Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Politics, shmoliticks!

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It all started with a tweet by a very sharp-witted and very secretive friend we all know as @tweeep_. She wrote: ‘Maybe TUQ would feel better if he takes his cap off’. I retweeted and friend Simin responded with ‘shh... he needs it to hide his horns’. That set me off. But first a flashback.

The early nineties of the last century (gosh, I am ancient!) I was travel writing for The Frontier Post. Those were pre-email days and I had to personally take in my 5.5 inch floppy (drive, and don’t get obscene notions) to the paper. There we had Anita Mir, Naurin Ahmed, Anisa Mustafa, Amina Sharif and Beena Sarwar and I would carry on endlessly with my version and very meagre understanding of Pakistani politics. Beena was the only one who told me to shut up and get out. The other girls suggested instead of wasting what they thought was hilarious commentary on politics should be published.

And so I started writing my weekly piece. I spat in the eye of everyone. Even the COAS of that time, that Beg chap who, after retirement, started some foolish tank that could not think. It was good for nothing for it could neither be taken into battle or filled with water. He called it – I wonder if you remember – Fiends, Retarded Idiots, Eternal Ninnies, Duffers and Shitheads. And you’re surprised it did not think or ever thought positively? For short Beg(ger) called it FRIENDS. This one tank died stillborn. Regardless, the man made a regular nuisance of himself.

And since I was spitting in all available eyes, Nawaz Sharif was my prime target. The Brainless Wonder, a name coined at that time, was another victim. This latter was just coming into politics and was – still is – as naive as a babe in arms.

On reading a particularly venomous piece about the Beg(ging ) general, friend Zahoor Awan from Peshawar wrote to ask if the man wouldn’t take me to court. In panic I consulted a lawyer friend and was told that though the man wouldn’t sue me, he was certain to send some goons to sort me out. Fortunately for me I wrote in English and Beg(ger) would have thought if he made a fuss, my venom would get better known. Sensibly enough, he did nothing.

One Nawaz Sharif piece was about his likeness with Elmer Fudd of Loony Tunes comics. The same Mr Fudd who Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck took turns taking full advantage of. Both are round-faced, bald and stupid. I told my readers that as a child I could not pronounce Fudd; the word always came out as Pudd – the Punjabi word for fart. If I may recall my exact words: ‘And that description was as true for the cartoon as it is for the cartoon’s caricature.’

And now we have a man who I have variously dubbed the Mad Hatter, Topi ul Drama or Drama ul Topi – loosely, Drama of the Hat. Recently I have taken to calling him Pagal ul Darhi which can loosely be translated as the Mad Beard or some such. This man has wildly contorted facial movements during speech. He opens his maw wide as wide can be even to say words like ‘cheese’, ‘mice’ etc. In fact, he opens so wide that you can actually see inside his gullet. Any wider and we’d barf from knowing what he had for breakfast.

He lies through his teeth and yet there is a multitude of Pakistanis who believe in him. He makes light of religion and ridicules even the most revered personalities in Islamic history, yet now one stones him to death for blasphemy. He is the very personification of the monkey whose tamasha we were so fond of watching as children. The very monkey that strutted about pretending now to be a soldier and now a jantherman – gentleman in the trainer’s lingo.

Pagal ul Darhi – PuD for short – is just that monkey. He is not even the trainer. He is simply that monkey strutting about with his hands behind his back, face held high and looking at all and sundry through half-closed eyes.

But reflect: I call him PuD. That’s again the Punjabi word for fart. This man is the personification of a fart. He makes a lot of noise and when he is finished only some stink remains.

And as friend Simin says, I too am certain he never takes of his hat for fear of exposing his horns!

Odysseus Lahori one year ago: John Jacob's Clock

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 00:00,


At 12 August 2014 at 01:23, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Without the Model town incident, the PuD would've been only known as those one-off stinky ones, now, apparently with the help of the unruly pumpkins of Jati Umra, it is not only just stinky, it spouts blood as well.

At 12 August 2014 at 10:06, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Well said, sir. Now we have a bloody haemorrhoidal PuD. But you are spot on regarding the stupidity of the pumpkins making a turd out of a simple fart.

At 12 August 2014 at 10:45, Blogger Rehan Afzal said...

Fiends, Retarded Idiots, Eternal Ninnies, Duffers and Shitheads (FRIENDS) - Epic....
So it's Pudd vs. PuD....What about Captain Shart ?

At 12 August 2014 at 18:01, Anonymous Muhammad Athar said...

It is a stupid reaction of pumpkins making the liar a hero , other wise the man had no credibility

At 12 August 2014 at 18:12, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

A fart by any name is either a Pudd or PuD! Captain Shart is also a loser. Time will show.

At 12 August 2014 at 21:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tusi baaz nae ana? Sir bacho inn sey. Please.

At 14 August 2014 at 06:20, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Baaz aa kay karaaN gay ki?


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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

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