Letter from Pakistan

Dear Zulfiqar,

I am sitting atop a mountain next to a crystal clear lake in -2 weather. There is no electricity, gas (unless you consider political debates as gas, of which there is plenty) or hot water. As a result of these factors I have become one with nature because I have been unable to take a shower thereby causing me to smell like the goats that meander around me. It’s only a matter of time I follow the locals and get intimate with them.

The National Assembly in session.

Hot food is also a thing of the past. You see it comes out of the kitchen nice and warm but by the time it gets to one’s mouth, the steam has turned into ice, the chicken has frozen and the gravy has gelled. But it’s alright because we still get to eat gol gappas which helps relieve the cold food from our stomachs.

Politically things in Pakistan are heating up. Since there are no concerts or any form of entertainment available, Imran Khan has filled up that void with his colourful jalsas. And of course as our politicians antics are beginning to wane in terms of fun, whispers of a judicial coup are abound. Nothing like a little army talk to warm things up in a cold winter here! I always did have a things for men in uniforms… seems like I was right! Now if it wasn’t for these goats…

Weddings are in full swing. Though having already suffered through a bad bout of flu, the idea of dressing scantily for a wedding (we do have our modern image to keep) seems a little more risky than swigging a bottle of brandy. But then again, people round here never did have their priorities sorted.

Oh yes, happy new year. They say you are as old as you feel… something along those lines, my memory fails me. Quite frankly if I am to go by those golden words then I am well beyond the nineties – and I certainly don’t just mean the era. My dear, my joints are as stiff as the drink I used to pour your father, the dark circles under my eyes ensure people think I am a victim of domestic abuse and my feet are so sore that not even the world’s best Thai masseuse can provide any comfort. Hence New Year’s was spent with feet tucked under a hot water bottle, a mug of Horlicks and  lots of celeb gossip on Daily Mail.

Of course my Facebook status gave off an entirely different impression. That social networking site is such a relief – one lives vicariously through virtual updates and whatnot. And why not? When one hears about today’s generations New Year resolutions, suddenly that computer screen with its fantasy world offers much comfort. I mean just look at some of these resolutions:

1. I hope to finally grow a beard out of the butt fluff that decorates my chaand-like face (this was a young lady’s wish by the by)

2. I am going to try and get the most expensive bridal dress made so I can make it to the cover of all the magazines in Lahore

Can’t see how it’d miss.

3. I hope there’s electricity – the UPS can’t provide enough power for my hairdryer

I wish for a nice, rich boy to fall in love with me so I can buy a Gucci handbag and drive around in a Merc making my old 4. Shazia Phupi and her kids jealous of me

5. I’m going to support Imran Khan so that in 20 years time when I write a novel I can proudly say that I was the beacon of enlightened moderation and political development in the world’s first Sunni militant state

6. I hope I gain a ticket to Heaven by bumping off a Shia. And bumping an Ahmedi. Also a Christian. Do you think I’ll even get my 72 hoorain if I shout Allah Akbar while humping a cow?

Did… did you just say cow?

With such wonderful wishes surrounding me I felt that maybe it was best if I made no resolutions. After all, given such optimism in this country I think it’s a bit much to ask for a death wish consisting of going to the grave with a Pakistani bill of Human rights.

With that happy note, I bid you farewell my love!



Categories: The World I Know

Author:Mehr F Husain

Mehr F Husain was Features Editor of The Friday Times. She lives out of a suitcase.


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One Comment on “Letter from Pakistan”

  1. January 6, 2012 at 1:21 am #

    LOL Funny stuff 🙂 Glad I stumbled upon this.

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