of cabbages and kings


sumo ballet

hah! i know you guys are expecting a treatise (ok, a satirical variant of one) on the total degradation of democracy and paamaalee of the presidency but i, i will not oblige. i’m going to talk about something far more relevant to my context (thats the bored-desi-in-boringer-environs-context) and this is the highly intriguing social phenomenon that is the sumo ballet.

now most of you who have a vague idea of what i look like are aware that if you took arjun rampal, chopped off his hair, dyed him darker, deflated his pecs, inflated his abs, took eight inches off his height and added them to his waist, he would look exactly like me – only not as good looking. and while this obviously means that the dude wears a huge grin on his face whenever he looks into a mirror, he’s sensible enough to not parade around the posh places bollywood celebs go to trying to dress up like me. 

and i don’t try to look like a shorter version of forrest whittaker because, quite obviously, the only similarity is the mismatched eye size.

however, –  and there is always a “however” or an “ofcourse” when you come here – common sense, as we all know, is about as common in people as honest politicans are in garhi khuda bakhsh bhutto, and so lots of people try to dress like people they are not. now if you saw a bandwagon (the metaphorical one – i have no clue what a real bandwagon looks like, though i imagine its some sort of cross between a donkey cart and a bugatti) and you jumped on it, you would find that half the people on board are lebanese. this is obviously not a coincidence. its just a lebanese thing. like striped suits, shawarmas and sexy blonde chicks. and the fact that the fatter they get, the more they invest in spandex.

now i’ve got nothing against spandex even though (or maybe because) i do admit that its probably caused more lecherous thoughts than satan’s polished apples up in paradise. but if i want to see someone in tights, i expect them to be tight – and not necessarily in the orangi town sense of the word. somehow a bunch of 280 pounders dressed in a bolshoi-meets-rihanna type of thingamajig (and colour coordinated like travolta’s girlfriend’s gang of groupies in grease – wow, unintended alliteration!) doesn’t quite do it for me. but when you consider that dames here wear hijabs over their “kiss me or kill me” (i kid you not) long tops, this is just another easily ignorable every day occurrence.

(c)old is gold

one of the good things about coldstone creamery is the ice cream. ok that sounds ridiculous.  the place is an ice cream shop. but yeah, they’ve got good ice cream. but the good thing about them is the corny way they suddenly start singing (at force 5 cadence – as mohammed hanif would have called it – great book that, case of exploding mangoes) coldstone anthems based on tunes of old pop/rock songs. now stuff like “we are, we are, coldstone” is easy. i mean they still play that in school gigs and karaoke joints in karachi. but last night they stumped me. i couldn’t figure out the tune at all even though it was so tantalisingly familiar. 

early this morning – well its a friday, so as my cousins would say “al-as-subah, zuhr ki azaan ke baad” – i was waiting for a taxi at a crowded stop when it suddenly hit me. manfredd mann. doo wah diddy. that would have been perfectly ok except that it hit me rather loudly and i shake my head, snap my fingers and quite audibly go 

there she was justa walkin down the street,
singin’ do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do
snappin’ her fingers and shufflin her feet,
singin do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do…

and then i realised that everyone was staring at me like i’d gone absolutely bonkers.

this is a rather bad situation to be in. picture yourself on a crowded sidewalk trying to flag down a taxi. then picture a dozen people of various ethnic origin on three sides of you staring at you like they would if sheikh rasheed walked into a party wearing jeans and a stetson over a sleeveless d&g vest. what would you do? 

i crossed the road. 

dekh magar pyar se 

there is no real reason to name this segment after the most ghisee pitee line in the history of pakistani bus and truck literature except for that fact that i miss the craziness of karachi roads sometimes. a traffic jam without horns beeping like crazy is like a gun without bullets or a pen without ink or chaudhry shujaat without duct tape on his mouth. you get the picture. but this segment is actually about my being awarded the brillainte blog award by saadat on my birthday (and, incidentally, my blog’s) because, allegedly, i have a “peculiar brand of sarcastic humour”. this is rather interesting, not to mention flattering, even if it means that he’s not well read enough to see where i rip off most of my punchlines from. but that suits me just fine ’cause its the only way this damn place will ever generate any hits.

that’s it up there. 

now the rules of the game are as follows (and this will explain how i even got shortlisted):

  1. the purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere (quad erat demonstradum).
  2. when you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back.
  3. choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
  4. show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘brilliante weblog.’
  5. show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).
  6. and then we pass it on!

now ordinarily, i follow all rules of tags and things like that but i’m just going to list some of my favourite blogs and i don’t care whether or not that makes seven. so here i go.

1. hemlock for writing stuff that would make even someone as cynical as, well, hemlock smile.

2. sabizak for providing the most kaleidoscopic view of the world on nothing. and on everything.

3. abbas halai for creating a blog that gives you more trivia than ripley’s believe it or not.

4. saira for her amazing selection of quotes.

5. rooznamah (even though its been dead for exactly a year on the day i got the award) for providing (however briefly) a satirical view of the pakistani world.

6. newton for writing the most amusing posts with the hardest words i have ever seen.

7. the olive ream for being what it is. 

well what do you know? that’s seven. there are dozens more but since they’re mainly private i don’t think it makes sense to promote them. they know who they are. there is also the fact that i now have to go through the agonizing process of visiting these awardees and linking back to this post. sheesh. its enough to make a man cry.

naam hai bond, samad bond.

i now have what pakis call a french beard. sue me.


18 Responses to “of cabbages and kings”

  1. you are, by far, the most shameless self promoter i know. the only time you EVER comment on my blog is when you have updated. and it’s like, “ive taken the time out to update, so come see what ive written”
    which is kinda silly since i have your blog in my rss feed.

    that said, i been listening to abrar ul haq on my morning drives to work. and every time a song of his comes on, i dont know why, but i cant help think of you…

    “oh chacha ji,
    gul nai banni,
    main munda shehr da,
    aye chatti chak di…

    shah vela di roti lay ke deiaray te nai ayen tun
    aisay gul tun bebe kaulon thoun vi phanvai tun
    tenu keri gal da maan ey, something something something…”

    just thought id let you know.

  2. p.s. im not cynical. i have an ORANGE room. cynical people dont like orange.

  3. rest assured, the only person in the entertainment industry back home who reminds me of you is mussarat shaheen. and well ok, babboo braal. thought i’d let you know 😛

  4. that’s because you hang out with “cheapsters”. that’s why

  5. (cheapster na ho to)

  6. look at hemmi being all cheapora and showing off that she follows you through rss and jazz.

    cheapora na ho to…

  7. Thanks for the undeserving promotion, Mr. I Burst Into Spontaneous Song! 🙂

  8. halai- yer right, i otta give credit where it’s due. i started using google reader when abbas halai taught me how. i am forever indebted (and have since stopped using it, cuz i have (1000+) new items in it. kaun perhay ga?

  9. Your wit leaves me so agog that I even forget to laugh. Brilliant! Its especially gratifying when the Arab world is at the brunt of it.

    Thanks a lot for that mention and the description should certainly motivate me to write some more now that my net is finally back after a breakdown of around 2 months.

  10. I want to thank you for giving me the words to “Do wah do wah diddy down diddy doo.”

    It’s been stuck in my head ever since little Michelle Tanner sang it in her toddler tone.

  11. Thanks monsieur. 🙂 Although admitted I’ve been really bad about posting to the blog recently. Wonder if you’ve been reading the notes on facebook? Or if you want I can add you to the mailing list.

    Be good! 🙂

  12. You’re right, I really am not well read enough. And I don’t think I need to be well read anyway, since I read all the punchlines here. Fair, huh?

  13. I have read your blog after AGES! Something about the posts being too long and my attention span too short. Not your fault of course – ive just lost the groove.

    Oh btw, Congratulations on the award. It is much deserved 🙂

  14. guys, thanks 🙂

  15. 15 ibteda

    Your writing style is pretty unique.
    Your blog & a lot of those I’ve discovered through your blogroll makes office time much more interesting.

  16. 16 silentmantra

    as usual..brilliantE 🙂
    been here after ages – and its good to see u havent changed – just like shujaat hussain’s slur 😛 so now i know why he talks like that – when he’s allowed to that is…khair…lets not even mention sh rasheed in that get up.

    u seriously did an impromptu HS musical while flaging a taxi? wah!

    anyhooo…may u be consistance in ur brilliantes..and win awards consecutively – or as they say here ‘dhaaraadhar!’

    in a more serious note….hope all is well at ur end

  17. 17 silentmantra

    oops! make that “on”

  1. 1 Of Blogs and Men : The Sai Chronicles

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