Pakistanis are a rare breed. Genetically linked to the Arab brethren but culturally quite similar to their Indian pals. The irony is that we have inherited the stoicism of Arabs and the vibrance of the Indians. This combination is truly very endearing and shows itself in many different facets of our lives. I don’t have the time or the space to dissect the entire psyche of the Pakistani people but did want to touch upon how we react to seemingly relevant and irrelevant trends and news.
1. Diana’s wedding: stayed up all night to catch it all live. Talked about it for days. Couldn’t care less what Diana’s and Charles’s backgrounds were but soon had mastered information on their lackluster marriage and Charles’s sordid affair with Camilla Parker. The second time this couple makes waves is when Diana is murdered. The third time they cause a huge stir is when Charles gets married to Camilla. The details that Pakistanis have known for decades on the royal family is something that would inflate the already beyond control ego of the royal family. No one, not even the Brits have so much time for these fake kings and queens. Pakistanis collectively could write an autobiography on the Queen better than the queen’s most loyal servant. Aye ve colonialism!
2. Megxit: we don’t know the Brexit. Because those are things for the prime minister of Pakistan. After all, he should know where Jemima’s patrons are going. We know about Megxit. We follow it closely even though it’s just two regular than regular people going to live a life of relative dependence in a welfare state. We talk about it and have actually elevated this colloquialism to where we are calling our daughter-in-laws’ exits from joint family systems a Megxit too. Anything that comes packaged with a white husband is considered follow-worthy.
3. Sania Mirza married Shoaib Malik. This is a national event. Not only is she the national daughter-in-law and sister-in-law, she is also now our pride and honor and therefore shouldn’t be seen in leg showing garments. She should be dressed like a Pakistani, even though she’s Indian. She should become modest overnight. Also other things can wait but why isn’t the baby coming fast enough? Oh it’s here? Then when is number two? She did look like she had a little pooch in the recent pictures from Dubai airport. Let’s ask Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza these questions on Twitter. After all we have to pray for them. And we’ve been praying for them.
4. Did Jennifer Lopez have twins? And Angelina Jolie too? Well, these are not normal women, you know! They get IVFs. But wait! Why isn’t Jennifer Aniston having kids then? Does she not have eggs?
5. Donald Trump is another hot topic in Pakistani circles. It’s almost like he affects Pakistan’s economy personally. Whatever may be said about him, he isn’t too concerned about Pakistan at the moment. Pakistan and India have been doing a great job of keeping each other very busy. But what would a Pakistani be without a little conspiracy theory in response to every issue that goes sideways?
6. Polio drops are considered an attempt to make us all infertile in Pakistan. Considering how old these drops are, it is no wonder that polio has been almost eradicated from Pakistan. But it is thought-provoking that our population growth rate hasn’t gone down. Now you can’t argue with our genes. Every fertile myrtle and virile squirrel was born in Pakistan. But polio drops render us impotent, infertile and menopausal without any conclusive evidence for this claim. A case of polio definitely shows its ugly face in some antivax families routinely.
7. COVID won’t happen to us because of multiple reasons. We got the BCG. We get the flu. We get exposed to the dirtiest of things. We are always sneezing and coughing in each other’s faces. We are immune to it. So we don’t need social distancing or isolation upon symptoms. We need to spread it so we cause herd immunity. And don’t think the process will kill a few thousand. We don’t die of viruses. Our faith protects us from virus-mediated death.
8. Shakira and JLo were half naked on stage. This is why we don’t play sports anymore. We have stopped any patron programs for sports and we have no tolerance for all these players who go abroad and drink before the game and watch girls in casinos. If they so want to watch girls dancing, why can’t they go to a Pakistani brothel? That would satiate them and would be patriotic at the same time.
9. Homeschooling is the way to go. So what if I’ve never seen a single homeschooling curriculum in my life? My child is a wild learner and will soon be like the Jolie-Pitt brood. He’d be reading Julius Caesar at four years and will likely put Rowling to shame with his creative debut in his tweens. Homeschooling is good for everyone. Kids get to live their own life. So what if my kid has some problems with structure and discipline and I can’t control him? He is a free spirit and for as long as I live, I dare another woman to change him. His dad, on the other hand, isn’t allowed to be the free spirit that his mom raised. That woman ruined my life and so I’ll ruin her son’s by not allowing anything that she has raised no eyebrows on.
10. I want to go somewhere abroad. Anywhere. Even if it is a place where there are more mosquitoes than people. Even if I get paid in peanuts there. What I really want to experience is the excited phone call of arriving for a few days for a short vacation, then having the entire family count on the dollar store presents I’ll get for them, then feel benevolent and like a god when I hand them to them. And then enjoy a feast at every place in quick succession. Then get on a receive-back of presents. Then have everyone see me off at the airport just like they received me. This is priceless. Who wants a job in their country of origin that pays well? I can’t even criticize these lowly people who live here if I’m one of them. If I could just get out of here the first thing I’ll do is get the license to judge every process that’s followed in Pakistan, unfairly compare it with exaggeration to a process that happens in a non-Pakistan and try to sound wise and traveled. Also, everyday I’m going to go to the same creek that’s in my backyard and take pictures at strategically picked locations of the same creek and post them with profound inspirations and revelations of traveling. Also, when I’m bored of my poor foreign life I’m going to connect with an old cousin, embarrass him for still being in Pakistan and promise him a visa or assistance with the visa of the god forsaken place I’ve made home. That should also occupy me for a few days and kill the loneliness.