Monday, August 29, 2011

A Finishing School For Men

.......But why finish when you don't have to Start?

What is the purpose of a 'finishing school'? A place (for people with ogles of money) to polish ones etiquette, learn how to cook and perhaps pick up some pretentious mannerism hide insecurities and annoy the population at large. Traditionally, Women have been recipients of the Finishing School treatment. Now, one could hardly contend that the women of Pakistan need these finishing schools to 'hone' their skills (for all those who doubt this assertion, ask your nearest 18 year old girl to make a half decent chapatti and let me know how the food poisoning treats you).


Men on the other hand are cast adrift onto the world with the motto, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. But I think now the time has come that equality reigns supreme, if women can bat their eyes into a finishing school that makes them more womanly, men deserve the same modicum of respect and accessibility to refine and strut their manliness.

Haha, you're right, Egyptian Cotton is FABULOUS!

Now, the curriculum for a Men's Finishing School would be catered to a fairly faulty concept of what a stereotypical Pakistani man should be, coupled with some skills that would endear them to their partners and make them suitable for marital bliss.

Spitting spreads diseases, so get ready for some good old fashioned chemical warfare.

 Every Pakistani male should be well versed in the traditional art of spitting paan, and not just the act or the distance, but the size, velocity and general texture of the paan spit. It's imperative that this institution school the male youth to be the best paan spitters the world has ever seen. To this end, an inter-city paan spitting championship will be held.

Whatta Pose?

No Pakistan is really complete, without having substantive skills in the seduction of women, being taught how to pronounce fraaAAanship, Solid and Tight are just a few of the words that the finishing school courses will focus on to ensure that a Pakistani male can get ridiculed by attractive (and not so attractive women on a continuous basis. There will also be in depth training into the mysteries of Facebook stalking and how to fraanship girls with message of love, honor and Lassi.

It has been often noted that a man is fairly partial to his mothers cooking and tends to not appreciate his wifes cooking with the same fervor. A Men's finishing school would ensure that the Men's diet would consist of nothing but the worst possible food, this will result in men, relishing any partially cooked food put in front of them. This will additionally serve as a diet, to return the traditional Pakistani male to the lean mean conquering machine sort.

Disgusting looking but delicious

In an age of video games, computer games and board games, Pakistan's sporting heritage is slowly being lost, however a Men's Finishing School would seek to address the situation by putting its participants through a strenuous physical regimen of Cricket, Kabaddi, Basket Ball and Hockey. Increasing a man's proficiency with wooden sticks is as important as knowing how to utilize ones body strength. The purpose of the basket ball training is to assist men in their efforts to toss their dirty clothes into their laundry bucket without missing.

Consistently Disgusting.

Women tend to have a terrific propensity to multi-task, men tend to fall short in that respect, but with proper training at a Man's Finishing School, one can be confident that a man can be trained to pay attention to his partner for a prolonged period of time......whilst watching a hearty game of cricket....or playing brick breaker.
Not the right kind of therapy.

Therapy will be provided to all the scholars of the Finishing school to ensure that any emotional feeling are quickly suppressed, killed, disposed off and preferably Zamzam water. A Pakistani man is expected to have the emotional sensitivity of a brick wall. In order to extinguish any feelings of emotion, the men will be required to stoically watch cricket matches of Pakistan losing to India.....on repeat.

Haha, jokes on you, Desi Men are as perfect as we're gonna be!

How it has come to a point, shamefully I might add, that decent Pakistani men are also in need of a finishing school to hone their manliness skills is a question well worth asking. I blame the media.

A version of this article appeared in the Dawn Newspaper.Allegedly. I think. Possibly.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pakistani Capitalists Rock!


Everyone has their own theory on how to improve Pakistan, the typical answers are a concoction of removing the allegedly corrupt politicos, enforcing one's preferred Islamic ideology on the masses at large and a dash of lip service to this magical reservoir of talent that the youth apparently stores deep in the depths of their facebook accounts.

What our Talent Pool Really Looks Like...

I on the other hand, (as I usually do) tend to disagree. If we rid ourselves of the politicians, what verifiable evidence do we have that the next lot would be any better? Though I can see why wishful thinking is an excellent strategy for stump speeches and drawing room warfare, but the fact of the matter is we'll never agree on Islamic ideology, far too many individuals are convinced that they hold the right formula (The Afghan Taliban came from somewhere) and lets face it, we can barely elect leaders whom we can stand for more than two years at a time before asking the army to step in, deciding on a unified religious ideology has as much chances for success as the international Beer Drinking Olympics being held in Pakistan, being jointly sponsored by the Jamaat-e-Islami and Mossad.

Patriotic Pakistanis: Always Representing
I feel that the only class of people that can save Pakistan are the entrepreneurs. Not just the good, halal, we're ashamed of our good fortune sort, but the greediest breed of capitalist vermin that evolution and a steady diet of Maggi noodles has to offer. As the wise Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew once remarked "it is difficult to convince a well fed man to become an extremist". Now in order for that to happen, the not well fed  likely to become a terrorist fellows, would need something resembling gainful employment and not be an avid risk for life insurance companies.

Its not that difficult to convince drunk people to do stupid things though.
Here are some ideas I concocted as I surveyed our Magical 'We believe in unlikely Miracles' Nation:

Desi Friend Finder: Most fights or 'phuddas' in Pakistan involve a substantive amount of posturing and grandiose threats, however, before the fight begins, there is typically end with some form of 'compro' (compromise), when some of the opposing sights recognize each other from a family they both attended whilst still in their nappies. The resulting 'compromise' typically entails an embarrassing assortment of black shirted pubescent teen boys hugging each other whilst acknowledging the brotherhood of Islam and how Mr Burger really does make the best burger.
I'm gonna hit a few....scared yet?
The reason this height of pathetic-ness tends to occur is because neither are particularly serious about fighting because they are scared of the sight of their own blood. The Desi Friend Finder will officiate these 'compros' by carefully interviewing the 'diaper gangsters' and find some obtuse relationships that will prevent all unwanted bloodshed. Facebook will come in handy too.

Baby Gangsters

I doubt that there is a parent on the planet that wouldn't pay the Desi Friend Finder his fees. After all, hospital bills are expensive.

Haha, All the Boys Want to Save US!

Honor Warriors: All men like playing hero whether its rescuing a damsel in distress or well...rescuing and even prettier damsel in distress. The problem is that the opportune moment rarely arises, either because Pakistan isn't as lawless as your average 'gora'/foreigner is led to believe, or cutthroat scum of the halal earth thieves are just more polite around good looking women. This however, presents a significant problem, how can a guy save a girl from the dangers of the world and validate himself without the opportunity to do so?

Honor Warriors
Hence, the Honor Warriors, who swoop down on really...really really good looking girls, steal their purse or harass them, whilst a brave knight (who will be paying rather generously for this service based on a combination of his sexual frustration, access to porn and the attractiveness of the damsel in distress), will suddenly appear (capes will be provided for an extra fee), and fight off the packs of blood thirsty pillaging ruffians with his fists of fury and a good ol' Desi CHAMAAAAT.

Who wouldn't help a naked-ish woman?
The Damsel, so grateful for her Savior's appearance (after all, a girl can't live without her cell phone), will fall madly in love with him and break into spontaneous dance to the tune of 'Desi Girl'. The couple then live happily ever after, and recount this Bollywood style story to their packs of Grandchildren.

Honor Warriors: Fulfilling Every Woman's Romantic Dream; Making their Friends Jealous

The Honor warriors will silently collect their fee and vanish into the night, their job done, their clients happy. Kind of like Super Heroes.

Do You Want like 7.5 Oranges?

Solo Store: Ever notice how the beggars at traffic lights always sell the most useless gear, one wonders how many table cloths, Christmas Hats, Combs and Balloon Animals the average Pakistani really needs. One needs to sort them out and fill their hands with things like chewing gum, chips, candy, drinks, cell phone credit and cigarettes; things that people actually want and are willing to buy. They'd make alot more money and I wouldn't be stuck with owning so many combs and Christmas hats.

If you want to make a living, sell stuff that you won't have to take home every night!

Financing this wouldn't be all that expensive. Besides, wouldn't a company rather put someone to work and generate them some extra revenue as opposed to giving hand out after hand out? 'Charitable' donations are tax exempt......Yay Capitalism!

Paid to Read Qurans....SWEET!...Dental Plan? Ever wish that someone was praying for you? Whether it's for an exam or a loved one (or even in the hopes that an object of your desire returns your affections), everyone wants something, and whats the harm in paying a few lads to read several hundred Qurans or recite multiple complex duas on one's behalf. Think of it as a good way for Madrassahs to be more of a profitable venture. Capitalism and Religion.....Who can say no to that? Call now: 1-800-Prayer for your spiritual, emotional and academic needs....

I bequeath you my Beard!

Professional Beard Growers: There are people who spend alot of time trying to prove how religious they are by the length of their beard, unfortunately, all are not born equal, therefore the Professional Beard Growers League to the rescue, where groups of men will commit to providing their natural talent of sprout copious amounts of face fuzz and sell them for a clean halal profit. Prices will depend on thickness, color and piety.

Get Fit.....Chase Her
Personnel 'Fit Hai' Trainers: Most Pakistani's live a fairly sedimentary lifestyle, one's social life revolves around going to dinners and eating anything that can be easy deep fried in month old cooking oil.....fortunately month old cooking oil makes everything from a Mars Bar to anything resembling a vegetable rather tasty.

"Hey, wanna work out?"

To amp up the lifestyles of the Pear Shaped, a service of personnel 'Fit Hai' trainers will stalk and emotionally molest their clients into living a healthier lifestyle, whether its going to the gym, eating that salad for lunch or saying no to that 30th cup of hot sugar water laced with a sprinkling of Tea leaves

She's thinking "Don't Fart, Don't Fart!"
He's Thinking "Hope She doesn't Fart!"

They'll motivate and emotionally batter their clients by comparing their clients deluxe lunchbox to how the food would feed their entire village....for a week. The Personal 'Fit Hai' Trainers will get you in shape, if not through exercise that well thought out malnourishment.

Hope they made sure they got the right chick!

Wedding Attenders: The sheer volumes of weddings during any given season is mind boggling. Particularly strange considering how rarely anyone knows the Bride and Groom in question. Its usually some distant relatives that one hasn't seen in decades. However, decorum dictates that some for of attendance is mandatory. Enter in the 'Wedding Attenders', a service that will enhance all wedding invitation loaded socialites lives in question.  Very simply put, the Wedding Attenders will act as their clients representative at the wedding, and for additional fees, would even impersonate their clients.

Wedding Attenders: Who the hell is going to remember who anyone is anyway?

The service will be rather cost effective, with the food provided at the wedding being worked into the fees (why let all that good food go to waste?).  In addition, start up costs for this enterprise would be minimal, a few good suits and garishly decorated Kurtas. In fact, both the men and women divisions of the 'Wedding Attenders' can share and recycle the Kurtas.

"I don't know who you are, but I'll still hug you" Wedding Syndrome

Chastity Belts: What law abiding proud parent wouldn't want to get a chastity belt for their daughter.....or son for that matter. have you seen kids nowadays? It'll come with a GPS tracking service for women (and men) of every size. Luxury models will be available in Gold, with a cushion finish....for comfort.... and to show off.

Its Classy Tight, but not Air Tight.

Entrepreneurs create business to service needs that aren't currently met by the local market. These in turn create meaningful employment and hence taxable revenue (which one can do their damnedest to avoid paying) In a country that has so much but gives so little, maybe it's time to give the business class the opportunity to develop Pakistan. It may be the only practical way for our country to stand on our own two feet, as oppose to crawling through the minefield we're currently nestled in.

A version of this piece was originally published on

Saturday, January 22, 2011

KGS: Hello World! I am Grammarian Scum

nun lucerna pedibus meis verbum tuum et lumen semitis meis
Thy word is a lantern unto my feet and a light unto my paths.
-Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (405 AD)

Ever so often, in both my professional and personal life I am  pointedly reminded of one thing. Not that I am Desi, Shia Muslim, Wear Glasses or that I have a complete lack of rhythm, but that I am a Grammarian.; hence Elitist Ass Kicking Scum. Not that I particularly mind, being the recipient of the best educational institution in the country has its advantages. Chiefly that the uniform doesn't make one look like an idiot. White shirt with Grey Tussar trousers....and no emblem. The fact that its a kick ass school helps too.


Karachi Grammar School has, as most educational institutions that one is forced to attend for a decade or so, has shaped my upbringing, my opportunities and even my friends. It's without competition, the best School in the country (sorry young pretenders, look on the bright side, second place is wide open). It's because of this privileged experience and subsequent exposure that I have often been lectured that a  being a Grammarian, is a responsibility, a privilege and as cliched as it sounds, a burden. Much is given, much more is expected.

I thrive in it, I love it and damn it, I'm proud of it. Yes, you read right. I, a decent man in my mid-twenties am still damn proud of where I went to High School. I'd staple the fact onto my head if it weren't for the fact that I'm so Grammarian that the minute I start talking, people assume it. On the rare occasions that I somewhat reluctantly mention (it's bad manners to brag) that I went to Karachi Grammar School, the audience eyes widen and an envious glint tends to exhibit itself in a rather disconcerting way. A quick self check tends to validate that my clothes are still on and I'm not dancing in a burlesque club (Thank God, I was not kidding about the sense of rhythm). It rather creepy when someone looks at you with that crazed 'are you an Alien' look. I get better treatment from the good folks at Homeland Security (USA). Atleast they are satisfied after the initial pat down.

Now since I'm a Grammarian, hence a minority, even though not quite an endangered species, I still contend that one ought to defend those rights and remove those popular misconceptions about my 'species'. Apparently Grammarians are a species, I'm guessing Elvin.

I'm sure most Grammarian vs. Other School fights are sparked to life by an inherent curiosity if Grammarians bleed like the rest of Pakistan. We do. The blood is a Royal Purple though. Damn, we're so misunderstood.

Popular conceptions about Grammarians:

1. We're Shallow Snobs; We think we're better than everyone else. Now, every school has it's crowd of Shallow Snobs, Grammar is no different, at least ours can make some modicum of sense. It's called, prestige with a healthy side order of  'I don't give a shit.' Super Size please?

Benazir Bhutto: Grammarian Alumni

On a serious note, when everyone treats you like you're the direct progeny of Albert Einstein, you're bound to develop some airs. After a point, you tend to be drawn to people who go through that same experience. It's tough, particularly when you're not even old enough to drive (legally, or reach the gas pedal for that matter). Its not snobbery, it's just human, we are drawn to others with a similarity of habits. Saddam Hussein and Attila the Hun would have also gotten along famously....if they both were smart enough to get into Grammar School.   

2. Weak Food Processing Durability: We get sick from an old fashioned street bun kebab. Weak stomachs and all that, the addiction to mineral water aside, yes we do tend to consume hygienic food, it's certainly a massive cause for shame. We'll just wallow in misery as our life expectancy outlast the rest of the population. Though in some circles one could contend that we're simply averaging the life expectancy up. True Patriots! Take that World Health Statistics!

3. We can't speak Urdu: Largely True, mine sucks, and as much it must pain me to admit, my Urdu speaking scale generally reflect the average Grammarian level. I know for a fact that my version of Urdu adds countless thousands of rupees to my net spending. Thankfully, by being a Grammarian, I tend to earn countless thousands of rupees personal conclusion being .....So freaking what? Pump up the Economy me and my peeps do. On a side note, our Urdu isn't as bad as most people think, if you don't believe me, check out the number of A's we score in our O'Levels. It's totally Mash'allah.

4. We have accents: I never quite understood this one. Just because we (by in large) don't speak with a desi jhutt (slang) to all of our pronunciations, speaks volumes of our ability to enunciate. Sue me, we prefer pronouncing words correctly. As God, the Queen of England and my 8th Grade English Language Teacher Mrs. Tahir (who despite describing most of my behavior in words like Audacity and Temerity actually quite liked me) intended. Personally I rather blame all of the other language teachers in Pakistan, they obviously didn't grow up with the luxury of watching copious amounts of Mind Your Language, Yes Minister and Hugh Grant.

5. We all take Tuition Classes: Apparently being academic superstars isn't quite as impressive if you are getting extra help outside school. However, I'd like to point out that so does everyone else, we're quite the academic trendsetters. Next up, Grammarians will become fantastic alcoholics....oops, we've already got that reputation signed sealed and delivered. I wonder if parents blame Grammarians for extensively liberalizing their Wannabe Grammarian kids.....

We're also that Elitist Save the World Cretins Too!
Working harder and putting that extra academic effort also tends to explains why KGS students do better than most other schools. It's not rocket science. We have 6 hours of regular school in a day and on average another 4 hours of homework. So, it's not that we're just overtly smarter (which we would humbly admit that we are), we've also developed this mildly useful thing called work ethic. 

6. We're all super smart: It is no secret that Karachi Grammar School is the most  competitive school to gain admission into in Pakistan. On admission form collection days, parents tend to outnumber the entire student body. We call it, we only want the best of the best syndrome. Choosy lot we are. That is unless you have some political birth right, odds are that you need substantial levels of brain power to be accepted. Admittedly, we tend to discriminate on ability, it's called a meritocracy. After all, you can't fix stupid. Inequality is soooooo unfair.

How many Grammarian girls can you fit into a car?....A World Record Number Infact

7. Grammarians are Westernized: We are just as proud of being Pakistani as anyone else, and believe or not we have alot more to lose if Pakistan doesn't emerge from it's perpetual crisis state than most other people.  A fair proportion of Grammarians do leave Pakistan to pursue a future elsewhere, but most do make their homes here in Pakistan. True some of us may pick up western habits like fancy new designer clothes or a penchant for civilized behavior, but hey, a few chai's at Cafe Clifton, Dinners at BBQ tonight and the odd trip to Sunday Bazaar solves that. I personally recommend a healthy addiction to Slice Mango Juice, Apple Sidra and Pakola Lime.

8. We're All Rich: Contrary to the lines of cars one sees outside the Grammar campuses in Saddar and Boat Basin, the student body of KGS is actually fairly diverse along both socio economic and religious lines. In terms of fees the school is actually the cheapest amongst it's peers (haha, that's assuming we even had peers, which we don't). On top of the lower fees, there are also numerous scholarships for students that are based solely on merit. We take the brilliant and make them even better. That's our modus operandi, if the perception exists that all Grammarians are rich, it's because the student body that emerges excels in every field it meanders into....and that usually result in a pretty substantive payoff. That's a testament to the dogged Grammarian spirit and the reputation of the educational institution. 

9. We have the best looking girls: Yes. Guilty as charged. It's the reason that every male child works so damn hard to get into KGS. It's all about the Chicitas. Pity the ladies tend to be of the smart variety. Tip: Learn some sappy sonnets.  

10. We have an unfair advantage in Life. Yep, we do. That's what we get for being Awesome.

Kofi Annan: Grammarian Alumni
Contrary to popular opinion, no one is born a Grammarian, they earn it, through perseverance, excellence, and a dash of style. All satire aside, you make your own place in the world, being a Grammarian and learning the lessons the institution has to offer just gives you a stronger starting point. The rest is up to your  personal drive, ambition and character. We're just lucky that we tend to attract those who have it in abundance.

Let the Grammarian Hating Begin.

For more information on Karachi Grammar School: