sisyphean shopping experiences: as i saw their first choice, i wept.


when i was in the fourth grade i was on a flight that had imran khan, the super celebrity cricketer on it. this was way back in the eighties when the dude had people swooning just at the sight of him. needless to say, the whole plane was making a fuss. people from the economy class kept coming in to shake his hand, the air hostesses were all flirting like crazy and even the captain came out of the cockpit to meet the celebrated passenger. but the icing on the cake was the black car that came to pick him up, its windows all smeared with lipstick. even at the age of nine i knew that that was way cool. at the time i had little or no idea of what cricket was – a kid in the uae is more attuned to football – and well i was never the sporty type. so i attributed all that public adoration to his long hair.

now i never got the chance to grow my hair that long. my parents would never have stood for it even if the terrible mr. jihad, our headmaster, had allowed such shenanigans but the good thing about the experience was that it led me to read the story of samson which in turn opened up the worlds of greek and roman mythology and later the arabian nights and that tilism-e-hoshruba thing which have remained a source of inspiration to this day. years later an acting teacher at my school in karachi once told me i should ditch my plans for developmental economics and go for scriptwriting. i still think it was the best compliment anyone has ever given me.

anyways, during my readings of tales from greek mythology i came across the story of this bloke named sisyphus. he was a king who had been banished to the underworld with the task of rolling a boulder up a hill for eternity. i bring this up simply because this boulder rolling business came to mind while i was sitting with three other auditors trying to select a saree we had to buy for this female. if there is one thing auditors are not known for its expertise in matters relating to women. women to us are like aliens. mysterious beings, spotted only rarely and worthy of a lot of attention – but beings we don’t know jack about.

so four auditor guys selecting a saree for a woman they’ve never seen is stuff that makes it to the world’s funniest videos. first you argue over whether or not there should be any element of gold in it and it took me at least fifteen minutes to convince them that a desi bride is a bride for at least a couple of years and since shes likely to wear a saree only at weddings and the like, that dash of gold just has to be there. so they ended up choosing something which looked eerily like a dastarkhwan during the two minutes i was on the phone. then they chose one that could have passed for a retard’s repainting of the sri lankan flag. i nearly tore out my remaining hair in desperation. i was waiting to murder the first one who said the peacock print was good but i guess they sensed my mood and we finally moved away from the chiffon rejects to the banarsi silks.

after one hour fifteen minutes and five shop attendants rolling on the floor with laughter, we managed to achieve a consensus on a maroon silk thingy with some gold zari or whatever its called. if it were up to me i would have gone for the soft pastel pink one which would have looked so totally gorgeous on fudge. but then fudge would probably look awesome in the dastarkhwan thingy too…

sigh. badshah salaamat, you’ve got it bad.


17 Responses to “sisyphean shopping experiences: as i saw their first choice, i wept.”

  1. jaan ki panah ho to kaneez kuch arz keray?
    badshah salaamat, you dont have it bad. you give having it bad a whole new meaning 😉
    (it’s funny, and youll see the humour in it when you have aged and have lost your tooth. my suggestion, dont laugh out loud when yer toof-less, it isnt pretty)

  2. not every guy looks good with long hair. now had u been a script writer, then u could have gotten away with the long tresses. In fact it would v been a must! As for the saree shopping spree, guys HAVE to be gay in order to select something good.
    Yups u v got it baaaAaad……as every post ends with the zikar of hers.

  3. 3 mE

    Why are the post titles so long? its like reading a heading of an evening newspaper.

    That boulder king is kinda still taking the boulder up, but why would 4 auditors be buying a saree ? like do you guys manage to buy a saree and it rolled out of your hands and you needed to roll it up again to the top ? or what ?

    I can see the refrence of hell to female but thats usually what is called wife in other words

  4. 4 Saadat

    Made me recall my only trip (in my hosh-o-hawaas) in which I accompanied Ammi ji and younger sis to that fancy shaadi ghar sort of shops. After the visit, I concluded that I, for the life of me, just cannot have the required aesthetics for such colourful shopping.

    By the way, Tilism-e-Hoshruba rocks, doesn’t it? What I won’t give to possess something like Umro’s zambeel, or Sar Sar’s magical abilities (even though she almost always gets defeated by Umro).

    And, you’ve been tagged!

  5. 5 SK

    ‘one thing auditors are not known for its expertise in matters relating to women. women to us are like aliens. mysterious beings, spotted only rarely and worthy of a lot of attention – but beings we don’t know jack about.’ That’s not an ‘auditor’ thing, it’s a ‘men’ thing. 🙂

  6. 6 No One

    Banarsi silk saris are hot…but for aunties!!…Chanderi and Kanjivarams are hot for hot ladies…thought I will let you know :)…by the way…onion pink is definitely a nice choice :)…laters.

  7. “Sisyphean” is one of my favorite words. Cool points for you!

    Camus one said “One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

  8. @ hemlock: had-e-adab! warnda deewar mein chunwa dein gey…

    @ tanzilla: even if i had been george of the jungle, i couldn’t have long hair. my hair is the kind that breaks off if the wind blows too hard – part of the reason for what i call the ex-prime minister cut that i sport on my head. 🙂 oh and excuse me – a guy can have decent taste without being gay!!!!

    @ mE: you a psychoanalyst? 🙂 you’re reading way too much in my random ramblings. to confuse you even further, the saree was for a wife – but not of anyone of us four. her husband didnt know we were buying her a saree, she didnt know we existed. cool na? 😉

    @ saadat: i know exactly how you feel. i used to get draggel along by my own mother during the wedding shopping for my elder sister.

    @ shehla: ok. that makes auditors very masculine indeed. 🙂

    @ no one: i cant even pronounce those. but yes, the onion pink type thing was very nice.

    @ sabrina: yeah it is cool. it ranks right up there with “disabuse” and “mammy”.

  9. 9 hemlock

    Xille: abay chal! your dillusions are amusing only so much :p
    you are talking to hemlock, death of intellectual intercourse…

    and HAHAHAH! @ mE, yer EVAL…

  10. 10 SK

    Xil: Guess it does. 🙂 Though it would make the ‘men’ auditors very masculine. My sis is an auditor as well, and I wouldn’t call her masculine if I were you! 🙂 And yep, onion pink would be my pick for a sari as well. 🙂

  11. 11 PsycheD

    i get sooo super impressed when men venture into female territory to get HER something…regardless of the relationship with her.

    sighhh….lucky fudge….so much adulation thrown her way…is she even aware??? and as tanzilla says…uve had it baaad 🙂 lage raho dude!

    oh! i almost forgot – IMMMMIIIIII!!!! hehe….happens to be apersonal friend of dad….always by his side during those sharjah cricket fevers….but i could only gush from the sidelines…am sure immi wasnt even aware that i was dad;s beti!

  12. she’s aware but she ignores it. she gets it from every other person she meets so that’s understandable. one of the hazards of being closer to perfection than perfection itself. she grits her teeth and bears it. so do i. 🙂

  13. 13 PsycheD

    awww…aint that sweet! sighhhhhhhhhhhh

  14. the sari expedition….lol that too by men. I have a hard time going sari shopping, imagining the four of you doing it was hilarious…lol 😀

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading the post, recalled many a precious moment spent with some male (family & friends) shopping…they are a treat to watch. 😀

  15. it is indded one of the harder things men have attempted…

  16. 16 Mystic

    aaahh so this is what we were talking about a couple of nights ago!

    and ure comment above on 30 March 2007, i could almost cry!! 😛

  17. i was younger back then. 🙂

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