Tagged with " Humour"
Jan 1, 2010 - rant    31 Comments

New Year Facebook status updates from hell

As soon as we are done with Christmas, emails, text messages and general announcements regarding the impending end of the year start appearing on social networking sites, wishing no one in particular. 

There are those who want to sound philosophical and super intellectual and they would use words like existentialism and nihilism in their facebook status updates. One such update goes something like this:

This whole New Year business is just another reaffirmation of the inherent nihilism of our existence. Suddenly whats important is the launch of a new set of an arbitrary number of days, at an arbitrary moment in time initially chosen by an arbitrary group of people, an arbitrary number of years ago. Great going mankind.

WTF? Does anyone even bother reading stuff like this after the first line?

Then there are those who want the rest of us to know that they live in cooler places and actually have a life. Their status updates would be something like:

Having the time of my life at Sydney Harbour Bridge, yeayyyy!!!!


Happy new year to you all from snowy NYC!!!

Notice that such messages are followed by multiple exclamation marks, as if living in New York is exclamation worthy or a snowy NYC in December is a sign of wonder. 

There are some who just want to sound enigmatic or contradictory or both and they would write something along the lines of:

Happy New Year. We live in shitty times.


Looking back with gratitude, looking forward with hope.

I find such statuses most annoying. Gratitude for what? Hope for what? The sooner we lose hope and come to terms with the fact that life is gallactically fucked up, the better it is for the sanity of the society in general and for the cyber dwelling facebooking cynics like me in particular.

Apart from the dreamy or intellectual ones, there are some practical types. They don’t wish for world peace — they know it is unattainable — they only want prosperity and opportunity for their loved ones. One such message that I saw last night goes something like:

Happy new year to all my friends and family members. May this year bring us lots of wealth, prosperity and opportunities in our life (Aameen)

And last but not the least is the super cheery ones. They are so happy, they can make you go blind with optimism and turn anyone normal into a homicidal maniac with their glee. Check this one out:

— is wishing everyone an Extremely Happy New Year 2010! May we all lose our belly fat and unsightly pimples, get gorgeous hair and hefty pay-raises and may the wrath of the Almighty fall upon anyone who looks prettier than us in group photographs. Amen! xXx

What is wrong with this person? Why is she so happy over a bloody new year? Did she win a Pulitzer Prize, or an Oscar? Has she spoken with Kurt Cobain’s ghost who told her about a huge stash of heroine that he had hidden back in 1990 and is now worth millions? Did she sign a million dollar book deal? Has she shacked up with Prince William or did she win a fucking lottery? 
We are finally here, in 2010 and we shall be here for another 12 months. Can we get it done and over with New Year messages please?

Update: The number of people ended up on my post looking for best new year facebook status updates is astounding. Facebook apparently rules.

Oct 19, 2009 - sarcasm    27 Comments

Reading ‘The News’ is more painful than a visit to the dentist…


Reading newspapers in today’s Pakistan is an ordeal. All you get to read is news about bombings, acts of terrorism and gang rapes which is traumatic at best. But what gets you even more nauseous is reporting done in bad taste and almost non existing editing. The News International was never a great newspaper to begin with, but of late, their standards have reached a new low.

Apart from printing bat shit crazy assed & and downright offensive opinion pieces by Dr A. Q. Khan, they have previously published news about Singer Humaira Arshad’s visit to Punjab’s CM House and how a political party will hold a meeting on September 33 – yes you read it right – September 33. The funny thing is that this news item was published back in September but no one bothered to correct it.

Today’s ‘The News’ was no exception. A report published about the launch of Namal Knowledge City by PTI Chief Imran Khan described his house as a citadel (I think it was the new word that particular reporter recently learned). Among other things, reporter was at pains to point out that Imran Khan did not use the word former while talking about his ex wife and how people gossiped about it.

“Imran Khan revealed that his wife had declined to send his children to the function for security reasons. The guests whispered when he did not use the word ‘former’ while referring to his wife.”

While the whole world, his wife and his assorted animals know that the total amount of aid that would come to Pakistan through the now infamous Kerry Lugar Bill is $7.5 billion, The news editors got a bit carried away and decided to replace the decimal between 7 & 5 with a zero making the amount a whopping $705 billion. I just hope that American tax payers are willing to shell out that kind of money.

The bat shit crazy assed QUOTE OF THE DAY came from former CM of NWFP Mohammed Akram Durrani who says that with assistance in form of Kerry Lugar Bill – or KLB as it is affectionately termed by the local media – the United States is trying to start a civil war in Pakistan by the year 2010. What the fuck does he mean by 2010? What are we doing right now? I thought we are already in a war like situation where 30,000 troops are carrying a massive operation in the North West Border region

Following it closely is the other super crazy quote came from former information minister Muhammed Ali Durrani who believes that “the tabling of the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in parliament was a vicious attempt to divert the attention of the nation from the ‘anti-Pakistan’ Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) and this attempt would be foiled by the vigilant media and political parties.” I just hope to God that he was not referring to his own party – PML Q – as one of those vigilant parties.

PS: I actually read the newspaper while waiting at the dentist’s. So miffed I was with The News that after I came back, I tracked all the news that I remembered and linked it to this post. Reading it was definitely more painful than scaling, really.

PPS: If possible, the epaper header has even more atrocious English.

Oct 18, 2009 - sarcasm    10 Comments

Happily ever after … in 140 characters

Love is when you tweet your feelings … in 140 characters …
Pakistanis and those who are living in Pakistan – even those who are here for a few short months – treat twitter like MIRC of the bygone era. They may not ask you A/S/L but they do use it as a place to practice romance and/or pick up prospective partners.

I have been witnessing an exchange between two people who, for the lack of better word, seem quite interested in each other on twitter. She regularly tweets to him about what’s on the telly, the food she cooked, her yoga classes and her writing progress. He tweets about his work, life and the booty his bootlegger has brought for him in Islamabad (In case you are wondering, we do not live in prohibition era USA but in Pakistan, you cant just go to a pub and order a pint of lager or hop over to you the off license near you and get that six pack of Heineken, alcohol is illegal and you gotta get it through a bootlegger).

I am not sure how this love story is gonna wok out but here is to sincerely hoping that they live happily ever after … in 140 characters.

Sep 26, 2009 - Uncategorized    31 Comments

The tall and short of …

The tall and short of world leaders….

President and Michelle Obama with Madhav Kumar Nepal, prime minister of Nepal and his wife, Gayatri

President and Michelle Obama with Anifah bin Haji Aman, minister of foreign affairs for Malaysia and his wife, Siti Rubiah Abdulsamad

President and Michelle Obama with Paul Biya, president of Cameroon and his wife, Chantal. With a name and hairdo like that, Chantal, I believe would be more at home as a Las Vegas showgirl…

Last but not the least is our very own Asif Ali Zardari, the caption at the Guardian said “President of Pakistan and widower of Benazir Bhutto.” I am actually surprised that he was not holding a picture of BB in his hands.

You can see rest of the pictures here

Sep 24, 2009 - TTP    30 Comments

Pakistan’s next super model?

Is it just me or have other people noticed that members of Tehreek-e-Talibaan, Pakistan generally have wonderful dark locks to go with their warrior persona. I don’t know what the brand managers of Clear Shampoo and Head & Shoulders and Pantene proV are doing, but if anyone of them is doing their job right, they must sign the whole executive council of Tehreek-e-Talibaan. Hakimullah Mehsud not only has the locks, but he also has the looks of a super model. P&G and Unilever should be in a race to sign Mr. Mehsud as the next brand ambassador for their respective brands of shampoo, imagine how big a market he would open for them – the whole jihadi segment of the society. And if he declares his chosen shampoo, The Halal Shampoo, then lo and behold, the sales will skyrocket and hit the roof.

Anyone ready to sign on the poster boy for jihad as the next super model?

Hakimullah Mehsud, Pakistan’s next super model?

Sep 13, 2009 - Uncategorized    19 Comments

Is swine flu haraam?

Amna: Tazeen, Is swine flu haraam?

Tazeen: depends … see, if it is contracted through a halal source … then it is Halal, but if it is contracted through a haram source then you know what it is …

Amna: Well the Dutch search engine may not acknowledge your contribution, but you do know your halal from haraam.

Tazeen: *blushes*

Sep 8, 2009 - sarcasm    43 Comments

…and the halalness saga continues …

Honestly, I never thought that my blog posts would be taken seriously by anyone, let alone makers of a halal search engine.
A few weeks back, PTI reviewed one of my previous posts about a halal browser and commented that although the post was in good humour, it was taken very seriously by the more pious readers. That report was carried by Pune Mirror, Yahoo India and The American Conservative to name a few.

A Dutch company came up with a halal search engine (If there exists a Halal browser, please enlighten me about it) with help of which Muslims will be able to surf the internet without the fear of accidentally encountering sinful material. The site is called www.iamhalal.com and comes with the tagline; I search halal, I am halal (wonder what does that make a bonafide google worshiper like me).

Now, I am not a narcissist nutcase who believes that the whole world is copying her but these guys totally stole my idea of three levels of halalness – or rather haramness.

If you type a word that is deemed inappropriate by the search engine, you will be warned in 3 levels of haram.
A query for the term “Suicide bombings” is considered level 1 haram and came with this warning.
Oops! Your search inquiry has a Haram level of 1 out of 3. This means that the results fetched by ImHalal.com could be haram!

The word “Sex” was deemed level 2 Haram. The warning for it goes something like this:

Oops! Your search inquiry has a Haram level of 2 out of 3. This means that the results fetched by ImHalal.com could be haram!

Searching a word like “Fornication” would put the search engine on red alert (literally) and the warning would come in red letters.

Oops! Your search inquiry has a Haram level of 3 out of 3! I would like to advise you to change your search terms and try again

Honestly, this search engine is in a bad taste. Words like love, kissing and Nazi are level 1 haram and words like gay, lesbian and sexy are level 3 haram but words like fascism, nigger, molester, murder and torture are totally halal.

What kind of weird world we live in where adult Muslims would actively seek an internet nanny to filter stuff for them!

Aug 12, 2009 - Society    20 Comments

Cheesy chutzpah

One of my favourite objects to photograph are the promotional banners of Pakistani films. This picture that I am pasting here is an artistic gem. This is the poster of a film called ‘Piyasa Badan’ which literally translates to ‘thirsty body’. However, it actually means longing for physical love (readers are welcome to contribute with more appropriate translations).

The closer shot shows the hero taking a girl’s clothes off and in typical Pakistani hypocritical manner; the bare back is censored with a super imposed image of the hero and his paramour in a loving, but clothed embrace. The billboard can display a film called Piyasa Badan, which I am sure has dialogues straight from the gutter but a bare back needs to be covered up because it has the potential of wreaking havoc with the faith of pious men who throng the Electronic market in Karachi (That’s where the cinema is situated).

The clip below is something I recently found on youtube and boy, what a find it is. Sung by Naheed Akhtar, this is perhaps the naughtiest song that ever came out of Pakistan’s now defunct film industry. The Urdu version – very PG 13 – was part of Pakistani film Kora Kaghaz.

Before anyone says that it is a trashy song and does not represent the Islamic Emirate/Fiefdom of Pakistan, I would like to state that it perhaps represents the desires of a lot of Khawateen digest reading teen aged girls across Pakistan who starts dreaming about their knight in shinning armour even before they attain puberty. Lines like “I don’t know dancing and singing, but I can’t say no to my darling, make me a partner in loving, I want to be a wife” symbolizes the aspirations of all those girls and perhaps represents the dreams of more Pakistanis than the erstwhile PPP slogan of Roti, Kapra aur Makan.

The naughtiness quotient goes a little up in second half and retells the longing for loving. Lines such as “I want love, give love my sweetie, interest me, I am love thirsty, what you want, I will do, it will be my duty,” not only promise sex in abundance, they also ensure complete submission to the almighty man.

I fail to understand why Lahore High Court banned Naseebo Lal for singing suggestive songs when Naheed Akhtar has already created history with “Some say I am sweetie.”

Jul 7, 2009 - published work    29 Comments

Three cheers for halal ness.

Damn the Jews!

They have beaten the more pious Muslim brothers to it again. A new ‘kosher’ search engine called Koogle has been launched for orthodox Jews living in Israel, which will allow them to surf cyberspace without ever encountering unbecoming images or faith wavering text and keep the dangers of subversion and temptation at bay. Koogle will follow the religious standards set by the rabbis and is aimed at helping orthodox Jews stay on the stipulated path.

Apparently a jibe at Google, Koogle will filter out forbidden material and provide its consumers kosher bits and pieces from the net. This provides an impetus to our more religious-minded Muslim brothers to come up with a halal search engine or perhaps something even better: a halal browser. The halal browser could scan the web and act all big brotherly for the benefit of its devout and virtuous users.

Ideally, the halal browser will check out the halal quotient of the content in cyberspace. The browser could also label web content according to different levels of halalness. The varying degrees of halalness could range from barely halal to standard halal and extra or strictly halal and everything in between.

The barely halal version will only let the user know that there is dangerous content ahead and warn that if you want to keep your faith intact, browse no further. The standard halal version will not only warn you about dangerous content ahead, but will also distort the appearance of the browser and scream ‘haram haram!’ Anyone with even a remnant of faith will cease browsing non-halal content and will revert to halal content. The reward for clicking along the righteous path would be Ovais Qadri naats in the background.

Meanwhile, the strictly halal version will not just warn you about unsuitable content; instead, it will just obstruct the material deemed inappropriate by the maulanas. For instance, if you are on Facebook or blogging to your heart’s desire and you see adverts with a semi-nude woman with a lollipop (and let’s just admit it, a woman with a lollipop is the ultimate test of your faith) asking you to buy this or that, fear no more. The new and improved halal browser, equipped with halal firewall, will take care of it for you. You can look forward to a situation in which only totally halal adverts for items such as halal chicken, halal chips, halal banking and Umrah tours pop on your browser.

If you are an online shopper and have indulged in shopping taboo items in the past, the new and improved halal browser will even curb your enthusiasm for all things forbidden and halt your purchase before you set up your Paypal account.

The only problem is that we do not have this halal browser right now. For a religious minded businessman, it is the best opportunity since halal foods and Shariah-compliant banking make some solid dough. If Junaid Jamshed is done with modeling for a commercial in the guise of public service message, which, let’s be honest, is really a fatwa in favour of a commercial product, he can now invest to develop the first-ever Shariah compliant halal browser.

Of course, if you were already using the halal browser, this blog would have been blocked at the get-go.

Originally written for Dawn

PS: Please read the comments at the Dawn blog, you will want to bang your head against a wall.

Jun 11, 2009 - quirky    31 Comments

Gaddafi on a mission to meet 700 Italian women

Separately, Silvio Berlusconi and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi are about as coo coo crazy as it gets, but when you put them together, its gets beyond wacky and enters into realm of subliminally nutty.

Colonel Muammer Gaddafi, who is responsible for keeping a company or two of jet black hair dyes in business, is now touring Italy, the land of Pizzas, Pasta and Silvio Berlusconi. Apart from being the dictator par excellence – he has been ruling Libya for a good forty years now – his claim to fame is that he employ young women as his bodyguard (he has male guards too but leaves them home when he travels abroad to look cool) and erects a tent to sleep in wherever he go.

During his recent trip to Italy, the crackpot dictator personally requested to meet 700 women from the world of ‘politics, industry and culture’. Now how he came about that particular number is something I will never know, but Zoe Williams at Guardian speculates about the selection procedure of those who get to meet the Libyan leader. She believes that “Berlusconi must have gotten down his Bumper Catalog of Hot Stuff, got rid of any that were over 25, discarded those with a loud voice or body hair, and whittled down the rest by ballot until he got to 1,000.” I don’t know how the final 700 were selected.

Among those who get to shake it with the tent pitching nomadic leader, Italy’s Minister for Equal Opportunities Mara Carfagna is at the forefront. Minister Carfagna claim to fame is that she is a former topless model and has been the subject of public flirting by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Before we debate the peculiarity and creep quotient of the request and Berlusconi government’s proclivity to entertain weird demands of the foreign dignitaries, let me remind you that it is not the first time such a request was made and entertained. Apparently, a similar request was made during his trip to Paris a couple of years back where he met with 1000 Parisian women, who were told he wanted to “save European women.” He was not very clear on what he wanted to save them from, though.

If anyone thinks I have seen some crazy ass political satire and soft porn last night and mixing the two here, let me remind you that truth is stranger than fiction almost all the time.

Gaddafi in all his hair dyed glory