Humbugged Humbugs

Saturday, April 07, 2012 KELS 3 Comments Category :

By Sidrah Latif
     Of 4th yr

It was 10 am, today, Friday 6th April 2012 and I was sitting with mama in front of television where she was awaiting her much-awaited Azizi (she watches it in repeat telecast only because she still can not stay up that late as the program airs!). It was as always, our time of a family laugh together, and so obviously it was deeply annoying when the program was interrupted to bring us some “BREAKING NEWS”. As always I was expecting it to be another schmooze, in which the most breaking thing is the horrendously coloured “breaking news” word itself. Merciful heavens! It was about students cheating in matric English exams. I, as always, was least bothered.
It was nearing 10:30 now, and some jocular Azizi moments later there was another “Breaking news”, and it invariably was the one that had already been broken over my head. Mama used the time to flip through sheaf of her to-be-delivered-at-11:15-lecture and I took the time to straighten up a chip in my nail. Miraculously the breaking news did not last beyond a minute and the program was resumed. Within five minutes however, the abhorrent screen once again appeared and I closed my eyes lest the breaking words break my restraint so much that I break the screen. However, the news-clip this time was interesting, owing to the characters being “covered live from Karachi”. It was what was being aptly called a “jalao-ghairao” by all the residents of one particular area of Karachi. To recapitulate the scene was such that there was a man in badami shalwar qamees with a thick-as-can-be danda in his hand and he was waving it around, infact hurling it around him as if his life depended on it. There were some passer-bys trying to escape this high-man. Then the camera rolled to a slightly different area where teenagers were picking stones from road and throwing them at taxis and rikshaws (although it was supposedly police mobile they were targeting). The best thing about the whole thing was the ridiculous golden colour the boy in the very front has died his “flick” in, and the huge smile he was wearing. And as the reporter reported them to be furiously protesting over load-shedding, I was unable to discern even a single pained twitch of muscle, or a single line etched out of fury (read:worry) over the worrisome predicament of the electricity.
As always I forgot this a few moments later.
It was 2 pm now, and the hot discussion was that a lucrative sum of money over Hafiz Saeed’s head was wrong. Conclusion being drawn was that our government is coming under American pressure despite the anti-American sentiments being resident amongst the common people, and this step by American government was meant to intimidate Pakistani government. Half hour later it was announced that Maulana Fazl-ur-rehman has left the “qaumi salamti council” over “bahali” of NATO supplies.
As always, I recited some highly colourful kalimats about the entire America- Pak Govt-Paki Shmuck debauched triangle. As always, I grabbed the laptop and logged in to buffer the next episode of The Big Bang Theory. But not as always, something happened. Some little worm of guilt that has been burrowing around in the mantle layer of my grey-matter slowly emerged its head, and for once I stopped short of connecting to my desired website.
Your honour I felt like a humbug who was being humbugged.
And I beg to state your honour, that it is not only I who is a humbugged-humbug, but it is you too, and you the badami shalwar qamees adorning man, it is you too, and yes you sir with the golden flick and the highly contagious smile, you sir are a humbug too. And you sirs who are moving away from the screen because you have not be named yet, you too are a humbug because you were cheating so valiantly in your (well really give me a break but) English paper of matriculation level! You, me, we all are humbugs. Because we love to rant on about how demented our government is, how the power-hungry, buck-pinching despots of today are leading us to our doom, how the “jalao-ghairao”, we believe so firmly in as being the definition of action, is not at all an utterly non-sensical notion. And your honour we are humbugs because we want Zardari and company to shrug off hands with Americans which is so warmly extended towards them, while we continue drooling over their TV series as if we would not see tomorrow. I beg to state that it may not be disturbing enough for you, but somehow the little, green, spectacled, geek-worm residing in my temporal lobe has popped his head out of it and whispered to the frontal lobe judgement circuits to bring my ownself in to the assertion chamber.
Your honour, I have listened to the arguments of the green, geek-worm and my own alter-ego, and I have acted as the jury myself, and here is what the jury asks you to announce to this court of commons:
“We all are humbugged humbugs, who chose humbugs to rule over us, and now closing our eyes to our own faults we love to shift the burden to our selected humbugs. For hiding the real charlatans behind our countenances, and for choosing the easy path of unconcerned modernism, we all humbugs should hereby be heralded out to damnation.”
But wait your honour, that we already are. A sentence of slavery has long been served, but we have become so accustomed to the lulling darkness that stepping out into the golden glow of reality is difficult. We humbugs yet can not leave the safety afforded by our cocoons. Your honour, it is time for the next episode of Joey, so excuse me!



  1. ALLAH!! I LOVE THIS!! kia piece likha ha ..imaaan se... :)
    Really,it made me read it to the very end, which shows that it was perfect..considering that our attention span these days can be measured in millisecs :)

  2. I love your verbosity..jocular Azizi moments later...haha

    however on a serious note, we're fast becoming a nation that has no purpose in life other than complaining all the time..and then doing nothing to change the status quo...

    and news channels are sad little soaps...! (most of the time)

  3. Thank you Zara and Farkhanda! :)