Confessions of a lawn crazy lady

Published: March 26, 2011

What I witnessed at the Expo Centre in Karachi a few days back was truly a thought provoking experience.

If you live in one of the metropolitan cities in Pakistan, there is a high probability that you have been infected by the dreaded but highly contagious lawn virus.

The virus can manifest itself in the form of an empty wallet, being mauled in a stampede by other victims or being caught out in a highly frustrating traffic jam around the lawn exhibition areas.

What I witnessed at the Expo Centre in Karachi a few days back was truly a thought provoking experience. As I stood in what could only be termed as a “lawn crazy mob”, pushed and shoved from all directions, waiting patiently for my turn, my thoughts turned to an article I had come across in a newspaper which had statistics published by the Federal Bureau of Revenue.

According to this article, of the total population of 170 million in Pakistan only 1.7 million are taxpayers, of which around 1.6 million pay about Rs21,000 each as income tax every year. This means their annual income is under Rs500,000. So officially, there are only 100,000 tax payers in the entire country who earn more than Rs500,000 annually.

It was reported that this particular lawn exhibition was attended by about 30,000 women on a single day. Although the exhibition was originally scheduled for three days, they had to close shop after just one day as their entire stock was sold out on the very first day.

These are the figures coming from  just one of the exhibitions in the city this season. Depending upon the popularity of the brand, the average price of a single lawn suit ranges between Rs3,000-4,000 at these exhibitions.

At the exhibition, I looked around bewildered as I saw each woman walking away with 8-10 suits on an average. One lady was resting on the floor; exhausted and jubilant with what seemed like everything in the catalogue.

“Is that all?” the cashier at the checkout counter asked as he looked at me pitifully, a mocking smirk on his face, handing me my meager purchase of four lawn suits.

“Yes brother, I’m amongst the 1.7 million!” I said, as I walked away with my skinny shopping bag.

Nusrat Munshi

Nusrat Munshi

An MBA graduate working in the pharmaceutical industry in Karachi

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