Let’s love Pakistan: A new resolution (V)
Here are the next 15 reasons that compel me to love Pakistan…
36. Faisal Masjid: The national mosque of Pakistan isn’t just a landmark my generation and I grew up admiring for its majestic splendour; it’s also significant to Pakistan’s identity as the largest mosque in South Asia and the fourth largest mosque in the world.
37. The intelligentsia that were our poets: Right from Allama Iqbal to Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Faraz and Parveen Shakir, Pakistan has been truly blessed when it comes to poets and philosophers that have literally inspired the nation in times of need. The aforementioned are just a few from a gamut of literary geniuses.
38. Uncle Sargam: He and Masi Museebtay may not tickle the fancy of a 21st century Pakistani child. However, for those of us born in the latter part of the last century, Uncle Sargam was quite the star with his clever innuendos and smart quips that warranted a few hearty laughs for fans of the hit PTV show “Kaliyan”! It’s a pity the show’s sequel “Siyasi Kaliyan” on Dawn News didn’t do too well, but thank you, Mr Farooq Qaiser, for giving us one of the most original and lovable Pakistani characters, ever.
39. The Indus Valley civilisation: This 5000-year-old civilisation which was once spread over what is now Pakistan, is widely noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system and multi-stories houses, making it one of the oldest Bronze Age societies known to man. The two major urban IVS centers excavated till now include Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, which, mind you, has been identified as one of the most significant UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world.
40. The Meeras, Reemas, Sahirs, Aamir Liaquats and Veenas: No matter how hard you squint your eyes and shake your head in denial, they’re the only “filmy” superstars we’ve got. Might as well start owning them and enjoy their endless shenanigans for their entertainment value, eh?
41. Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: Beside the fact that he trained and taught his skill to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh was the man who made Qawwali and Sufi music fashionable by introducing it to the West, and, ultimately the younger lot at home. With the staggering six-octave vocal range, ‘Shehenshah-e-Qawwali’ recorded 125 albums during his 25-year career. He collaborated with several international music giants to sing for soundtracks of dozens of Hollywood & Bollywood movies, and his vocals still continue to pop up every now and then to surprise and remind us of what a brilliant musician he was… and that he was ours!
42. All the other musicians: How can one forget the immeasurable contributions to Pakistani music of Reshma, Abida Parveen, Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi, the Sabris and Ali Khans and Farida Khanum. Moreover we’ve birthed stars like Iqbal Bano, Roshan Ara Begum, Munni Begum, Allan Fakir, Naseebo Laal, Alam and Arif Lohar, Aziz Mian, Ahmed Rushdie, Naheed Akhtar and Mussarrat Nazir. And who can forget the pop singers and bands right from Nazia and Zohaib Hasan, Alamgir to Vital Signs, Junoon, Strings as well as the new lot for, well, rockin’ it!
43. Sialkoti craftsmanship and sports equipment: Every few years, on the occasion of the Olympics and Fifa World Cup, we’re reminded of the underappreciated artisans grinding away in sport equipment factories in the soccer production capital of the world that is Sialkot. Here’s our chance to do more than just smile and feel proud for all of five seconds: Thank You for producing something that has the best quality in the whole world and has our name on it!
44. Nishan-e-Haiders, Hilal-i-Jurats, Sitara-e-Jurats, Tamgha-i-Jurats as well as all the undecorated Pakistani shaheeds – One word: Respect.
45. Live cooking shows: Although it’s a pity none of our chefs are as pleasing to look at as Nigella Lawson (we can hope, can’t we?), you’ve got to admit, these one-of-a-kind cooking shows have surely taught the ladies all over Pakistan a thing or two about Zauq, Zaiqa and Masala…
46. Maalish walas (local masseuses): Really, where else in the world will you be able to really appreciate life’s small pleasures like enjoying a roadside shawarma, while getting a 100-rupee back rub?
47. The royal treatment: Our predilection for royal treatment doesn’t end at roadside massages and back rubs. We Pakistanis are spoilt to a point where we’re easily angered if our fast food isn’t served to us on our tables with a big smile at international fast food joints. We’d rather order stuff online than promenade through overcrowded bazaars like normal people, and use our cars’ horns instinctively, expecting a bunch of kids to line up to bring us whatever we want just so we wouldn’t have to get off the air-conditioned car!
48. All the fashion and entertainment and shiny happy faces: With the rest of the country’s institutions and industries literally spiralling down the economic dumpster, it’s a wonder to see our fashion and entertainment industries do so well for themselves. Who cares for all the bomb blasts and political mudslinging hoedowns anyway when you’ve got all those pretty, cosmeticised faces playing dress up on TV to keep you distracted, right?
49. Wagah border guard change ceremony: If you’re ever low on patriotic fuel, quickly go to YouTube and type in “Wagah border guard change”. Really, there’s something very special about the diurnal ceremony that’s good to keep your patriotic streak alive for a few weeks at least! And shallow as this may sound, I think the fact that our guards are always way better looking than theirs has definitely got something to do with it, too!
50. All the fathers of Pakistan that we conveniently forget to thank. So thank you Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, Liaqat Ali Khan, Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, Aga Khan III, Fatima Jinnah, Bahadur Yar Jung and Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar. And thank you, too, Chaudhry Khaliquzzaman, A K Fazlul Huq, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Jogendra Nath Mandal, Sir Victor Turner, Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan and Dr Sir Ziauddin Ahmed. All the other prominent leaders of the Pakistan Movement, as well as the hundreds of thousands of men and women who lost their lives during the 90-year struggle for independence, thank you! You eventually secured us the gift that we now call home.
PHOTO CREDIT: AFP/REUTERS/MUHAMMAD JAVAID/FILE/ PUBLICITY
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The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.