Through a Domestic lens: The Actual Pakistan

I recently came across a very well written article that highlighted the “other” side of Pakistan. (Link: http://www.dawn.com/news/1118136/the-other-pakistan) The article had some very nice pictures. Being brought up on the streets of Nazimabad, the only Pakistan I ever knew was the one that was known as the middle class. So I naturally came to terms with the fact that many of the aforementioned pictures were too heavy for me to comprehend. Think of my middle class brain as a slow internet connection that only loads 25% of the ‘Pakistani Ufone Sexy Model Asma’ picture that some “friend” has sent you in an email. Moreover, as I read further into the article, I realized that the pictures were only the tip of the pen..err…iceberg. The article seemed to have been written in an entirely different language. I mean I could read the alphabets. My middle class school taught me that much. But the meaning behind these mystically alien words were beyond my cretin understanding. By the time I finished, I had fallen deep into a state of existential crisis. “What Pakistan is this?” “What Pakistan am I living in?” “Why is there no mention of a Suzuki Mehran in the article?” “HerbX Enlargement Pill 0333 – 1234567!” Questions and thoughts like these kept popping up in my head. Over the next few hours, I had lost my appetite, my sleep and missed 37 calls from my jaanu. But it had to stop. And so, I set out on a 15 minute adventure to understand the sorcery that I had just been a victim of. 17 minutes later, I realized the article was a load of shit. It was twisted, misleading and downright insulting. I wasn’t okay with the way Pakistan was being portrayed. What percentage of the population did the stories in the article represent? I’d tell you what. The size of the ingrown hair on my left nut. And so, I have compiled a humble list of images that portray what me and a majority of my middle classed associates (fancy word for janis, cousins, rishtedars and next gali ke cricket team) actually do. I might be wrong but the last time I checked, a huge chunk of us still had papa double roti for breakfast and the only time we had a macaroon was when our khala cooked Shan ke macaroni.

 

Ladies and gentleman, behold, the average Pakistani.

 

Pani Ke Shadeed Qillat

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An average Pakistani kicks his tap after a 3 day long water shortage in Karachi. Even the water in the puddle on the street has dried up by now and so, the kick. July 2014

Bijli ke jugarein

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Homemade electrician, average Pakistani tries to mess with the phases in his electric box. The kunda outside his house are in full support of his actions. Karachi Electric, however, will shortly be issuing an arrest warrant for him. Him and millions of others just like him. July, August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, May, June of forever.

Gym and swimming. Lol.

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Educationalist and bathroom model, average Pakistani standing next to the “pool” of water in his bathroom after an incredible workout provided by fixing the kunda outside his house. The water shortage has ended, BTW. For now.

Maid in Pakistan

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The average Pakistani Middle class boy texts his friend asking for 20 rs balance while putting the ripoff Aquafina water bottle on the bottle stand. He is waiting for this job to end so he can have some water.

Chilling in room

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The average Pakistani reads a magazine in his bedroom cum drawing room cum store room while having a nice cup of tea.

Getting ready

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An average wardrobe before trying to get ready for a party (birthday) and not having a fucking clue about what to wear.

Fitness

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Doing pillates while fixing a bulb. Typical Pakistani El O El.

Hey man. I think my izaarhband is showing.

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And finally, some climbing. The caption of this photo is a dilemma. This could either be the result of the Pakistani boy jumping into a house to fetch the cricket ball that his friend occidentally threw in or the same Pakistani boy trying to escape the house after being seen and caught by the uncle of the house who suspects the boy jumped in, bringing a rishta for the uncle’s Urdu science college going daughter. Eitherway, great exercise. The trainer cannot be seen in the picture though. That pussy has disappeared for good.

 

Brb. Going for tarawih now.

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32 thoughts on “Through a Domestic lens: The Actual Pakistan

  1. Saad

    This actually is the Pakistan. The Other Pakistan portrayed by the author of the article, is in fact just the 0.001% of privileged class. Not sure, why people forget that Pakistan has a population of 180 Million +.

    Reply
  2. Zoha Manzar

    Hi Ramish. You are awesome. This piece absolutely cracked me up. Please write more often, youre so gifted!

    Reply
  3. Rai M Azlan

    Dude you just nailed it Trust me this is one of the bestest blog post I have ever read thank you for crafting the origional Pakistan version in response to other Pakistan. Take a bow my friend you have just earned a new fan.
    By fan I do not mean Aamir bhai or Tariq Aziz wala fan πŸ˜€

    Reply
  4. YBR

    There’s a reason why that article was named: “The OTHER Pakistan”. The side you portrayed is common, everyone knows about it, and it gets more than its due share of attention. But there are glimmers of extraordinary tales which do not get the attention they deserve.

    Reply
  5. Munawar Ali Shah

    Only funny thing is that most of Pakistan does not live in the cities but in villages and does not have access to electricity. And not because the KESC can’t supply it, because there are no fricking electricity poles.
    No matter what you say there isn’t one kind of Pakistan. As for the article in dawn is concerned it specifically said “the other side of Pakistan” so why do you expect it to parade your middle class woes.
    The middle class is not Pakistan. The elite class is not Pakistan. Pakistan is the villager who toils in the fields of his landlord all day long and goes back to home to eat saag and makai ki roti.

    Reply
  6. Munawar Ali Shah

    This is the Pakistan that the internet access having population of Pakistan can Identify with. lol. Rotay raho tum log.

    Reply
  7. mm

    In every country one has the mass middle class and then the small very rich elite. What exists side by side is real for all sides whether in minority or majority even if it may be a very small percentage. I don’t think anyone is implying that the segment of society mentioned is representing the mass pakistani experience

    Reply
    1. karenmcfly

      Hi mm, a person of the country of Germany can assure you that the equivalent of the Pakistani class system or any country with similarly stark social contrasts cannot be said to be like any other country. I have visited my middle class friends in Pakistan and the problems that they have to deal with every day make my life as long term student in the lowest income group in Germany seem very comfortable. All these hardships, like the ocnstant power outages, that are also mentioned in this article, is something that even the poorest people in Germany will never have to deal with. I have seen friends of mine write that tehse rich people in Pakistan are the reason why life is so hard for the middle class and so super hard for the majority poor. Corruption comes to mind but probably also less incentive to invest in infratsructure thay everyone would benefit from as they personally don’t need it. …. You probably know all this better than I will. Yes, there are super rich and corrupt people in Germany. Do they have much of an impact on my life? No.

      Reply
  8. Zahra Afridi

    guys love the satire piece ….the photographs are hilarious. The only cool counter piece i’v read so far. lol.
    ps: i can kick that tap’s ass any day of the week πŸ˜›

    Reply
  9. Ali Arslan

    Fun read but the this article is also about the other Pakistan. The real Pakistan can’t read Urdu English to door kee baat hai. They wont have any access to this blog or for that matter clean drinking water access to basic medical services orahave 3 square meals a day. Just saying.
    All of us who have read this article are alien to those people I referred to above, just the same way the elite society is to us.

    Reply
  10. Hamza

    Man you should stop writing. Maybe you should try sports but writing or narrating is not your thang!!!

    Reply
    1. ramishsafamobin Post author

      Hahahaha in the history of “insults” thrown at me, yours is by far the shittiest. I think you tried too hard. I guess I will go and try some “sports”.

      Reply
  11. madihaniazi

    I was really hoping someone would do a counter piece like this in response to that article. Thanks for a good laugh!

    Reply
  12. MARS

    The people in the other article all combined togather can’t come up with article like this !!

    So much for the claim and talent appreciation in the other article !! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  13. Malyka ahmad

    I do understand that this is the real Pakistan. However, I often see people complaining about outsiders only showing the poor side of the country but in the other article the writer showed to us “the other Pakistan” where people are making big and yet readers are still not happy with it. As someone living outside of Pakistan it became difficult for me to understand what Pakistanis want and how they want to be represented.
    BTW your article was great and I just want to know what was it that the readers didn’t like about the other article.

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      I had no problem with the showing Zahra Afridi or the Cricket team captain, but I think the worst picture for me was of the Kasuri’s daughter-in-law. It was just wrong on so many levels. Especially how the Filipino maid was holding a glass of water while she was checking her mobile. The worst part is that the shots were directed by a photographer.
      My second problem with the article was that there are many successful women in Pakistan and not all of them are filthy rich or choose to be filthy rich. They could have shown a variety of women from different classes so many people could relate to the article. Or how about showing women that are actually doing something for the masses instead of just the elite class.

      Reply
  14. Shakir Khurshid Gill

    I must say that your counter analysis are good. Even though considering the general perception of living standard in Pakistan pointed out by yourself, this article “other Pakistan” is meant to break stereotypes.
    1. In many foreign countries – due to misrepresentation by Indian media- our country is perceived as women have no rights in Pakistan. Now this is true in some cases and in some cases it is not, however, in foreign countries many people believe that women in Pakistan are conservative, uneducated and prosecuted . This article is portraying women empowerment in Pakistan -Although I do agree the message is exaggerated-.
    2. Even though the percentage of people shown in the pictures is may be .5% of the Pakistani population. Nonetheless it is part of it right.
    3. The thing that disappoints me about the article The other Pakistan is the title itself. I do not understand that why people are so narrow minded and cannot comprehend the fact that in a nation various kind of people exist and are part of it. If a woman entrepreneur is shown in pictures why is it the part of other Pakistan. There is only one Pakistan and women are empowered here.
    4. A picture is worth 1000 words. What you see doesn’t, it matters how you perceive it. I do agree with your depiction of Pakistani of middle class in Pakistan. Nonetheless, I also agree that some stereotypes should be addressed.

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Rediscover Pakistan through Moin Khan's lens | PakWheels Blog

  16. angel

    Very cute but you’re forgetting that your portraiture of the middle class is not quite mainstream either. In fact, I’m pretty sure Pakistan has the smallest middle-class population ever and you just photographed an endangered species. If you wanted the “real” Pakistan… you’d be at the nearest slum. And would probably be stealing electricity from a middle-class family that couldn’t really afford their bills and couldn’t make the KESC fix the issue.
    Point being, don’t get snippy about the “Others”. We are all “Others” in some way.

    Reply

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