most respectfully i beg to say

18Nov08

in every fat man there is a thin man screaming to get out. in every colonial desi man there is a gora screaming to get out. in every fat colonial desi man there is a thin gora screaming to get out. which is why i have deep sympathies for the thin goras at barbecue delight last night who were given the treatment i would actually have been proud of giving them myself had i been the one playing the charade.

it is a well known fact that over the past three or four years if i have ever been spotted in a kurta, it has had a khaadi tag on the collar. however, it is also a well known fact that i am not really the poster boy for sartorial elegance and that even if i were; the whiz behind khaadi, shamoon, needs to go a long way before he can be described as the pakistani ermenegildo zegna. unfortunately for the poor italians, that is not what the very obviously islamabadi chick managed to convey. according to her, a khaadi kurta is the “real, traditional, national dress of pakistan”. it is also “extremely rare, hand made and a status symbol among the educated elite”. if barbecue delight’s soup hadn’t been the watery type excuse that is supposed to pass for a first course, i would have choked on it. but as a team effort it was fascinating. the rest of the pakis in the party were looking at the kurtas as if they were the golden robes of solomon (or the lacy secret of victoria, depending on which way you look at it) while the cameraman snapped photos in a manner i would only expect if giselle bundchen were giving away persian carpets. the italians were very happy and grateful and obviously wondering why, if these kurtas are such a hot thing, none of the men in the pretty large group was wearing something remotely resembling them.

i was tempted to call out “and it only costs around 50 dirhams a piece” but if there is one thing i have learnt in my life it is that you never mess with a group of pakistanis who outnumber you 6 to 1 – even if they’re from islamabad – and with a desi chick – especially if she’s from islamabad.

__________________________

heaven, it is said, is a bunch of beautiful gardens with lovely lakes and wondrous rivers, nymphs all around the place and a huge cricket field with a grassy pitch with wasim bowling from one end and waqar bowling from the other. but if our pukhtoon brethren make it to there (and i have no doubt that most of them will – there has to be some reward for fighting holy wars in afghanistan, building roads in the desert and driving taxis in dubai – especially driving taxis in dubai) they will only applaud politely for those two gods of fast bowling. however, if one mr. sahibzada shahid ali khan afridi, esq; nominally of gulshan e iqbal, karachi but with undoubtedly strong links to pukhtoonkhwa, so much as goes there to watch – they will go wild.

for the first time in my life i understand the pressure that that guy has to face every time he wears his kit. it is to his credit that he is actually still playing without his shoulders sagging every time akmal drops a catch or every time he mistimes a ball. not waqar, not wasim not even imran khan in his pomp were as much of superstars as this guy is – even if in stature they are far more than he can ever hope to achieve.

the day he disappoints is the day he doesn’t come out to play. until then, may the magic live on and may every crowd go into rapture at seeing him take the field. if he performs, great. if he doesn’t, neither you nor i will faint out of surprise. but as a battered, defeated, tired, depressed people we need something we can pin all our wild hopes to. someone who we believe can do the impossible, the unheard of. he is, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, the closest thing we have to batman.

so will the idiot who had the “afridi please don’t disappoint today” placard in the match please commit suicide?

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13 Responses to “most respectfully i beg to say”

  1. acha, so? you can afford a pachas dirham ka kaahdi ka kurta … vat non-saince?
    chotay laug, choti batain. kabhi main ne bataya hai ke meri mummy mujhe saray kepray khaadi se bana ke bhejti hain?! nai na? seekho kuch mujh se.
    hmph… waisay bhi, khaadi elites ke liye hai. tumne kiyun pehna? it’s like a non-white person wearing hilfiger – even if it’s obama who’s weaing it. =P

  2. did you go to like a fashion show or something?

  3. you mean afridi is NOT a God amongst men?

  4. @ hemlock: meri ammi mujhe kapre nahin bhaijtee hain. i buys thems myselfs. ghareeb aurat. saari kamai laga ker suzuki fx khareedee hai – woh bhi qiston per – aur mujh se muqabila karne chaleen! the nerve! 😎

    @ farooqk: at barbecue delight? i don’t think so 🙂

    @ halai: almost. but not quite. 🙂

  5. Your writing makes blog reading worthwhile.

    ‘heaven, it is said, is a bunch of beautiful gardens with lovely lakes and wondrous rivers, nymphs all around the place and a huge cricket field with a grassy pitch with wasim bowling from one end and waqar bowling from the other’

    ahahahah!!! That last bit certainly sounds like my idea of Heaven.

    ‘especially driving taxis in dubai’

    lol!

  6. khaadi kurtas! zexy!

  7. suzuki fx – teri toh! 😉
    tumhari catagory ko licence apply kernay say hi mana ker dia hai… clerk qaum =P
    gari main betha ke izzat do, chauray (as in wide) ho jatay hain… ghusbaithye na hon to =P

  8. Shamoon, Ermenesomething Zelda, Giselle Bachan… they must be important people, if they can have such difficult names and people still remember them. Granted, Shamoon is not difficult to remember, especially when the Peres guy has made it so famous.

    It might have something to do with me being a dehati from Azad Kashmir born in pathankot of UAE in the days when no-one knew who Zia Ul Haq was – but Kurtas, the kind Khaadi and JJ are famous for, have always baffled me. Especially, when most of them come in colors men would otherwise not be caught dead in. What do I know though? Sartorial is the latest addition to my vocabulary. Thank you.

    Not that the baffling has stopped me from having a couple of those kurtas in my wardrobe. Aam admi is a better monkey than most monkeys can ever hope to be.

    But, dost, I am so cheering for that guy to take the plunge – along with his placard!

  9. @ sabizak: i have to copyright my heaven. 🙂

    @ red soul: er… i think not. they’re functional. and have enough of a brand name to pass off as an attempt at class. but sexy, uh uh.

    @ hemlock: ok ok it’s a jogger… 😛

    @ knicq: ahh the world has other non-pathan afridi fans! yay!

  10. Well I can say your post interesting but I didnt get the izloo prejudice much… why so sarcastic for them? :O

  11. damn u abbas…i really envy u….random ramblings all around and yet i ensured reading each letter…sometimes reading again to make sure I got it…

    I didnt but i enjoyed…i really enjoy reading ur blog…confession…

  12. @ afaque: because i’m racist. 🙂

    @ umar: well it is the samandar-e-bemaina… you’re not supposed to understand. 🙂 But thanks!

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