Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Bomb Blasts

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This piece appears in the June 2014 issue of Herald.

Every time a bomb explodes, the otherwise somnolent intelligence agencies of a sudden become very alert. They descend upon the site of the blast and, first of all, make a complete hash of every bit of evidence so that we never know which hidden hand it might be causing all this trouble here.

Aside: the only hidden hand I can possibly think of is Napoleon’s. Yes, that frog who went by the last name of Bonaparte. Or was it Bone Apart because of the several bones he broke in a childhood skateboarding accident? Why do I think of him every time I hear of the hidden hand? Well, look at some of his images, hat pulled low to hide his shifty eyes, he keeps the bomb hand slyly concealed under the parting of the two lapels of his coat at his breast.

No one else indulged in that sneaky hand-hiding business and therefore, Napoleon’s being the primal hidden hand, I am very certain it is that same one blasting Pakistan out of existence. What on earth does he have against us, I ask.

But back to the blast site where the, oh so, unintelligent intelligence agencies are mucking everything up. After they’ve thoroughly destroyed the evidence, the head honcho stands in front of a bunch of TV journalists who cannot tell the backside of a ber from its front, makes a tepee with his fingers and talks to the breathless moron, oops, reporter. With utmost gravity we, who have no life other than watching drivel on TV, are informed that the head of the suicide bomber has been found.

Jolly good! I always say. Now, in Punjabi we have a marvellous bit of advice for any such moron who jubilates about coming across something of singular uselessness. This phrase advises the enthusing idiot on where to stuff that pointless discovery. However, since this is a ‘family’ magazine, I cannot disclose this little piece of highly unclassified intelligence.

Suffice it to say that first the TV channels (that I never watch) gloat over the finding of the head, and then the papers the next morning blaringly give us the same news. By golly, the head of the bomber has been found! This sounds as exciting as the announcement shortly to be made by one Bashiruddin Mahmud (supposedly a physicist) that we are producing 5 million megawatts of electricity daily by harnessing the power of Djinns. (It’s about time the idler made it; he’s been experimenting since the heady days of the monster that died from an overdose of mangos aboard a C-130.)

The next most sagacious announcement in this series of mind-boggling revelations is that the bomb contained so many kilograms of explosive. And you thought the bomber simply had a bad case of flatulence? Tsk, tsk.

Brilliance surpasses genius when we are further informed that the large number of victims resulted from the bomb containing, wait for it, nails and ball bearings. For crying out loud, if flatulence could kill, I would have been living alone for years now! And in the bargain I could also have eliminated a few people whose happy demise would render a much better world for us to live in.

So back to the head discovered amid the mayhem. Everyone dances for joy at the finding of it until I want to scream at them in Punjabi about stuffing that stupid head where it belongs. But after a day of joyful euphoria about the head, everything goes quiet. We never hear what became of it. Did it lead the so-called intelligence agencies to the Head (what, another one?) of the Bombing Department at Terrorists Inc? Did it change things so that future bombings – or even just the next one – could be averted?

No, sir. Nothing. But ‘Aha ji! We found the bomber’s head!’ And now we can stuff it where it will give us so much divine pleasure. It can only be pleasure because in twenty years the terrorists have turned us into total masochists, and every punishment they throw at us now is delight. Therefore, I am convinced the head goes into a dark place where no genetic testing can be done. No wonder, we have never learned who the bomber was related to.

I mean, after all the poor head goes through, its genetic build up must completely be altered. Otherwise, one day we might learn that the bomber was a close relative of, say, a zombie named Mamnoon Hussain. All those who’ve heard of this one can claim their five rupees prize at the front gate of the Lahore Mental Hospital.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 9 June 2014 at 15:37, Anonymous Angel of Hell said...

We are so used to what happens after each bomb blast. Best ever on this topic.

At 9 June 2014 at 18:54, Anonymous muhammad athar said...

Sir it is a routine now listen what you have nerated above along with an other sentance that the authority has taken the notic & asked the report from the concerned agency.


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Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand

Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

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