Subliminal mockery and the devils advocate

Published: June 10, 2012
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I like people who take up the initiative to comprehend Pakistan better, but why can’t you do it without comparing us to your perfectly in-sync system back home. GRAPHIC: ERUM SHAIKH

A recent encounter with a firangi journalist made me realise that I have proudly joined the cult of perverse Pakistanis. Anyone who bears an accent and worships another deity must face the ‘us’ and ‘them’ complex.

We will, at all times, find or literally pluck out a thread of sublime mockery from well-structured declarations of a love for Pakistan and every time these foreigners show us the positive side of Americano, we want to throw a brick at their Cau-caustic face.

The jingoistic journalist started off the session just fine but then started chanting ‘bombs’, ‘bullets’ and ‘rape cases’ in front of my face. Thanks, but no thanks. I think I know what’s gnawing away Pakistan piece by piece; I really don’t want you to make a nursery rhyme out of my country’s evils and go all Mary Poppins in my face.

I totally agree with the journalist that all “Americans are not the devil’s advocate” but our lovely-whoever’s-advocate acted like a shield whenever someone hurled a comment at her nation’s pride. There were obviously some neutral moments as well, during which I learned some of the ground rudiments of journalism. And I thank her from the depth of my heart where there was no shrapnel and terrorism mention which, ‘oh golly! irked her so much about Pakistan’.

I respect the fact that foreign journalists are coming to Pakistan to share their two pence but why can’t I stop feeling that these benign interactive sessions are spanners of a big ‘let’s laugh at their plight’wheel?

I’m not a serial hater.

I like people who take up the initiative to comprehend Pakistan better, but why can’t you do it without comparing us to your perfectly in-sync system back home. Yes, we are the darker, pudgier sibling, but mummy loves us just as much. I guess my primary socialisation is to blame for the distrust. You’re always told to never trust the stranger; you’re never to be susceptible to their promises of pudding and you’re never to divulge family secrets. Sorry, my Amreeki friend, I don’t buy your two ounce of — for the lack of a better word — sympathy!

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Taneeya.Hasan

Taneeya Hasan

The author is a sub-editor for the Life and Style pages at Express Tribune

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