Namaste, Salam and Hello. I'm Agnipath Ghaznavi, your host for yet another episode of 'Kon Baney Ga Jangpati.' (KBGJ)
Dear viewers, as you might have guessed by now, KBGJ is aired on Pakistani and Hindustani TV channels after a cycle of every two to three years when things begin to go kind of crazy at the Line of Control (LoC) and when Pakistani and Indian soldiers begin to shoot at each other for no apparent reason.
Biologists believe that this cycle has become a part of the soldiers' genetic make-up and operates like the mating cycle of the Vulcans of the Star Trek fame in which after every few years a Vulcan suddenly begins to lose control of his ability to reason and apply logic and starts to behave like a bi-paddle elephant with raging hormones, rampaging across villages looking for a mate.
So, that takes care of that. But have you ever wondered what genes, biology or chemical imbalances are involved in making the TV news channels of both the countries go berserk right from the moment our soldiers' violent mating cycle begins at the LoC?
I'm sure by now patriots of both the countries must be denouncing me as an ISI and RAW agent or a traitor for trying to understand the said phenomenon with the help of science. Because, after all, the only good science to our patriots is the one that has given our two glorious countries the nuclear bomb.
So, during this LOC cycle as well, we have invited two TV anchors each from India and Pakistan to KBGJ who can win the grand prize of this quiz show: An all-out nuclear war!
Excited? Me too. So let's begin. From Pakistan, we have Mr. Bin Qasim Aziz and Ms. Bin Qasim Aziza. From India, we have Mr. Mahmerugarawamgurunaik Agni and Ms. Ayushmatibindi Prithvi (aka Mona darling).
All these fine men and women are four of the best and most patriotic TV anchors ... but not necessarily journalists ... in Pakistan and India and, at least in their heads, around the world and even in the Alpha and Delta Quadrants of the Milky Way.
You all know the format of the show. I will ask three questions each from the contestants. They can take help from their country's comrades or call any of their friends for their input.
The anchor who answers all the questions correctly will win the grand prize. Something he or she has always wanted: A nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan. Lovely, no?
So here goes. My first guest is Mr. Bin Qasim Aziz. Hello, sir.
Shall we begin?
Am I being interrogated?
Not at all. It's just a quiz show.
Your name is strange. It's half Hindu, half Muslim. What are you, really?
I'm the one whose supposed to ask the questions, sir.
Because it's my show!
I see. Okay, begin. Human.
Thank you. My first question to you is, tell me how many wars have Pakistan and India fought? A: Four. B: Six C: None or D: 95? You have five minutes to answer and you can take help from your colleague, Ms. Aziza.
Pakistan has won all the wars that it fought against India.
That's not what I asked, sir. I asked ...
I know what you asked.
So, your answer is ...?
Yes. And this is going to be the 96th.
Are you sure?
Should I LoC it?
Wrong answer. The correct answer is A: Four wars. 1948, 1965, 1971 and 1999.
Yes, but we won them all and that's all that counts.
Actually, you didn't, but that's beside the point ...
I see RAW hands at work here. You are trying to distort history. Breaking News: Hindu TV host distorts history, kills Muslim and dumps body on the Pakistan side of the LoC!
Err ... right. Anyway, my next question is ...
Is it by any chance a sect of Hinduism?
No. Human is human. You are human too.
No! I am first Muslim and then Pakistani!
Yes, but we are all humans; Hindus, Muslims, Christians, atheists ...
So, Human is a sect of Atheism?
Forget it. My next question to you is, who was India's first Prime Minister?
Daoud Ibrahim! Hee hee.
Because it's the wrong answer. You now just have a chance to win a Chinese water-pistol ...
Oh, goodie! I love everything Chinese. Ask the question, ask the question!
Who was Steve Jobs?
A man called Stevie ..
Yes, a man called Steven ...
Yes, a man called Steve with a lot of jobs.
Are you serious?
Of course, I am.
Are you sure you're a TV news anchor?
Is that a new question?
No. I was just wondering.
So I win the Chinese water-pistol then?
No, you don't.
This quiz is fixed. Like IPL. Breaking News: Indian TV host ...
I'm not Indian
Hindu TV host ...
I'm not Hindu.
Human TV host claims IPL matches fixed, kills Muslim and dumps body on the Pakistani side of the LoC!
I'm sure this would do wonders for your ratings.
Anyway, thank you. My next guest on the show is famous Indian TV news anchor, Mr. Mahmerugarawamgurunaik Agni. Welcome to the show, sir.
Errm ... yes.
Meaning not Hindu?
Human, like everybody else, including you.
I smell an ISI hand here.
Believe me, sir, there is no ISI, RAW or for that matter any other intelligence agency here. This is just a test of the intelligence of India and Pakistan's TV anchors, that's all.
You mean a contest between Hindus and Muslims.
No, not really. Just between humans of the two countries.
I'm sure you are, but we're all humans, no?
If you insist. Shall we begin?
Because that's why you are here.
I see. Okay, begin human.
My first question to you is, has the United Nations recognised Kashmir to be a disputed territory?
It's just one country outside Pakistan that recognises this ...
What is one country?
The United Nations.
United Nations is a country?
Yes, idiot, just like United States and United Kingdom.
I always wonder exactly how much reading most Pakistani and Indian TV anchors do and how much do they know about history, politics and ...
Is that your next question?
Good. So I was right then.
No you weren't.
Hmmm ... You are trying to raise that Muslim anchor's ratings but destroy mine, aren't you, Muslim ISI Human?
Breaking News: ISI agent confesses that he has infiltrated Indian media, kills Hindu and dumps body on the Indian side of the LoC!
Right. Of course. Next question: When did the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, last meet Mahatma Gandhi?
They never met.
They did, many times.
No, human, they didn't. Okay, actually they did and that is what killed Gandhi Jee.
He was assassinated by a Hindu fanatic.
Wrong! ISI propaganda! He was killed by Jinnah and his body was thrown on the Indian side of the LoC!
There was no LoC in those days.
Oh. How come nobody told me?
You should know, you're a journalist.
Oh. How come nobody told me?
Well, you're a TV news anchor, aren't you?
Yes, that I am, with great ratings! Breaking News! Pakistani ...
Please. Thank you. We get the idea. You now only have a chance to win a poster of Sachin Tendulkar.
I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!
He's God. Can I win a date with an IPL cheerleader, instead?
I don't think so. There isn't any intellectual compatibility between the cheerleader and you.
Oh. How come nobody told me?
Well, I am. Thank you for coming. Our next guest is famous Pakistani TV anchor, Ms. Bin Qasim Aziza. Welcome, ma'am.
Can you see my face?
How come? I'm wearing a burqa.
No, ma'am, you aren't.
Then maybe a hijab?
Hmmm ... I thought I was. Maybe your Hindu producer stole it.
My producer is not Hindu and he most certainly didn't steal your burqa or hijab.
Us Muslim women should wear them, y'know.
But I've seen your show; you don't wear a burqa or a hijab.
Hmmm ... You French people hate burqas, don't you?
Madam, I'm not French.
Yes, yes, you are human. Same thing. Muslim bashers, burqa haters, Islamaphobes ...
Right. Of course. Shall we begin?
I'm only allowed to appear without a burqa in front of my Muslim brothers.
Sisters watch cooking shows.
But you are appearing here without a burqa. You can leave if you want to.
Hmm ... can you just behave as if I was in a burqa?
Err ... okay. I'll imagine you are wearing a burqa.
Good. You can now begin, human.
Great. My first question to you is ...
Why are you being so polite?
You should be passing Islamophobic comments at me because of my burqa.
Why would I do that?
But why? I don't care if you're in a burqa or not!
But you must, you French Texan Brahmin Islamophobic fascist!
Lady, are you nuts?
Dhen ta dhen ta dhen dhen ...
What was that?
The music before a breaking news.
What breaking news?
Indian secularist insults Pakistani Muslim woman for wearing a burqa, kills her and ...
... and dumps her body on the Pakistani side of the LoC?
That's true. How did you know that?
Oh, just a wild guess.
So you are trying to be wild with a modest, burqa-wearing Muslim girl?
I thought you were a famous fiery Pakistani TV news anchor.
That I am, Alhamdulillah! And stop staring at me. Haven't you ever seen a woman in a burqa before?
I have. But you're the only woman I've seen who isn't wearing a burqa but is pretending to be wearing one. How weird is that?
Is that your question?
Okay, yes, it is.
Hmmm ... can I take help from my Pakistani colleague here?
Sure, you can.
Yes, Bin Aziza.
Do you think I'm weird?
Depends on your ratings, sister.
Hmmm. Well, that's the answer then, human.
Let's just ask you another question, shall we?
Good, tell me ...
So my second answer was right as well. Two out of two!
But I didn't ask you the second question ...
Yes, you did. You asked if you can ask me another question and I said okay.
But that ... ma'am, I think we're done here. I'm running out of time. I must invite my last guest.
That Hindu woman?
Yes. Ms. Ayushmatibindi Prithvi.
Ha! She's about to commit sati.
Ma'am, Hindu women do not indulge in such evil, ancient traditions anymore.
How dare you!
Ms. Prithvi, welcome.
Call me Mona darling.
If you insist.
How dare you!
How dare I what?
Call sati an evil tradition.
But isn't it?
You anti-Hindu secularist communist colonialist dog!
People like you will have no place in the Hindu Utopia that Mr. Modi is about to create.
Indeed. After he blows Pakistan off the face of the Earth, boom!
Pakistan also has a nuclear device, you know.
Agent! Light me a fire. I'd rather jump in it than talk to filthy ISI agents like you. And you call yourself an Indian?
Alas, the truth. Pakistani!
Nope, even though I wish I was.
Light the fire, light the fire ...
Take a hold of yourself, ma'am. You are a famous Indian news anchor.
That's true. Now Imagine performing sati live on TV for the sake of India and Ram Raj. Imagine the ratings ...!
Breaking News: Indian TV anchor performs Sati live on TV after being molested by Pakistani agent.
... and then he dumps her body on the Indian side of the LoC.
Wow, that sounds good. Let's do it then.
Set that Pakistani woman anchor on fire and pretend it was me who committed sati because you molested me.
What? Which one?
The one wearing that stupid burqa.
But she isn't.
Yes I am, you French Islamophobe!
But I'm not French.
Human! Light the fire, light the fire!
I want my burqa back ...!
United Nations is a country. It can go to hell!
Hey, how come a Pakistani anchor can't get a date with an IPL cheerleader?
STOP! Quiet! You all are hopeless.
Well, at least we're not human.
Quiet! You've all lost. Nobody wins the grand prize.
Does that mean no nuclear war?
Yes. And thank God for that.
Which one? Allah, Bhagwan ... Tendulkar?
Good grief, guys. Do you even know what the consequences would be if a nuclear conflict between two third world countries like India and Pakistan breaks out, you ignorant, selfish fools?
Errm ... is that your next question?
Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com
He tweets @NadeemfParacha
The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.