haryala banna…


if you know anything about how banks generally operate, you’ll know that as the year ends they start offering better than usual rates of returns on deposits that will show on their books at 31st december. their management will tell you this has something to do with nice balance sheets and central bank requirements and bandy about terms like “minimum capital” and “basel II” and – depending on how impressed you are by jargon – throw in totally unrelated details about fixed-income instruments, securitized debt and the global all-time favourite, “derivatives”. but the fact is simply that the operations guys are pretending to be as busy as the accounting dudes.

but what“, i hear my reader shout, “does all that have to do with anything? i’m almost as broke as you are! invest, ha ha! invest, my foot! i’m dodging the collection guys from the credit card company! and you, you pompous ass, are probably lobbying for bankruptcy laws in the uae“. and the sentiment behind this outburst is not lost on me. indeed, if i ever laugh  within 30 minutes after hearing the word “bank” these days that means i’ve been told the one that goes “a cake of c4 and an envelope full of anthrax walk into a bank…”

but even that, as usual, is besides the point. the reason i bring this up is simply to state that apart from being that time of the year when you pretend to be sentimental about an occasion you do not celebrate or the time of the year you google jinnah quotes to use as facebook statuses after confirming from your coworker how “quaid” is spelt – this is also the time of the year when everyone you know is either attending a wedding or having one.

the poor sods.

but that is the kind of stuff you can live with. “their funeral” you say. or “their inhumation” if you’ve just filled out the daily crossword. what really bothers you is the insistence of every razia, zubeida and parveen that you too join the festivities and not just as an attendee but as the key participant. and even that might be tolerable if you knew razia, zubeida and/or parveen but if she’s just a lady sitting next to you on the plane with an irritating toddler hell bent on offering you his crayons every 7.3 seconds you realise that you’ve missed the issue in which Forbes listed you as the most eligible guy on the planet. i mean there are obviously no other 29 year old single guys left on the planet. meedonesti?

(i’m wondering if you noted the casual dropping of the farsi term in there. now is that cool, ya chi?)

i’ve heard tales of interrogations by our much maligned intelligence agencies which have left the poor captives so confused they didn’t know whether they’re being questioned or proposed to. we’ve all read about the instruments of torture used in the spanish inquisition. and everyone’s seen the followers of freud holding up rohrshach images and asking the clinically insane to make sense of them (which is probably because no sane person would pay their fees if they were put through the same crap). experience gives you perspective. i realise now that the faults were not so much of those questioned or even those questioning as it was of the questions that were asked. questions have to be direct, to the point and very damn personal, no i’m not really sorry. this way there’s no confusion. aya mi fehmi? you can’t give the wrong answer.

hence: what’s your name? so you must be a shia? married? what do you do? then why aren’t you married? so when –

halt. stop. sabar kuneed. if i answer the first four questions truthfully, how does the fifth follow naturally? i’m sure i know at least 11.2 unmarried auditors. and popular as i am, even i don’t know everybody. but that at any rate is what the rishta ladies think. now in a crowded plane full of pakistanis you cannot simply ask a woman to shut up. this is not the way things are done unless you want to join a different sort of mile high club – one in which you get beaten up by ever ready brothers looking for a fight. and you can’t always tell someone off politely. the trick, of course, is to lie with a smile and then exact revenge in very subtle ways.

this is probably why she ended up with my plumber’s phone number instead of my parents’ and why she realised midflight that her son was using her eyeliner pen on his colouring book. yes i can pick things poking out of purses.

hey, apnay saamaan ki khud hifaazat karein. basoorat-e-deegar intizaamiya zimaydaar nahin hogee


wordpress tells me i made only one post during 2010 and that it generated enough of a readership to fill 14 boeing 747s. less impressive is that the top search item leading to this blog is “chirkeen” – but thats not what’s embarassed me into attempting to write. i lost a friend to cancer yesterday. we weren’t close any more but we scraped our shins in the same sixth grade playground, starred in the same seventh grade plays, competed for top scores on the same eighth grade projects. we were the same age and i’m too old for too many things but he was too young to die. rest in peace, old friend.

be grateful for every moment. because life, its fleeting. we can’t afford to wait.  meedonesti?


13 Responses to “haryala banna…”

  1. for someone who doesnt blog, that’s a lot of traffic. i’ve been getting a LOT of spam over the last 3 days. i think spammers have a quota to meet too. and they are meeting it all on my blog. *shrugs*

    Q: why arent you married?
    A: because im an auditor. everyone hates auditors. i told an auditor i didnt have a file he wanted to review even though i did have it. he’s being a douche considering the audit is actually almost over and now he’s being a pain to justify the salary they demand (but dont deserve).
    im surprised you dont get asked how much you earn.
    how much DO you make? you think that’s the reason you arent married?

    you really shouldve chosen a cooler profession.
    how about a rockstar? you couldve been a rockstar.
    no wait. sorry. you couldnt have been a rockstar.
    how about a suicide bomber? 😀

    your non-friend lived more than a lot of people and less than a lot of other people who shouldnt be alive at all. cest la vie. inalillah e wainailahe rajiun.

  2. i know. ein gham angaiz ast. but yeah. that’s just the way it is.

  3. I think i mite be responsible for some of that traffic, lolz i read your archives during really boring lectures… please write more, i’ve almost read everything that you’ve written here…. :p

  4. Chirkeen?

    Is that ‘sprinkle’ in Roman Urdu?

    Keep blogging. Not that I’m the one to talk. But. It feels good to just say something positive in response to a post that depressed the crap outta me.

  5. Hopefully this is not the last post of the year… its only the 2nd Jan 2011… but still…

  6. I’ll lend you my answer: divorced. That ends the discussion (and generally all others) rather abruptly.

    If that’s too much, you could try the “why, you interested?” If she’s a Parveen, she’ll either be so scandalized or flattered that the interrogation will be satisfactorily derailed.

  7. I agree with Ali z. I think yawning meeting are good places to read good blogs too.
    And I quite like yours! 🙂

    P.s. i never knew auditors had skills besides their usual CIA-ish-ness.

  8. Oh- divorced will either get u ‘suspicious-look’ or.. the sympathetic one, which may lead to a barrage of more question about why? where? how? Did u try kiss-n-make up thing? Oh u did?? thn maybe somethings wrong with u??
    And then: So, What is wrong with u…?

    Maybe , jus maybe u cud risk it n try ‘ im gay, auntie” next time? It will def. help u get rid of her kid too, Coz ppl confuse gays wid molesters mostly..


  9. 9 Moiz

    Owl: I lol’ed at the second part of your comment. & I’m at work.

    Abbas: Hang in there….&..umm, write some’more? How’s the book coming’along?

  10. wordpress should also tell you to blog more often.

  11. @tazeen: yes, but petrol mehnga hai. itnay boeing kaun chalaaye?

  12. 12 ailya

    i have the most bizzare idea.
    but kher, only if you are willing to give a try, i know just the person for you.
    its bizzare cuz i know only her blog.
    ok dont kill me

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