Because screw you, chuppan chupai and screw you, baraf pani.

Yesterday, a friend and I were driving back home from another friend’s place and we spotted a bunch of individuals waving guns in the air. For a fraction of a minute, I hit the brakes and we practically shat our, carefully ironed, white shalwars, only to realize it was a bunch of kids playing with guns that, curses be on China, looked very, very real. All of a sudden it was funny. I mean a 3 foot tall human form waving 2 very big guns in the air and screaming at anything that resembles a possible “target”? It’s cute. Especially when you fall for it. But what I fell into, instead, was this constant state of frustration as I realized just how conveniently these kids were being exposed to the gun culture and how the sweet concept of Eidi that was once used to acquire icecream, gurya k baal and possibly chooran chatnis had now transformed into getting funds to “arm” yourself so you can “protect the hood”. Possible enemies: Moving cars, birds, stray dogs and colorful pedestrians. I managed to get a hold of one of these brats and he told me he needed the gun because, “hum jung-jung kheltay hein”. Now a lot of people tend to call me pessimistic. And maybe they aren’t exactly wrong but hey, this shit is 97 miles north of being “okay”. How is it that a child goes out with a lot of cash, gets a toy gun, “shoots” the whole world with it and then brings it home and manages to get away with it? Mom? Dad? Anyone give a damn? Even in the shittiest of Bollywood movies, the dying mother of the very violent, Suneil Shetti/Sanjay Dutt-ish, protagonist urges her son to keep his act together and be good, obviously referring to how it’s not okay to play “jung-jung” with the villain and his infinite stock of respawning henchmen. I don’t have kids, and so, obviously, I can’t be the right person to judge the general quality of parenting in our country but I do know when something is about to go terribly wrong and a kid brandishing a toy weapon and feeling happy about it is just not the kind of thing I am very optimistic about. With target killings and terrorist attacks and hate crimes and what not, the last thing we need is a child convinced in his head that it’s okay to carry a firearm and shoot your best friends with it.

Save yourself. Save the children.

If you are a like minded ranter, feel free to let it out at:

http://twitter.com/jungjutus

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20 thoughts on “Because screw you, chuppan chupai and screw you, baraf pani.

  1. Syed Zain Najam

    So true! The parents actually give these toys to their children and even if some of then don’t then how could they let them have this ridiculous toy? Crazy world we are living in…

    Reply
  2. Saman Khan

    thanks for highlighting a core issue i.e desensitization of kids to violence. but here the media is playing a big role. as a student of media , i have observed that media content especially violence is very influential on young minds and they to some extent perceive brandishing of guns as “normal”. here it’s the role of the parents to monitor what information their child is being exposed to and to educate the kid to not succumb to peer pressure ( i.e other kids inviting to play “jung jung”) . Kids are like antennas , they tend to pick up information about everything without knowing what’s right and wrong and here the adults need to play their part as guides.

    Reply
  3. Ashar Ahmad Farooqi

    WORD!! superbly written, looking at the kids these days and then reflecting back on our childhood, i would say we were VERY lucky to have those strict parents(even though we used to hate them whenever they forbade us from such stuff)

    Reply
  4. Ameer Aftab

    Um… no. Doesn’t work like this. Context matters. I grew up with a whole arsenal of toy guns which had 8 different kinds of musical ammo, used to hunt lizards & mice around the house with my BB gun, and was the super soldier protecting my neighborhood when the light went out at night.

    It’s one thing to promote gun culture for the heck of it, and another to think of yourself as the brave young lad who shoots bad guys. So you see, the problem won’t be the gun culture, it would be the definition & distinction between “bad guys” and the friends who you’re supposedly protecting. If you can’t tell one from the other, guns would be irrelevant; you’ll be a menace no matter what. If you can, a toy gun is just that, a toy.

    Oh and I grew up just fine. I’m a marketeer and creative advertiser. About as capitalist as it gets.

    Reply
    1. Ibraheem Tasneem

      i strongly agree to Mr Ameer’s point, its not the guns or weapon culture thats dangerous its the mental level and moral values that need to be taken care of, otherwise 99.9% of boys are action/war movie fans, doesnt mean that its fatal for society nor does reflect the violent mind set of people.

      Reply
    2. Usama

      Absolutely sir I agree with you. I grew up around real guns rather than toys. And have not a slight amount terrorist vibe in me. The childhood experience with weaponry rather helped me respect human life.

      Reply
      1. ramishsafamobin Post author

        I agree to the fact that we all grew up playing with toy guns etc. And yes, we did grow up just fine. But you have to realize just how bad the situation of our country has become and to what extent the exposure to violence has increased. Boys have always loved playing soldiers, policemen, heroes etc etc. But only recently, in the past 8 years or so, Pakistan as a country has practically transformed into hell. That, combined with the general state of negligence I see from parents towards their children’s moral development is disastrous. I am a very strong believer of good parenting. It doesn’t matter how bad the society is or what kind of medium you are exposed to if you leave home with a strong set of values. But that’s something I see missing in today’s generation. The last decade has produced a slew of weak minded, morally confused youngsters whose parents were too busy trying to be a part of the never ending rat race. Which is exactly why, a child playing with a toy gun back in our childhood days had a lesser chance of actually picking a real one up and thinking it was okay or badass to use it than a child today. I remember bringing home a toy sword and attacking my brother with it. I also remember by dad breaking it in 2 and throwing it outside and then sitting me down to explain how I could have easily hurt someone. I think that is missing today. And that’s just what I am generally concerned about.

      2. Ameer Aftab

        @ramishsafamobin Well the subject has now shifted ever so slightly. It has always come down to good parenting. I know PLENTY of people who grew up in the crappiest of societies, yet have nary a shadow of the culture they lived within. It’s not just limited to guns. It’s the Indian media & cultural onslaught, western/burger influences, wadera/jagirdar mindset, treatment of servants/women, you name it. It always comes down to how you are brought up. Like you said, if the ethical foundation is strong the external factors won’t matter as much.

        So the crux here is, unlike how you focused on just the shawar-shitting gun culture brewing amongst kids, it should be about the importance of good parenting & guidance for today’s generation. And not just about the guns, but also about how to handle the Weapons of Mass Distraction we’re surrounded with. Enough fodder for another blog post? 😉

  5. Pingback: Because screw you, chuppan chupai and screw you, baraf pani. | Mirch Masala

  6. Adnan Afzal

    Wow, I posted a similar status update today 🙂

    There was a time when kids use to take eidi to stores to buy chocolates, candies and ice creams. They wore new sunglasses, took new purses and handbags and just showed off while they roamed in the streets. What I see now is kids pointing toy guns at every passing person on the road. So worse that I saw a bunch of kids pointing toy guns at policemen today. I won’t blame kids for it, neither I will blame their parents. The conditions here have become so grave that these things have become a part of our personalities unintentionally.
    What I fear the most is with increasing hatred towards people with other beliefs, soon a time will come that kids will be pointing guns towards them. It’s not as serious as it sounds, but if we ponder about it a little deeply, yes things have become quite serious.

    Reply
  7. Hamza

    Your concern is valid but I disagree a little. Kids have always, since the time I had been a kid and seeing other kids play, been obsessed with guns and shooting games. Though I conciously remember my parents avoided giving me weapon toys for gifts, that did nothing to dim my obsession of playing make-believe shooting games.
    Kids have always played soldier games, warship games, fighting games you name it. Randomly brandishing and pointing guns at random people is ofcourse not ideal. However, the weapon toys have always been there.

    I think the more important concern is the shocking change that has occured in kids movies / animations and cartoons, and the promotion of mindless violence there.

    Reply
  8. White Pearl

    I got your point but boys have been fond of guns and wrestling and things like that since the beginning….It is in their nature ! Specially when they see guns and theifs and blasts everywhere in news on Tv and papers …… But I must say very well written thought !!

    Reply
  9. farhat

    and let’s not forget the violence promoted in video games and cartoons. I saw a psychological study that exposed toddlers to violent cartoons. later on, the kids were left alone with the same toy that had been hit in the cartoons. And it was observed that the toddlers were violent with the toy just as they had seen in the cartoon movie.

    Reply
  10. evorsoris

    I grew up in Lyari – which is, no doubt about it, a rather dangerous neighborhood and yes, we too played with guns. Chor Sipahi was ‘the’ game and still is – yet me and my buddies turned out just fine. I’m now an Auditor in a bank and the others are working folk – white collar to laborers, we all are respectable citizens. Its upbringing and the ability to differentiate between right and wrong – not the guns that are to blame.

    For the record – you’re right, it is the upbringing that is to blame. Kids think being a bad guy is cool because we flip the bird at cops and respect the bad guys (out of fear, but they can’t realize that yet) and they get influenced based on our attitude. Don’t you think we need to change ourselves first?

    Reply
  11. TheHatter

    The distinction between right and wrong was never that simple ever. Kids should be taught to be more critical rather than being told what’s good or bad. What needs to be countered are the nonsensical stereotypes that surrounds us.I have witnessed nasty little pricks do the most horrible things imaginable because ‘boys are supposed to be aggressive ‘.

    Reply
  12. Ali Shamim

    i’m 15, and my mom never allowed me to buy the guns, even if they were the most tempting things things on the toy stalls. And now i realize why she stopped me scold me. I’m glad i have a superhero MOM!

    Reply
  13. Maryam Jamil

    Agreed mr Ameer
    mostly boys like action, and become brave soldier so they like to play with guns
    not only guns but boys are crazy about cricket , sometimes football and of course cars……. definitely bikess

    Reply

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