anything hitler can do, i can do better


of all of nature’s mercies, the greatest is the sindhri mango. the next is cricket.

alexander the great (326 BC) on the shores of krokola (now karachi)


oscar wilde, while discussing cricket, once complained, “it requires one to assume such indecent postures“. to the best of my knowledge, ijaz ahmed was slightly after his time but clairvoyance is not a modern discovery, after all. not that that’s relevant. and ghalib wrote often and exceedingly well about mangoes. but much as i like mangoes (and the works of ghalib for that matter), mangoes do not like me and i try to abstain as much as is possible in order to deprive the medical community of possible cash inflows. this policy of the mango government – my status as persona non grata i mean – has resulted in mangoes not making it into the plotline of my next novel (which is also incidentally my first) despite my firm belief that mohammed hanif’s a case of exploding mangoes was the best one in the english language coming out of pakistan that i have had occasion to read (which really isn’t giving it the credit i’m trying to give it, but what the hell) – unless of course you count rushdie as pakistani (who should probably be taught as a modern literature thingy in universities, his blasphemy notwithstanding). this is not to suggest that my work-in-process is anywhere near to being in the league as rushdie or hanif’s works of art or even that of copywriters for pakistani tv commercials (goray goray gaal, hai yeh stillman’s ka kamal… lagta hai chand zameen per utar aaya) but maybe some googling dunce working for one of the bigger publishing houses will pick up my name with theirs and somehow an advance of us$ 100,000 will make its way into my bank account. you never know. these things happen.

but yes. to cut a long story short i am working on that novel. and yes, the plotline revolves around my two favourite subjects, karachi and cricket. and yes, before you ask, it will be in sentence case. i can pretend to be e. e. cummings on my blog but i don’t think it will go down very well in print. but writer’s block is settling in with a disturbing sense of permanance – like sanctions against north korea, only more effective.  the tone so far is surprisingly not remotely funny. which makes sense, seeing how i’m trying to write a comedy. the punchlines will come the day i decide to go all russian and dark and sombre. the actual problem though, is the research. i didn’t know i didn’t know anything before i started writing what i thought i knew. this will take a helluva lot longer than i thought it would.


in other news, as if the pakistani team didn’t have enough rats in the batting lineup (as i write this, they are handing the first test to the sri lankans on a plate with not watercress but molten chocolate cake around it), our national carrier has imported rats from birmingham to add to the population of islamabad (probably to replace the president – which is actually not that bad a deal).

only on PIA. unbloodybelievable.


5 Responses to “anything hitler can do, i can do better”

  1. was a case of exploding mangoes better than moth smoke?
    cuz you know nothing can be better than moth smoke – it was so lahore. and so good.

  2. mothsmoke was awesome. no disputing that. but i though exploding mangoes was better.

    not exactly the same genre though.

  3. im mango and milk(lactose) intolerant, although that doesnt stop me from quadrapling (if thats a word) aga juice’s mango shake sales! 😀

  4. your blog ate my comment!! 😦

  5. 5 Specs

    Good Luck with your novel… It probably is funny to other people.

    goray goray gaal, hai yeh stillman’s ka kamal kiya yad kara diya!!

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