Pakistan’s pantomime and the icons of our society

Published: July 2, 2015

The reason they think they are the icons of the society, is the reactions of the 50 odd rows behind them. PHOTO: REUTERS

Right at the outset, let me apologise for this rant. I do not normally criticise or write negative reviews, but this time around, it just felt like I should say something on behalf of the common, harassed and saddened citizens. This ensuing blog is about a stage show on television, like the numerous we see regularly.

There is this lady and there is a lot of her. Most of it is showing. She is dressed in black and her smile never goes away. Around her are 20 young men, all dressed in white and they are all gawking at her. The lady stands out more than she is supposed to. She epitomises Venus and suddenly she starts cavorting. The 20 flunkies around her cavort back at her, while garish music plays in the background.

Suddenly, as the music changes its tone, the lady becomes still, the flunkies collapse to the floor, and out bound two scrawny looking break dancers, who somersault and have their 30 seconds of limelight. They are dressed in bright green, in order for the audience to differentiate them amongst the rest.

Shortly, the music changes again, the break dancers bound off and the dead flunkies come to life. The 30-second break has done them much good. They now make a determined effort to grab the lady in black. The lady is lifted by them and she contorts in their hands and her dress comes off, to reveal a skimpier silver coloured outfit. She smiles throughout and the music becomes a crescendo. Then it comes to a grinding halt. The lady stretches out her arms in ballerina fashion and strikes a pose to convey acclaim.

Down in the audience, the main act on the stage is not the real thing. The front row is packed with renowned faces. Most of these faces are stuck in a Botox smile, to be shown to the wider world. Behind the smiles, they are bored stiff and thinking what the hell, another evening uselessly spent. They have spent most of their working lives doing this, thus it comes to them naturally.

They are what you may call superstars and therefore any price is worth it. One of them wears a striped pyjama-type trouser and a hat, like The Great Gatsby. He has bound on to the stage a couple of times. It’s his desperate move to be noticed, as his last couple of movies have bombed at the box office. Anything to be noticed! They are apparently icons of the society, but in reality they are unstable, shallow humans, who have mastered the art of creating a facade.

The reason they think they are the icons of society is obvious by the reactions of the 50 odd rows behind them. These are the so-called lucky commoners, and by hook or crook, these people have obtained entry to this event. Some have sold their souls to get here, others have used influence and the rest have simply entered by paying exorbitant rates. They feel they have achieved nirvana. Tomorrow they shall boast about being there. Today, they gawk at the bigwigs, trying to get close and touch them. Some dance and cavort as the stage-show goes on. Others are whistling, clapping, and being altogether star struck.

It’s a sight to see, as the ones in the front row smile, look superior and condescending. The objective of their narrow existence is to be admired. They do not quite realise that their success depends on these gullible masses in the common rows. They are so used to adulation, that they are convinced they are God’s gift to mankind and will succeed regardless.

It’s called ego and arrogance. The whole wasteful, ridiculous, repetitive and decadent event goes on, as it has these last 12 years. Somehow, our masses don’t tire of this idiocy and the great unwashed laps it up one more evening.

Time to switch off the television and do something useful.

Sarfaraz Rehman

Sarfaraz Rehman

The author has worked with large scale organizations like Unilever, Pepsi and Engro Foods in his 28 year career. He has now started an education initiative and writes on various subjects. He tweets as @sarehman

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sajjad Ali

    sir mind your own business and let people do as they want to you are no supreme authority or mankinds savior. Love and PeaceRecommend

  • Malveros

    A pointless ranting article. Pointless writing on subjects that don’t interest or concern you.Recommend

  • mmm

    Mujra is goodRecommend

  • Custard_Pie_In_Your_Face

    In the UK we have about 20 channels dedicated to selling some of the most useless and over priced merchandise you’ve ever seen. There are at least double that showing soft porn and even more MTV type music channels showing half dressed performers trying to sing and dance over monotonous mind-numbing soundtracks.

    Instead of forcing myself to watch these channels and them moan about them I’ve figured out how to work this thing called a remote control and avoid the channels that I dislike.

    Everyone deserves the right to just switch off and watch whatever entertains them. As long as they don’t force you to watch as well, it’s really none of your business.Recommend

  • anon0912

    Uncle ji,i learned a long time ago that its easier to just let idiots be idiots.Have a chuckle and let them lead their own lives and I suggest next time you come across something like this,just switch over to HBO and enjoy some boardwalk empire or something.Recommend

  • Babar Khan

    Thanks for voicing your opposition to such morally corrupting media. We’re the creators of our own messages.Recommend

  • Sane

    Dear Writer you telling a wrong thing to wrong people at wrong time. This society has degenerated to the extent that people or even not ready to, listen rationality, what to change ways. This society rather global now where gay marriages have been legalized by governments. There are nude beaches and so… and so. If you try to correct any of these (although you can’t) you will be reprimanded and abused by majority of people on this page. Sanity is lost and we are passing through last days before doomsday. Humans do not coexist with animals.Recommend

  • Sane


  • Sajid Karachi

    Did the author even mention the places of the particular province where these wantonish lecherous acts are performed and a part of the thousand year old culture ? Why getting offended ?Recommend



  • AA

    Do not lie, its famous everywhere. What you think Bollywood movies are watched for, a story ? May be one out of thousands, even that one also have girls in bikini suddenly jumped on stage or if that is not possible, then on street and start making most sexually explicit moves (I deliberately did not call it a dance, because dance is a choreographic poetry it is not jumping and humping as it goes in those vulgar moves ).Recommend

  • Blah

    Dear Writer, If you didn’t like it show should have switched off the TV earlier.Recommend