Sania Mirza and this is what he does at work.


The locked stare!
Shahid Afridi, indeed is the most popular man crush icon of Pakistan.

Photo courtesy Express Tribune

The alternate universe where Shahid Afridi and Katrina Kaif share a plate of biryani

Nothing makes me miss the city of Karachi more than its crazy zany billboards, banners and adverts. Here in the twin cities, you either see road side boards selling real estate (Gulberg anyone?), the odd billboard of the PM or the President opening an institute or welcoming a foreign dignitary or if you are in Rawalpindi, you would spot chotay Mian sahib (Shahbaz Sharif) celebrating the construction of a nala or kamyab dengue bachao muhim, everything is mundane and nothing touches the creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit of Karachi and its people.
Once upon a time, a cart vendor by the name of Ilyas Quraishi started selling Biryani in my former neighbourhood in Karachi. We don’t know if it was because his biryani tasted better than others or because he was the sole biryani seller in the muhalla or the fact that he used to raise the price of his plate of biryani quite regularly; his business grew phenomenally and in few short years, he moved from a single cart to multiple carts, then to a shack and finally to a proper shop. This reflects two things; Ilyas Bhai is a bonafide Karachiite who is enterprising and knows what works for him and pursues it. Secondly, we in Karachi, can never get enough of Biryani that is why the city has many rags to riches stories of the biryani sellers of all varieties in almost all localities.
This Eid, Ilyas bhai decided to go big and ordered a couple of big Billboards to announce to the world that Ilyas Bhai and his biryani is here to stay.
Ilyas Quraishi Biryani house wishes you Eid along with Shahid Afridi, Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif
On the extreme right corner of this billboard, we have Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, getting many thelas (bagfuls just does not seem right when we are talking about biryani) of Ilyas Biryani while riding a bike. An unseen acquaintance meets him and the conversation goes like this:
The unseen acquaintance: “Shahrukh Bhai, kya baat hai, itni dher saari biryani lay ke ja rahain hain woh bhi Ilyas Bhai ki, kya mehman aye hain?”
Shahrukh, in his glorious hairdo says, “Kya karain bhai, humaray mehmaan tau Ilyas Bhai ke ilawa kisi aur ki biryani khatay hi naheen.”
It does not end here, in this Ilyas biryani alternate universe, Shahid Afridi – Lala or Shahid Bhai as he is affectionately called by the fans – is married to Katrina Kaif. In their biryani filled coupledom, a conversation goes like this:
Katrina: “Birynai kaheen idhar udhar se mat lana, sirf Ilyas Biryani se hi lana warna mein naraz ho kar apni ammi ke yehan chali jaon gee. 

Shahid Bhai gets worried, does not even bother to change and starts running towards Ilyas Birayni in his Pakistan team kit saying, “Naheen naheen, apni ammi ke yehan mat jana, mein Ilyas Biryani hi la raha hoon.”

This too reflects two things; firstly, Bollywood is BIG; from selling soaps to fizzy drinks to Ilyas Bhai ki Biryani, we need Katrina Kaif and Shahrukh Khan. Second of all, if there is anyone who either matches or beats the Bollywood brigade in terms of popularity and selling goods, it is Shahid Bhai. Eat your heart out #TeamMisbah, you can never sell a plate of biryani — or murgh cholay for that matter — it is brand Afridi that does it.
PS: I wonder what numerous Lala fan girls have to say about this pairing of Shahid Afridi and Katrina Kaif by Ilyas Quraishi biryani walay.
Photo Courtesy: Salman Jillani

Respecting sovereignty – ours and theirs

Pakistan won the title of champions in a closely contested Asia Cup final against Bangladesh at Dhaka and what a match it was; fortunes fluctuated throughout the match and the Pakistani team scraped through by holding on to their nerves. It was a game that kept you glued to the TV screens and at the edge of your seats. Both teams deserve all the kudos for entertaining the cricket followers across the world.
There is no bad blood in cricket between Pakistan and Bangladesh so the rivalry is only of sporting nature and both, the Pakistani cricket team captain, Misbahul Haq, and the Man of the Match winner, Shahid Afridi, paid respect to the efforts of the Bangladeshi cricket team. What left a sour taste was the callous behaviour of some Pakistani fans. In the run up to the final and during the match, Pakistani social media chatter was abuzz with memes like ‘East or West, Pakistan is the best’, ‘kyunki Bangladesh bhi kabhi Pakistan tha’ (because Bangladesh was once Pakistan) and ‘Hum jeetain ya woh, jeet tau Pakistan ki hi hogee’ (whether they win or us, the victory is Pakistan’s). Making a mockery of a country’s sovereignty is in extremely bad taste. Anyone with a modicum of decency would find such blatant discount of a country’s identity as a separate entity objectionable — throw in the atrocities committed by the state of Pakistan against its own people in former East Pakistan and it is downright offensive. To do so just before the Bangladeshi Independence Day is downright odious.
Around forty-one years ago, when General Yahya Khan asked his commander of the Eastern Command to “sort out the Bengalis”, Operation Searchlight was launched on March 25, 1971. The “sorting out” in Yahya’s speech meant brutally crushing a popular uprising. The operation started with an attack on the dormitories of Dhaka University where heavy artillery was used against students and citizens of the country. Though it took another nine months for the transformation of East Pakistan into Bangladesh, many say it was the last night of a united Pakistan. The following day, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of the Awami League and Major Ziaur Rahman in Chittagong separately declared Bangladesh to be an independent state and all hell broke loose. The operation that was ostensibly launched to save Pakistan, accomplished anything but that and left death, destruction, loot, plunder, rape and genocide of the Bengali people in its wake.
As a nation, we are good at brushing the nasty collective memories under the carpet. We do not mention incidents like Operation Searchlight or the dismemberment of the country in our history books or national narratives. We shy away from admitting that our state has systematically used rape as an instrument of war against its own people. We do not talk about how the state machinery was and continues to stay involved in the brutal murders of the very citizens it is mandated to protect. However, our collective ignorance should not lessen the intensity of turmoil that they have faced. The Bengalis have fought a hard war for independence and such disregard of their feelings is distasteful.
Every other day, we see one political leader or the other foaming at the mouth, wanting other countries, especially the United States of America, to respect the sovereignty of Pakistan. It is about time we accord the same courtesy to other countries.
First published in The Express Tribune
Mar 12, 2012 - Sana Kazmi, Shahid Afridi    3 Comments

Bright lights and Shahid Afridi’s adoring fans at NSK

I have spent many a memorable days at National Stadium in Karachi where I, with friends, family and all the other spectators, have rejoiced our wins, bemoaned our losses, have beaten down the water bottles on the chairs, screamed for every wicket taken and every boundary scored and always came home with a sore throat and broken down voice. Though needless, I would say it anyways; National Stadium has been an amazing part of my life in Karachi and I am sad that it has been three years since international cricket has not come to Pakistan.
If we talk about NSK, we have to talk about Shahid Afridi who has become an integral part of the proceedings at NSK for past so many years. Before anyone cast doubts over Shahid Afridi’s total pwnage of the crowds, s/he should at least once go to a stadium to see how Lala has millions of adoring fans wrapped around his little finger and how they wait for a wave from the showman and then cherish it with unmatched fervor. Last week, the  visit to NSK reminded me of the kind of effect Lala has over his millions of fans. At least I have never seen anything like that and I have seen international cricket in four different countries.
I was in Karachi last weekend and am grateful to Sana Kazmifor taking Summaiya and I for an exhibition match held at NSK. It was a perfect breezy March evening for cricket and National Stadium looked beautiful in floodlights. Though the match was not publicized, but there were quite a few cricket fanatics who were there to see their heroes and there is no cricketing hero bigger than Shahid Afridi in Pakistan.
It was during this match I met with a family who can lay claim for being one of the most dedicated and fervent fans of the man. There are four girls in the family and they all play club cricket and dream of hitting sixes like Shahid Afridi. Their mother takes them to all the practice sessions and matches and is totally supportive of her daughters’ sporting activities, something that we do not see often in Pakistan. They were so adorable, they made a birthday card for Lala and brought flowers and gifts for him and were determined to meet him and give it all to him in person.
I wish more girls get into sports and have parents who are as supportive as the parents of these lucky ones. I wish they get to play for the country and make us as proud as their idol, Shahid Afridi. 
National Stadium under lights

The game at full swing

The guy in that red circle is our Lala, it was the warm up football match before the game

These girls are hardcore Afridi fans

Some more fangurls and a sole fanboy

Birthday greetings for Lala

Every little boy wants to be Shahid Afridi
Another adoring fan
This one is also sporting Lala’s number

I mean business

Emulating the star-man pose

Boom Boom fan

The fanatics who would go to any match to enjoy cricket

Waiting for a glimpse
Mirza Iqbal Baig was also there in all his hair dyed glory
Every kid was wearing the number 10 shirt, that is the karishma of our beloved Lala

Jan 20, 2012 - Ramiz Raja, Shahid Afridi    11 Comments

Somebody save Shahid Afridi

If you are an advertiser trying to sell any product in Pakistan, what should be on your wish list? If you are smart and want to make your life easy, you would want Shahid Afridi as your brand ambassador/model/spokesperson. However some advertisers cannot even properly use a brand ambassador as universally adored as Shahid Afridi and screw up gallactically. 

I think just about everyone has seen the latest television commercial (TVC) for Head & Shoulders featuring Shahid Afridi and Ramiz Raja. The concept is that a hot headed Afridi is practicing in the nets and is getting bowled on every ball. Ramiz Raja asks him to cool down and hands him a bottle of Head & Shoulders. Just after one hair wash, Afridi has cooled down to the extent that he can actually block a ball. Other cricketers celebrate an occasional sixer, but Afridi – for whom sixers are as commonplace as dot balls – actually celebrates successfully blocking a ball. The TVC, though kinda lame, is still bearable. It is the radio commercial that drives you crazy.
The radio commercial features Ramiz Raja in his real life role of a cricket commentator. He is talking about how Afridi is getting beaten by the ball all the time. The copy that follows is so gigantically fucked up, it’s unbelievable. It goes something like:  
“Drinks break shuru hua, aur yeh kya, Afridi ne pani ki jagah Head & Shoulders ki bottle mangwai aur waheen ground mein apna sar dhona shuru kar diya, ab Afridi cool ho gaye aur unhon ne buhat hi achi tarah ball ko rok liya. Is baat pe poora ground ek sath chilla utha – Afridi cool cool.”
I mean seriously? 
Who wrote that copy and the more important question is who approved that copy?  Can you seriously imagine Afridi washing his hair in the middle of a cricket ground during drinks break? You realize what kind of havoc a scene like that would wreak? All the ladies – and quite a few men – would break all the cordons and battle the security to get up close and personal with the erstwhile skipper. They would also want to lend him a hand or two, to wash his hair, to hold the bottle of shampoo and the water bucket (I am assuming that Afridi would need a bucket of water to rinse off that shampoo). What I find most disconcerting is that no one else seems to be disturbed by a radio commercial as crazy as this one. 
Another important question that needs to be answered is who, in the God’s name, is handling Afridi’s commercial endorsements? Anyone who allows our beloved Lala to feature in TVCs as lame as this one should either be lobotomized or banished to the deep dark dungeons.
PS: It’s a Saatchi & Saatchi advert. If anyone of my readers knows people in either Saatchi & Saatchi or P&G, make them read my post and tell them how awful their effort is. If anyone of you knows Shahid Afridi, ask him to hire me as his image manager, coz I am the best person for the job.
Aug 11, 2011 - Shahid Afridi    28 Comments

Would Fashionistas against Taliban approve?

Earlier this year, Shahid Afridi (yes the former captain of the national cricket team and part time clothing retailer) announced the launch of ladies clothing line. Earlier this month he launchedhis label Widyaan and now he is out with it. 
Looks like the lable is not the only thing he is launching, he is also launching an ideology to go with it.  

This leaves me with a lot of questions. Would Lala be providing the buyers with free matching niqabs to go with the clothes? Would real housewives of Karachi don the niqab with the designer clothing? Would Junaid Jamshed regret not using this idea for his own line? Would FAT approve and support this campaign? 
Apr 1, 2011 - Shahid Afridi    17 Comments

Overheard in Islamabad

Yes, it’s been over a day and I am still going through the cricket hangover. I won’t go into the result or what might have happened if we did this or that. I just want to share a couple of gems that I overheard in the match screening I went to on March 30th.

When Sehwag was clinically decimating every Umar Gul Delivery, the guy sitting in front of me goes:

“I now get why Indians are winning. They have so many gods to listen to all the prayers, humaray ek Allah mian cannot listen to everyone’s prayers.”

If there ever was a case for not believing, it was one.

The next gem came from an uncle after Wahab Riaz’s five wicket haul:

“Larkey ne apnay jacket pe lagay sab dagh dho diye. ” (I think he was referring to that Mazhar Majeed jacket)

When Hafeez threw his wicket away, a teenage boy swore like a drug dealer from Bronx and said:

“is shot se tau saaf pata lag raha hai ke Misbah ka fan hai”

After Umar akmal’s wicket fell one lady goes:

“Hai Allah, ab Afridi kaheen tension mein bat hi na chaba dalay.”


Bromances and brokeback !

So Cricinfo tweeted this photo with a “So much love in the Pakistan team” caption earlier today.

and the Pakistani twitteratti responded with this photo saying what about this one?

Pakistani tweeples thought that the picture with Ajmal and Akhtar was more bromance whereas the one with Sachin and Sehwag was more … errr. Brokeback. 
I asked people to come up with captions and here are some of the more interesting ones.
@shiringul “if I lose my head, it’s your ass on the line!”
@a_bong “I got your back …”
@ammaryasir   Sehwag: “Pedicure?” Tendulkar: “Ahaa, usual preparation for the big match against Pak”
@absarshah   ‘Sucking the marrow out of life”
@kamranbukhari   “Ass, gas or grass, nobody rides for free”
@alexpressed “baout yaraana lagta ay!”
@fayyazahmed  Tendulkar: “Cover my behind, will ya?”
@Ahmad_Malik  “After an intense batting session, Sehwag helped Sachin take care of his guard problems.”
@Zonk_D  Sehwag “I got your back ! ” Sachin – “only if you keep your head in right place ” ; )
Haya Fatima came up with “Bum chick chick bum, bum, bum chick chick bum!!”
Nabeel Zuberi came up with “Turn over and do it the Afridi way, Viru.”
Ibrahim Muhammed Khalil gets a special mention for double submissions along with Aneela Z Babar.
Ibrahim came up with “jin pe takya hay, wohi hawa daynay lagay” and “CYA – Cover your Ass”
And @AneelaBabar  came up with gems like “The Butt stops here” and “Haseena Atom Bum Part 2”
And winner is @amna_kaleem  who came up with this sterling line “Who needs a shoulder when you have Sachin’s bum to lean on.”
Here are some other caption worthy pictures. 
Defying gravity?

An India Pakistan game can make Service Cheetah go all witty

Arrrggghhh! enough with the lecture already…

Somebody get me out of here

Orange is the new black

bach ke jayega tu kahan

To borrow a line from Ali Azmat, bum bum phatta 
Audition for High School Musical 4?

Byoz offering prayers, the only one missing is good ol’ Shoiab Akhtar 🙂

Poster boy for liposuction!
Mar 27, 2011 - Shahid Afridi    26 Comments

What’s a pressure cooker, we live in Pakistan

Back in 2006, my friends and I went to National stadium Karachi to see a match between West Indies and Pakistan. Though it had nothing to do with the match, for every Boom Boom poster we’ve made, we made one that said Darryl Hair Sucks. For cricket fans in Pakistan, umpire Darryl Hair was the most despised human being that year. Last year, it was the bookie par excellence Mr. Mazhar Majeed (those who are on twitter and want to tell him personally what a ch**t piece he is can do it here). During this world cup, Pakistan cricket team’s number 1 enemy seems to be Mr. Ian Chappell.
Chappel has had problems with everything; from our idiot of a captain to our team huddle to the celebrations by the same captain. Everything we do seem to rile him up. In addition, he thinks we are not capable of winning the world cup because we cannot beat three teams in a row. Mr Chappell is of the opinion that “Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a much calmer leader than Shahid Afridi” and that India under Dhoni is more capable of taking pressure on than Pakistan under Afridi.

Now don’t get me wrong; I think Dhoni is one of the smartest Indian cricketers and he is one hell of a fighter but things are not as stacked against him as they are against our Lala. Lala lost two of his front line bowlers last year to the spot fixing scandal, he has been playing his home series in places as varied as Dubai and England, he has not played a single game in front of his home crowd since March 2009, but he still managed to galvanize a traditionally fractioned team into a cohesive unit where everyone (barring Kamran Akmal) is doing what they are supposed to do to the best of their abilities. Mind you, he does not even have the human resource that some of our past captains have had at their disposal yet he still managed to get team Pakistan in the last four, something that eluded us in the past two world cups. If this is what idiocy is capable of, then I say bring on some more of the same madness – Lala’s brand of madness. Considering the lives we all live and the battles we all fight everyday for mere survival, I think no one can handle pressure better than a Pakistani and our men in green are just as capable of surviving the pressure cooker in Mohali as anyone else, if not more.
Lala’s brand of madness

The other person who is being booed by Pakistanis, though with a little less intensity, is ICC chief Haroon Lorgat. To say that Pakistanis have been irked by his wish for a fairy tale ending for Sachin Tendulkar would be putting it mildly. Mr Lorgat wishes/believes that India will win the semi final and that Sachin Tendulkar will get to make his 100th century in International cricket in Mubai in front of his home crowd which will be an awesome end to the little master’s career. It seems that ICC chief, who should have been impartial, has actually not been impartial and if his words are to be taken seriously, then the whole tournament is organized not to see which team has performed best, but to provide that fairy tale ending to the Indian cricket team in general and to one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in particular.
Mr Lorgat sucking up to Indians

I wish team Pakistan goes on to win the Semi final and the final so that we can rub it on Mr Lorgat’s face.
Here is wishing the men in green all the good luck, I hope you bring the cup back with you and give us something to smile about.
The idiot who will do the trick
Some awesome men in green

Two is company …

For the first time in a very long time, our cricket team looks united and act like a team – considering the fact that we still have elements like Kakmal, it’s a feat. There is no news of factions or back biting and as rumor has it, all is well in the dressing room. Even the captaincy debate did not turn acrimonious and both Misbah and Afridi praised each other and were willing to play under the other. However, just like the animal kingdom where some animals are more equal than the others, there are some relationships which are stronger than the others.

Of late, Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi seem inseparable. Had they been teenage girls, they would have been certified BFFs. But the very obvious regard they have for each other is very endearing – at least to their fans.

Shoaib Akhtar cannot refuse when Lala calls for him

Akhtar thinks that he and Afridi are the two sartorial wonders in the team

and here is some pictorial evidence

If we were not totally smitten by these two, this one would come across as an odd one.

Back in the day when both Lala and Akhtar were part of the test squads

Akhtar: Not now Fawad, this is between me and Lala

Let’s see who roars more ferociously

Is Lala checking out Akhtar’s ass?

Two is company, three is crowd.

Yeh Dosti, hum naheen chorain gay