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The new al-phabet book

Published Sep 12, 2012 06:18pm


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There is one book in Pakistan that has never changed from the day of its inception, some 45 years ago. The parents of all young children in the country are a hafiz of this book. There is no limit to the joy of parents when their children start parroting voices from the text of this book, the stepping stones of great knowledge and wisdom. Children get rewards for memorising this book and are then proudly asked by their starry eyed parents to recite it in front of guests. Yes, you have guessed it; it’s the Urdu al-Qaeda and English al-phabet book.

When I look at Kindergarten books, I always feel they are very old-fashioned and need to be revised. This book in particular has been in circulation as far back as I can remember. The symbols with the alphabets are usually the tanga, lutoo etc, but have been replaced with motorcars and YoYos or their meanings have changed entirely. It’s usually said that this new generation of children are much smarter than the older generation. Here is my small contribution to update this al-phabet book, so that the children of this country might know what kind of a world they are about to step in to.

The first image was always an Apple and still is an Apple but on an iPhone. Pakistani batsmen have been unable to use the Bat for some time now so that should be replaced with Batman. And now the Cat has acquired new meaning after Imran Khan left his past behind him and found religion and politics.

Click on images to enlarge

D was always for Dog but now it’s Dengue. Politicians always demand Elections, and then for the Army’s intervention when they lose these elections. The symbol of the Fish is now replaced with a big fish eating small fish.

Ghairat is the word that can open doors for you anywhere and everywhere in this country, whether its politics, law or the media. The world according to Habibis is a must to survive in Pakistan and the famous Ink pot is obsolete but survives only as a prevailing reminder.

The current flying coffins … sorry airlines are far older than these Jets on our roads nowadays, and for the last many years the Kite has been in chains. Our children should know about Load shedding seeing how it will remain with us for the unforeseeable future.

The Media is the new messiah and all the problems of Pakistan will vanish if we follow our anchormen. The Nose is now our favourite past time i.e. poking it in every private matter, or for that matter our foreign policy in Afghanistan.

Parrots are found on footpaths, morning shows, or as experts on talk shows prophesying our future. Quaid is now a word for under the table transactions and the Railways are without tracks as once the British left, they never returned to construct them.

Who can forget the Swiss letter that is about to chop off another Prime Minister. Twitter and the social media are the first words out of a child’s mouth these days. While the opposition is now under the suo motu Umbrella.

The symbol of the Van should change after the sky rocketing fuel prices. The Agha Waqar car was actually meant to be a water car. And the X-rays of our warrior priests should also be included in our children's curriculum.

Here’s hoping our children will learn the ropes to survive in this land of the pure, and what better time to prepare them for this than the very first days of their lives.


The author left architecture for painting but ended up as a cartoonist and now writes Hijjo. He is the jack of all trades.



The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (32) Closed

Samer Sep 12, 2012 05:20pm
Fantabolous and Odacious Alphabetical Order for the future KIDYYY Scholarz
zahid Sep 14, 2012 07:41am
how about 'O' for Osama bin Laden
Sultan Khan Sep 13, 2012 08:19am
Explanation shall ruin the aesthetics of the word.
rehan Sep 14, 2012 04:50am
S for "Secularity" would be nice.... since this seems to be a buzz word now a days !
Capt C M Khan Sep 12, 2012 08:54am
Y for Yankee (distributing Yankee Dollars ) and Z not for Zebra but for Zebra Pattern ( The Polarization of extremes in our society). Excellent article though.
Agha Ata Sep 12, 2012 01:32pm
You forgot to mention "Z" for Zial ul Hque.
Adnan Sep 13, 2012 11:12am
S for swiss letter is the best ;)
Naseem Dar Sep 14, 2012 06:04am
"Z" for Zabardust and Zabardusti
RIZWAN Sep 12, 2012 08:38am
did you forget about Z, or you don't want the children learn about the famous leader of momins: ZAID HAMID.. .IT is a mistake, not an inadvertant error, you should correct it at the earliest. otherwise he may file a case against you for blahshaming against the SELF-PROCLAIMED KHALIFA.
E.K Sep 14, 2012 05:42am
H. Being Sep 12, 2012 08:28am
Wonderfully imaginative and hilarious. Loved the Water Car.
malang Sep 14, 2012 07:35am
F for Facebook :P
N Sep 12, 2012 08:33am
Where is Y and Z ?
sri1ram Sep 14, 2012 02:58am
The Habibi (or Arabic) worldview for all patriotic people is the best way to negate and nullify the larger-than-life influence of the nefarious, hegemonic, take-your-pick-negative-word neighbor. The kids will anyway learn all that in future history books, why not make a start in their ABC's itself?
Tony Sep 13, 2012 06:27pm
Some better suggestions -: J = Jihad, F = Fidayeen, A = AK47, B= Burqa, M = Mullah
dhk Sep 12, 2012 06:14pm
Hilarious, but didn't get the "Habibi" reference. Will someone care to explain?
nasra aleem Sep 12, 2012 05:01pm
you really did great effort keeping in view the new era.Kindly add Y for Yahoo and Z for Zardari for completing your innovative alphabets.
Gulap Sep 12, 2012 08:51am
Habibi - - - awesome.
Bilal Sep 12, 2012 09:25am
Good question. My guesses would be as follows: Y: Youtube Z: Zoom-in
Iqbal Sep 12, 2012 09:53am
Y is Yousuf Gilani and Z is Zardari.
fouziasaleem Sep 14, 2012 10:03am
Good effort.
akhter khichi Sep 13, 2012 07:57am
F should be for facebook instead of fish
Victor Ostrovsky Sep 12, 2012 10:59am
height of sarcasm in the authors figure of speech. the crux of this post can be noticed easily by every sane person living in this ignorant and fool-hardy society.
khadija Sep 13, 2012 04:24am
good piece of writing!
Cyrus Howell Sep 14, 2012 05:34am
' L' is for Load Shedding (seeing how it will remain with us for the unforeseeable future). Like. : O)
Loved It Sep 13, 2012 03:25am
What a wonderful article.
yasir Sep 13, 2012 07:22am
Good and something different, to make the reader smile and think as well. keep it up
Pradip Sep 13, 2012 06:45am
I am absolutely impressed with the quality of thought and humor. I cracked up multiple times what with the cool billi finding religion!!
ss Sep 13, 2012 10:01am
Tahira, USA Sep 12, 2012 02:31pm
If you really intend to print this little book after completing it, may I suggest that each picture page be followed by a blank page asking children to give three more examples for the letter, possibly with pictures. That would inspire some thinking and imagination and also give their feelings an outlet.
Shipan Sep 13, 2012 12:30pm
This is the second blog from the author which I came across and both were equally brilliant. Beware NFP here come another one with a bang! With me being a fellow architect, it was not very difficult to choose a favorite.
Adnan Sep 13, 2012 11:11am
nice one :)