Tagged with " Humour"
Jun 30, 2008 - published work    No Comments

Slanging it !!!

Something I wrote for Aagahi that got published on June 28th 2008

Every birthday I ask myself if I really feel older or not. If you ask me, I have not felt older since I turned 15 probably because I did all my growing up by then and refuse to grow any older since. But I am feeling particularly ancient of late, and I was wondering why?

The reason is that I mostly don’t get the new slang that is being used the youngsters. Slang is an informal non standard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech. If I sit in their company for long, I do not get half the things they say and feel like a fish out of water. I was just recently admonished for not ‘Checking my vitals regularly’ by my teenage cousin and I laughed and asked if I look ill enough to get them constantly monitored (In layman terms, getting your vitals checked means getting your sugar level, pulse, blood pressure level and temperature checked). I was given ‘the look’ which basically says, “oh you are sooooooooo last century.” I was later told that checking you vitals meant checking your email, myspace, facebook and what not.

Now that the summer is here and everyone is planning vacations, one of my friends asked her colleague if he is going anywhere this year and he said that he is taking a ‘staycation’ this year. When she asked what a staycation is, she was told that a staycation is vacation that is spent in one’s hometown and exploring things around that area. Although what he will explore in Karachi is beyond my comprehension.

Chatspeak is something that I do find a tad hard to grasp at times. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a total novice, I know what a LMAO, muah, ROFL (do you guys seriously do this?) WTF means. It is the new chatspeak that emerge everyday that I find hard to keep up with. I recently heard a few new ones. One is TWSS which means ‘That’s what she said’ and IDGI which translates to ‘I don’t get it‘. Every one of us is familiar with a LOL which means laughing out aloud (honestly, LOL has been overused in chat conversations to a point where no one laughs out loud when they say it. What gets my goat more is LOLSSS that are even more liberally used). A newer term that has graced the chatspeak is LQTM, which means ‘Laughing quietly to myself’. According to urban dictionary, a website that stores slangs from across the English speaking world, says that LQTM is a more accurate representation of the human response to funny things seen on the web. This is such a widespread phenomenon that there is a website called www.transl8it.com that actually translate the chatspeak or txtspeak into normal comprehension able English.

Changing lifestyles also means that people are using newer slangs. One of my recent favorite ones is ‘bricked’. Bricked is used when one tempers with any electronic gadget to such an extent that it becomes useless. Bricking your hardware means that you are left with new and at times too big a paperweight. Next time you ruin your computer while trying to boot some fancy software, you can safely say that you have ‘bricked’ it.
Another slang I found quite funny is ‘nillionaire’. A nillionaire is a person who looks quite fancy without any money of his own. This person has either rich parents, or rich spouse or a sugar daddy who will take care of things but the personal bank account is nil, hence the term ‘nillionaire’. All of us get at least ten offers a month from various banks offering us a variety of loans and investment options. A new slang for such an invite is invitation for debt.

So if you want to stay hip and cool and young forever, stay in with the latest slangs, you will never feel old.

Jun 13, 2008 - Uncategorized    1 Comment

Monkey business



Some serious monkey time in Ayubia : ) ….

…. and a slightly more evolved version.

.

Jun 10, 2008 - Uncategorized    14 Comments

Lyrics that shake the world

My recent exposure to Punjabi filmi music has left me asking, rather gasping, for more. First I saw this song on one of the numerous tv channels from a Punjabi film called ‘Sooha Jora’, where an actress was gyrating over a rotating bed (manji in Punjabi) with an actor who had an AK47 (Kalashnikov) in his hands and was looking at the gun with a lot more love and affection than the heroine. Poor woman was writhing, twisting, gyrating, spinning and rotating in every possible direction but it was not having much effect on our ‘man of steel’.

The lyric of the song goes something like this (I apologize if I end up massacring Punjabi language, but this is what I could have gathered in just one listening)

maine tainon pani naheen puchiya tay toon dudh lay le

meri long teri manji vich gawach gayee tay

main teri manji vich teen teen ratan labh dee phiran

These lines loosely translate to “I am sorry I did not ask you for water but you can try milk if you want to, my nose pin got lost in your bed and here I am in your bed for the past three days looking for that nose pin.”

The booty that the heroine shook while she was looking for that nose pin in that suggestively ruffled bed in yellow silk lacha can actually shake the universe. If you happen to see such an amazing display of dancing skills, where every part of the body was moving in a different direction, I am sure it will put you off dancing, sex and meat for the rest of your life.

As if this was not enough, I was sent a 35 second audio clip by Summaiyya which goes …

Naya Kalashnikov, nishana daz daz vaj da

Jidon main nachniya yar, tay mujra taan sajda

(New Kalashnikov makes crackling sound

and the mujra will only sparkle if I dance)

I have looked online for the full song but could not find it as I neither know the name of the film or the singer, if anyone happen to have this song or any such gem please share them with me, I was not aware of such poetic treasures that are being produced in Pakistan…

PS: This post does not intend to insult any language or culture, I only want to listen to more such songs, i know, i have a fabulous taste in music.

Jun 9, 2008 - published work    1 Comment

What’s with wit?


One can act intelligent or pretend to be serious and get away with it but one can never pretend to be witty. I had always harbored a desire to possess wit, having always been impressed by those individuals who can keep people enthralled with the sheer wit of their words. People who throw casual one-liners with an almost regal air have always had a profound impact on me. I, and thousand others who are a little slow, always think of a million witty rejoinders three days after somebody has had a laugh at their expense. One morning I woke up and vowed to be as witty as any one else. I decided to work really hard at it. Needless to say that this declaration came after a particularly humbling experience.

My journey to becoming a great wit wasn’t paying off and was filled with one obstacle after another. Whenever I made any comment which I thought to be witty, my mother castigated me to no end about propriety and etiquette. She had an idea how teenage girls should behave and she was not happy at all with a smart ass motor mouth of a daughter. One day I was singing (read screaming) along with Madonna in my room thinking myself as the new pop sensation, when my sister came in, lowered the volume and said: “What will the neighbours think?” I responded, “If they could think, they wouldn’t live next to us.” She went straight to our mother and I was told to be more respectful of elders.

I distinctly remember the time when I was busy watching a lousy soap the night before my calculus test: my mother was threatening me of dire consequences if I didn’t go to my room and study for the test. “I don’t know what I am going to do with you,” she wailed. I switched off the TV and languidly said: “Try leaving me alone and see if it works.” Needless to say my mother did everything but leave me alone for the next three months. Another attempt at wit proved futile.

Although I think I have grown well into my sarcastic persona, (at least in my own estimation), my endeavors at wit continue to fail. Once my ex-boss stormed into my cubicle and said: “I gave you a simple task and you couldn’t even do it.” I shrugged and said: “That’s because I am not simple like you.” That obviously was the last day at that particular job and I have wizened up since.

I think I am yet to muster enough savoir-faire to say things and get away with them. I am still working on my poise. So far my finest hour has been my response to a former colleague who was curious about my age and asked when I would turn 25 and I replied: “When I am all done with being 24.”

This is an extract of an old article of mine that was published in Dawn about half a century ago and I just noticed it on someone else’s blog.

Jun 3, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Airport blues … continue….

If I ever end up becoming a person famous enough to write an autobiography (I know I can’t but what is the harm in imagining), a major part will be about the time I have spent at the airports across the globe. Not only most of the times, my flight is off schedule, I get to meet the most annoying, weird and down right stupid people on the planet at the airports.

On my way to Isloo last week, I saw an assorted variety at the Karachi airport. While getting my hand bang stamped from airport security people (it happens in Pakistan alone, at least I don’t see this practice in the West) I saw a couple of women teetering over unrealistically high heels and screaming at the security staff, their children and their respective maids in no particular order. One of them was on a 5 inch high heels, designer hijab and two inch thick layer of make-up. She had 4 children aged between 6 – 12. The poor maid who was not only holding the youngest baby and two bags also had to suffer the indignity of being shouted at by the oldest brat because she had put the boarding card in one of the bags and was holding up the queue. Mommy dearest had parked her ample self in one of the chairs and showed no interest in either taking care of the children or admonishing them for being publicly rude. The other mom in high heels kept on writing text messages to someone and had two Philippino maids to take care of her twin daughters. When another woman commented on how beautiful her two little girls were, she gave her a blank look and then volunteered with the most personal information. “Really, but I am not having any more babies, they are smelly and loud,” said the ever-texting-cellphone-addicted young mom. Ek tau I don’t get the Philippino maid/nanny fad that has engulfed everyone with two extra pennies. First of all, they are not trained nannies. Most of them are from the rural part of the country with dubious hygiene and barely there English language skills. Secondly, if one has to hire untrained rural nannies, then what is wrong with the local Pakistani ones who at least know the language, but I digress.

I got up and went to one of the free internet kiosks run by Wateen telecom and saw what was probably the filthiest key board I ever laid my eyes on. I admit, it is quite admirable to offer free internet services to weary travellers, but it would be even nicer if the key boards are wiped once in a while with some disinfectants to save the same weary travellers from contracting unmentionable diseases.

While debating the hygienic risks of actually touching the keyboard, I heard the announcement that my flight is delayed by an hour – in incorrect English, off course. Crushed as I was by the delay, I decided to look for the most deserted little corner, but ran into the most unpleasant gay man in Pakistan. My friends, who are familiar with the ordeals I faced in my Iran Yatra, would be familiar with the gay character I am talking about. He is a crew member with the national airline and moonlights as an actor if anyone is stupid/demented enough to cast him. He is a diva from the dark side and had made my time in Iran a pure fucking hell. I decided not to notice him and ran to Costa coffee which is tucked in the farthest corner of the departure lounge. He followed me to Costa and kept on preening like a beauty queen (i believe he was sticking his imaginary boobs out). He was meeting and greeting all the PIA people at the airport with fake loud cheers and artificially jovial camaraderie to get noticed by me. I decided that it was time I pull my iPod out of my bag and doze off. You have no idea how my regard for the genius of Steve Jobs rises every time I snub an idiot with my iPod. Here is to Mr. Jobs.

PS: My five loyal readers who missed me while I was away, thanks a lot for missing me, I missed you guys as well.

May 23, 2008 - Society    No Comments

Happy and gay

Someone, lets call him ‘J’, recently asked me if I have any gay friends. After going over all my current friends, I had to relent that I have no gay friends. I mean I had a couple of really cool friends back in university who also happened to be gay and I have worked with gay people (one of my former bosses was gay, although no one is Pakistan ever comes out of closet and admits it) in the past. Perhaps Begum Nawazish Ali was the only exception who openly claimed to be an icon for gays, cross dressers and all things un straight but even he seems to be mending his ways and is now looking for a dulhaniya very actively. Yes, there are a people or two who I suspect are off the ‘straight and narrow’ path but as they still are in the closet, I cannot claim to have friends who are happy and gay.

Anyways, when I asked J why was he interested in my supposedly gay friends, he said (no, I am not joking) that he always wanted to have gay friends because it will add diversity in his group of friends and acquaintances. He actually believed that being a social misfit that I am, I must have had a friend who goes the ‘other way’.

I was truly intrigued with this idea. Do people actually seek out gay friends so that can claim to be open minded and cool? There was just one way of finding out so I wrote to this friend of mine (from university) and asked him if he is ‘oh so popular because he is gay’.

He said that he would hate to think that he is only popular because he is gay – and he is popular – but whenever he meets a new set of people, they do gather around him and ask really stupid questions. People have asked him everything from the most obvious one ‘when did you find out you were gay’ to relatively personal one ‘How do you know you’re really gay if you’ve never been with a woman?’ to extremely personal one such as ‘how do you feel when ^&(*&*#$ and @%#@$%* and *@$%$’. Mind you, my friend is a Greek man who lives in Chicago, Illinois, imagine this conversation in a desi set up with two aunties frowning up on you for socializing with the spawn of heathens. That sure as hell will spook the living day lights out of you.

One of the reasons my gay friend pointed out which adds to the popularity of gay people is that if they ever make a pass at straight people, it would give the straight people fodder for a party story for the rest of their lives that how they are so irresistible that people of the same sex make passes at them.

What about you guys? Do you actively seek out gay friends? And girls, do you all want a ‘Will’ to your ‘Grace’? And gays, do you guys really get bombarded with weird queries?

May 20, 2008 - Uncategorized    2 Comments

Bushwhacked!

I met a couple last night for the first time. They both live in Dubai and apparently are having a whale of a time there. Hubby works for Acer – the computer manufacturers – and the wife works for one of the fancy hotels that abound the desert emirate. After talking about their glorious life non stop, they thought it was polite to ask me about my life, in general and my work in particular.

Hubby: So what do you do?

Me: I am into publishing but I work in non-profit sector, I …..

Hubby: (interrupted me with a saucer eyed look which basically said, WHY?) But didn’t you go abroad for your degree or something?

Me: (not knowing what it has got anything to do with my work and his knee jerk reaction) ummm yes, I did.

Wife: So why did you choose to work for an NPO?

Me: I don’t know. I am a policy analyst by training so apart from government (Which repeatedly rejected my attempts at getting a job there – I was even told by a man in one of the government departments that I am overqualified and over enthusiastic about my work to make a go at it in the power corridors of Islamabad), I can work in a research institute or organizations that work for people.

Wife: So how much money do you make working for an NPO, do you make much?

Me: (visibly uncomfortable, because no one knows how much money I make, not even my dad, in fact even I don’t know how much I make because my income tax deductions vary every month depending on my fuel consumption) …. Ummm I make enough money to pay my way around.

Wife: But that’s not enough na, you want more from life, naheen?

Me: Do I? I guess if I had more money I would have traveled a bit more but I like what I do and I …

Hubby: (cutting me short) But wouldn’t a foreign degree equip you for a job in a multi-national?

Me: I don’t know, I never applied in a multi-national, probably because …

Hubby: (Interrupted me yet again) But why?

Me: I don’t know, I guess thats not who I am.

Hubby: That’s rubbish. You are qualified and you should be able to get a decent job in a multi national. What are your strengths?

Me: (with sugar coated sarcastic smile) I have a lot of patience; I tolerate bad behaviour and stupidity.

Wife: that’s not good enough, we will have to bluff.

Me: Bluff? Bluff who?

(They started talking about me as if i am deaf and mute and cant really understand what they are on about)

Wife: She is tall and presentable and has a really nice voice; I guess she can be good in PR.

Hubby: Yeah, or may be promotions (Honestly, I don’t even know what they do in promotions).

Me: Excuse me, what are you talking about.

Hubby: Don’t ruin your life here, come to Dubai, we will set you up in decent job where you can make some money and live a comfortable life.

Me: But I do live a comfortable life and I don’t like Dubai.

Hubby: Nonsense. Everyone likes Dubai.

Wife: (hands me her business card) Send me your resume and I will set you up with a few people I know. I am sure we can work something out in Dubai.

Me: Dubai? Who is going to Dubai?

Hubby & Wife: (in unison) YOU ARE (and left me feeling bushwhacked).

There is something wrong with me, no other living or breathing person meet characters from hell with this regularity. On another note, if this couple ever have any children, they would be so damaged that no shrink would be able to work his or her magic on them.

May 14, 2008 - travel    1 Comment

The flight from hell – a traveler’s worst nightmare

If there ever was a contest for people who get to sit with worst possible travel mates while flying, I will win the first three positions in that contest, without doubt. On a recent trip to Quetta, I specifically asked for a window seat while checking in. I had not slept the night before and was looking forward for some shut-eye. When I boarded the plane, the gentleman sitting next to my seat looked like the heavy weight version of Hamid Karzai. He was about 188 cms, must have weighed over 300 lbs and with his Karzai like silk robe (in mustard colour) and huge headgear, there hardly was any room left in the adjacent seat for me, or anyone else for that matter. Seeing me trying to fit in that space, my colleague offered to swap seats with me. I readily agreed, which later proved to be one of the gravest mistakes of my life. 

The seats next to mine were empty and I sent a little prayer asking God to let them remain vacant for the next hour and half, but with my luck, it was a given that I would not be spared. Within minutes, a young family of 4 occupied the two seats next to mine. There was a dad, with his son who was about 17-18 months old in another while the mother and her loud 3 years old daughter who tore a copy of Hamsafar, PIA’s in flight magazine, into smithereens within minutes, settled in next to me. I opened my copy of Morgan Spurlock’s “Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden?” that I bought from the airport bookshop. The minute that little girl saw the book, she wanted it. The mother had the audacity to ask me if I will hand my book to her daughter. Seeing what happened to the magazine, I had to be a total nut to hand that kid my book. I politely refused saying that I am reading and cannot give it to her. I then asked the flight attendant if I can change my seat but apparently, the plane was packed and there was not a single vacant seat available and I did not have the nerve to inflict my fellow passengers on anyone else.
Before the take off, the flight attendant came and asked them to split for safety reasons. There were four seats in the row and five oxygen masks, the flight attendant tried his level best to convince them to change seats because the passengers safety is his concern and in case any emergency, there will not be sufficient number of oxygen masks for the people sitting in that particular row. The woman first said that nothing will happen in a 75 minutes flight, when the flight attendant persisted that they must do what they are told, the husband left the seat with the boy and I sighed with relief, but it was extremely short-lived. The little girl started crying for her daddy and the daddy started placating the daughter from the other aisle at the top of his lungs. To tune out their combined commotion, I took my iPod out and started listening to the music. The minute that girl saw my iPod, she stopped bawling and started smiling at me. I ignored. She again said something to me and I decided to keep ignoring her, after all I had the perfect excuse. My ears were plugged in. 

When mummy dearest thought her daughter was being ignored by a fellow passenger, she shook my shoulder and mouthed, “meri beti aap se kuch kehna chah rahee hai.” I had to take my ear phones out and asked her what happened. She asked if I can lend her my ipod as her daughter wanted to listen to music. Aghast that I was at the mother’s cheek, I said that it is not only rude to ask someone for their personal item, it is also unhygienic; I could have had an ear infection, would she expose her daughter to that? She looked at me for a few seconds and then told her daughter, “beta baaji ki music naheen lena, baji ke kaan kharab hain.”

Although my ears were in perfect condition (I did hear her remark despite wearing ear bugs after all ) I decided not to respond to it. 

When the crew served the food, that little girl threw salt, pepper and sugar all over the place. As I am allergic to pepper, I started sneezing like crazy. When I asked the mother – as politely as I could – to control her wild child, she said, “Array bhai bachi hai, isko main kya kahoon.” I asked for a wet towel with which I covered my nose to stop sneezing. She then started screaming for coke and the mother started calling the steward as array bhai zara bachi ko coke tau day dain. The steward was at the other end of the aisle attending to other passengers but the mother couldn’t wait that long. The woman who was sitting on the other side of the disastrous mother daughter duo had to call another steward to shut them up. 

To add insult to the injury, the last 20 minutes of the flight were as turbulent as any flight which eventually lands on ground can be. When I landed in Quetta, I resolved not to board another plane in my lifetime which did not even last for two days as I had to get back home. 

If anyone here thinks that I could not have topped this mother daughter duo, they are so very wrong. On my way back, I sat with an aunty ji who told me her life history, including the fact that she had her first orgasm at the ripe old age of 51 when she divorced her first husband and married her stud of a second husband. She also pointed out that the first husband was a ‘Muhajir’ and the second husband was a ‘Punjabi’, perhaps implying that Muhajir men are less conversant in the ways of loving a woman properly. As I am neither a muhajir man nor a Punjabi one, I decided not to take offense or pride in it and feigned yawns. At least the aunty was decent enough not to pursue with her tales of belatedly found orgasmic delights and left me in peace.

Can anyone top that???

.


May 9, 2008 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Who needs Jerry Springer?

I know I am repeating myself but Nadia Khan Show should come with a rating of at least PG15, if not more.

I caught glimpses of two shows recently and both were conducted in extremely bad taste.

First was with Younus Khan, the cricketer. There was a caller name Asghar who called in that show. He first proclaimed his love for Younus Khan and then asked him to take his name, pyar se! Imagine my reaction. I was eating breakfast and choked on my boiled egg (I know, very difficult to choke on a boiled egg but such was my shock at that request, I choked) and gasped, “Pyar se!!!!!!!” Younus Khan responded with, “Main apka naam tau le laita hoon – Asghar – but I must tell you, I am not that kind of Pathan, I was raised in Karachi.”

Before I could have gotten over this blatant display of homosexual love and YK’s equally blatant snub to that, Nadia Khan asked, in her trade mark extra subtle way, if he has had trouble with Shahid Afridi recently? To this query, YK responded with a resounding yes, there has been an altercation or two between them. However, nothing ever got out of hand. He then gave the reason why it had not happened. Once, they came back to the dressing room after some hot and heavy practice session and YK was lying in a tub of cold water, covered with ice. Apparently, Afridi had said something to flare him up but he did not do anything about it because he was in the tub, naked. His exact words were, “If I had not been totally naked and could have gotten out of the tub, I would have had a serious fight with him.” I was screaming, “This is too much information, I don’t need information about your clothing or lack of it on TV.”

The second show was where Mahleej Sarkari (the woman who became famous by declaring hots for Mushy) and her agent came to the show. Let’s just say that the show was a cheap attempt at getting higher ratings. The whole show was about Nadia Khan acting puritanical virgin who is all “haw hai, ap ne bikini pehen li, sharam naheen aye apko” to Mahleej saying, “Sharam kaisee, I take pride in showing my super fit body” to Nadia khan making faces “Hai Allah besharam kaheen ki” to Mahleej Sarkari’s agent saying “kill all mullahs” to me saying, “Hai Allah Mian Ji, Kithay phasaya jay?” To add insult to the injury, there were callers who were spilling beans about famous Pakistani tv actresses, that they were lesbian lovers who had their romantic pictures taken in Pataya and Phuket. Nadia Khan, in order to fulfill her honest journalistic obligations, insisted that the caller take the name of the two actresses which she promptly did.

Seriously, who needs Jerry Springer when you can watch Nadia Khan Show?

It comes twice a day everyday, especially before going to bed.

May 7, 2008 - quirky    No Comments

Bijli bharee hai meray dung dung mein ….

According to this news report, a pilot project to produce electricity and fertilizer with biogas from the manure of over 400,000 cattle is expected to be up and running by June at the Cattle Colony in Landhi.

In its initial stage, the pilot project will produce 20 KV of electricity and seven tons of fertilizer on a daily basis. A plant has been installed through a public/private partnership, between the City District Government Karachi and a New Zealand-based firm, Empower Consultants Ltd.

The deal to set up a multi-purpose ‘waste-to-energy’ project at an estimated cost of 120 million dollars was signed July 24, 2006. It was agreed that the project would produce manure and natural gas (methane), which would be used as CNG or converted into 30 MW of electricity.

The project has been submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to obtain carbon credits (CC). Under the Kyoto Protocol, every country has to obtain carbon credits, which sets a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted by an industry. If the UNFCCC approves this project, it will produce one million tons of carbon dioxide every year, which will be converted to produce electricity.

Environmental experts have said that after this project becomes functional, environmental standards will also improve for land and marine areas, along with economic and social conditions of residents. Besides this, hundreds of tons of cattle dung will be collected and converted into biogas and 1,400 tons of high-grade organic fertilizer daily. The electricity produced from the methane content of the biogas will either be supplied for local use or be sold to KESC.

Poor cows, they have been supplying milk since time immemorial, now they have to feed into human demand of energy and have to provide the politically correct bio fuel and high performance fertilizers. If this program is successful, then cow dung will become as sought after a commodity as petrol and cows will be singing songs ala Naheed Akhtar soon …

Bijli bharee hai meray meray dung dung main

Jo mujhay chooay ga who jal jaye ga.

``