Originally written for The Express Tribune
|Mukarram Khan Atif in Islamabad|
Yesterday, I participated in a BBC radio program on Tenth anniversary of 9/11 and later attended a session on Granta’s latest issue “Granta 116: Ten Years Later” where events since 9/11 were discussed and how the world has changed in the past decade since 9/11 at Kuch Khaas.
The two really smart people Cyril Almeida and Declan Walsh read passages from the publication and a few not so smart people asked some really dumb questions (one guy actually addressed Mr. Walsh as ‘Decline’).
I am not as smart as the two aforementioned gentlemen and would not try to throw light on events around 9/11, but the world has changed indeed in ways we never thought it would. A decade ago, we used to queue to get autographs of sportsmen and rock stars. We now queue in front of the famous journalists to get our copies signed.
9/11 has turned journalists into the rock stars of the new millennium – at least in our part of the world.
|Declan Walsh signing copies of Granta 116|
|The rock star and the fans|
PS: To all my journo friends, apka number bhi ayega.
PPS: Extremely grateful to QZ for the photographs, I literally stalked her for them
What would we do without the paragon of virtue, Qibla Mufti-e-Azam Hazrat Maulana Ansar Abbasi sahib – the upholder of morality of millions of Pakistanis, the mainstay of the sanctity of the family values of misguided Pakistanis and the defender of the piety of all the citizens?
Because he has an opinion on everything under the sun and his expertise ranges from Kerry Lugar Bill to NRO to Baloach dissent to Altaf Bhai’s embroidered kurtas, it is but natural that he would also dabble in some fashion journalism. But because he does not do it like other run of the mill journos, he would just not report on fashion, nor would he write an investigative report on it, he would comment on the recent fashion week with quotes from Quran and try and tell us how high fashion impacts the mating habits of millions of Pakistanis.
Ansar Abbasi started off with how scantily clad women on the catwalks of the fashion week will adversely impact on the family values and somehow linked it to people living in sin and how children will not know who their fathers are. With all due respect, I would like to ask Ansar Abbasi if he lives in the same country as we do. Who in their right mind would prefer cohabitation over marriage with Hudood ordinance looming over their heads? He lamented Western depravity where men and women live together outside holy matrimony and procreate and then was outraged that men can get married to other men and women can get married to other women. I mean stick to your guns Abbasi sahib, you can either be pro marriage or against it, you can’t change your stance in the middle of the sentence, can you?
According to A-Dawg (I rechristen him after this definition of T Dawg which kinda fits him to T), fashion weeks (with an audience of perhaps 0.001% of the population) have made Pakistan more obscene and vulgar than countries like USA or India (this is not what I think butthese countries are torchbearers of vulgarity in A-Dawg’s opinion). He is not too happy with the likes of Imran Khan, Syed Munawar Hasan, Nawaz Shareef, Chaudhry Nisar and Fazlur Rehman for not protesting against the fashion weeks and wanted the Chief Justice to take suo moto action against it.
When A-Dawg could not make sense out of the collective silence of the resident right wing politicians, he picked on the average citizens of the city of Karachi (the venue of the fashion week) for not coming out on streets to protest against it. Most of the poor Karachiites do not even know when such events take place, they are too busy commuting from this end of the city to the other, attending a million and one weddings (which totally rubbishes his theory of people living in sin) and dodging the stray bullets meant for political targets but A-Dawg is too angry about the obscenity to care.
Café Pyala has a posted a pretty decent translation of his column (if it can be called that) but I suggest that those who can read Urdu must read it in its original glory. The number of times A-Dawg has used the words ‘uryaniyat’, ‘fuhashi’, ‘behayaee’, ‘belibasi’, ‘behudgee’ (variations of obscenity, vulgarity and nudity) reflects the piety of his thoughts, Mashallah!