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Anatomy of a Shaadi crash

Published Nov 09, 2012 02:39pm


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So there we were – sitting on an unmade bed, with two laptops, seven spreadsheets, six quarterly and two annual reports, 25 unchecked assignments and very little time between us – and all she could think about was the smell of barbecue wafting through the windows.

My wife suffers from axial myopia, a consequence of her XL-sized eyeballs which can, in situations of duress, be manipulated to form the aesthetic form necessary to evoke sympathy. Try and imagine a puppy acting in a canine production of Oliver Twist, and you'll know what I am talking about. The fact that she rarely, if ever, deploys this look meant that the call of the shaadi-food was strong within her.

At this point I tweeted.

Some clearly tried-and-tested methods were soon sent back. As you'll see, the absurdity/genius/ambition of the suggestions continued to increase. (For a more comprehensive account of the twittersations from that night, check out this link).

At this point, I was still enjoying the instant validation that the growing number of tweets in my mentions (sorry, interactions) always provides. This whole shall-I-raid-a-random-shaadi was the kind of wacky, native spiel that is my cachet, my brand identity so to speak – if one is to speak like an idiot.

So, I tried to encourage the reverie a little further.

The fact that all this was taking place amongst the last dregs of the weekend-after-Eid, meant that there was a certain stupor, a pungent mystery hanging over the night. Predictably, the response belied this reality.

Moreover, it increasingly became clear that wedding-crashing is a common pastime amongst Pakistanis. In fact, not just a pastime, but rather an elaborate personal quest of ever-increasing audacity to sample illicit shaadi-khaanas that just about everyone was into.

Realising that students to professors to journalists (and lots more in between this axis of muftas) were all skilled practitioners of this fine art emboldened me. Surely I could pull this off as well.

With a skip and a jump, I ran off to the cupboard and put on my valimay ka suit, and decided that the scene was on. My wife, the brainchild of this daring operation, had apparently been planning for a chance to raid a wedding her entire life, and was full of tips and tricks. The heist was on.

As I parked my car in the muddy expanse outside the twin tents in dazzling golden velvet, my mind began to play the soundtrack to a heist film, and I stepped out purposefully in my valimay ka suit, holding a wide paper bag with the name of a famous designer on the outside, and several plastic bags on the inside. I gave limp, non-committal side-hugs to the men at the reception, seated myself next to one of the food tables, and got ready. In the meanwhile, I kept texting my wife, who relayed the messages on twitter, along with her own ornamental comments and hash-tags.

I had originally planned to tell the whole story here, and keep the tweets as mementos of what was unfolding that night, but I thought it better to let the tweets tell the tale themselves, while I go off on a tangential diatribe on what the Twitter experience really means.

One of the tweets I received that night was this one.

The tweet is a clever dig at the various activists and citizens-with-a-conscience who always, without fail, can be counted upon to unleash such platitudes on twitter whenever it becomes trendy to mourn a particular victim.

Now when something, anything, breaks on twitter that is even mildly interesting, there is a sudden maelstrom of opinions all over the internets. When the situation is of a political/social/serious nature, this sudden onrush of reaction and outrage is confused by the mainstream media and other outsiders as a virtual storming of the Bastille.

When people start claiming that all of us are Malala or Bou-Azizi or Salman Butt, journalists too lazy to canvas vox-pops in person latch onto these tweets as proof of the vibrant and powerful body of opinion on the matter.


Twitter is unique in how it can create a virtual community, or mob, within seconds – with each participant genuinely aware of being part of a greater whole. But what the investors, reporters and intellectuals loath to admit, or realise, is that this semi-transcendental surge is not limited to revolutions or “where were you when...” moments, but also moments of complete irreverence.

The excitement and enthusiasm is not – I repeat, not – a consequence of the gravity of the situation, because otherwise a situation like the one above wouldn’t have happened. Rather, the enjoyment comes from the existence of an event on which we can all draw our own opinions, our own retorts, our own pop culture references, our own memes. And the very fact that such events are ephemeral and likely to be forgotten tomorrow enhances that appeal.

The moment is the celebration of the now, of the present, and of the knowledge that we’ll all shortly move onto something else. But before we do, let’s have some tikka laced with kheer.


Ahmer Naqvi is the Brian Lara of his generation – he’s a genius but his team usually loses. He blogs on his own property in Blogistan, and makes short films you can see here and here.


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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Ahmer Naqvi is the Brian Lara of his generation – he’s a genius but his team usually loses.

He tweets @karachikhatmal

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

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Comments (24) Closed

Dawn Nov 10, 2012 09:03am
YE CHEEZ , MERA AZIZ !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
shuaib Nov 09, 2012 11:48pm
In my late teens to mid 20s whenever I was invited to a shaadi I never went alone. I had to have all my posse accompany me or as many as we could get in a car. And all my friends reciprocated. Our rationale was, nobody is going to miss few plates of biryani, Quorma and few naans. what is the big deal. :-)
mehrish Nov 10, 2012 02:42am
this one is a hilarious article..:)
Samir Gupta Nov 10, 2012 07:21am
Absolutely brilliant!! My tummy hurts
anam Nov 09, 2012 11:15pm
A day without laugh, is the day wasted. Dear blogger, you just saved my day :).
Bush Nov 10, 2012 06:33am
hahahhahaha amazing!! I miss my country and the shaadis there:(
Anotherdesi Nov 10, 2012 04:31am
@abbastoronto once a thief always a thief.
abbastoronto Nov 10, 2012 01:32pm
Anotherdesi: Greetings I am with you. But what we two can do against the crowd of thumbs up who disagree.
Tahir Nov 10, 2012 09:25pm
100 likes for your work especially the second time!
adil Nov 09, 2012 09:13pm
I'm glad you write in English really well, but this piece was WAY too verbose. Not trying to belittle you, but it was really hard trying to grasp what you were trying to communicate, as I had to read most of the sentences over and over again. The topic and the tweets were really interesting, but your writing was really taxing. Still, good article!
CHUMPA Nov 09, 2012 01:33pm
Dude! What if the Dullah (dressed like a mafia assasin) or some one else with long hair, was following your tweets? You would be doomed. Always take your wife with you on such expeditions it looks more credible but tell her not to talk too much to other women.
shuaib Nov 09, 2012 04:26pm
As a kid I and my friends did this all the time. We practically went to every shaadi in the neighborhood and did not even know that its wrong :-) I have so many interesting stories .........
nadirh Nov 11, 2012 10:06am
this was a great read... i havent ever had this much fun reading a blog...
Cherian (Melbourne) Nov 10, 2012 05:02am
Good one mate. Thanks for sharing
abbastoronto Nov 09, 2012 02:39pm
Brilliant. Brings back 30 year old memories when this Pakistani not only crashed into an official Indian function, but was taken for the Indian Ambassador to Canada. In 1981 there were far fewer Desi here in Toronto than now, and National days were celebrated with anticipation. The local Indian community would rent a hall in a School, and in the evening put up song and dance routine and local dignitary speeches. The 2-3 hour show had an intermission where the plebs would buy and savour the Indian food, and the dignitaries would retire to a private room for their thing. Alain, my French enfant-terrible friend loved Asians (he eventually married a Chinese) and, and would coax me and my Russian wife Vera to regular Indian Restaurants and these functions. For the upcoming 26 January Indian Republic Day celebrations we decided to raid the Official Reception. Alain dressed up in his Sunday
Akbar Nov 09, 2012 02:41pm
Asif Nov 09, 2012 06:38pm
Very funny! I did this couple of times in my whole life. On one occasion few guys immediately knew I was an outsider but one guy was 'Chalta hai yaar is ko khanai dai' Second occasion did with my brother and 2 cousins, funny part was one of my cousin wearing a 'Chappel' eating and walking around and finally when we were leaving I ask the guard to look out for the outsiders. I do remember vividly when i look back after walking away he was closing the shaadi hall gate! LOL!
raika45 Nov 09, 2012 01:47pm
Interesting. This gate crashing only happens in Pakistan or India. Never hear of it happening elsewhere. Here in Malaysia the food in fact goes wasted at most weddings.
bakhtyar janjua Nov 11, 2012 08:48am
a cracker
sam Nov 10, 2012 06:04am
LOL... We just caught a criminal now....
rabiafaizy Nov 10, 2012 05:34am
I've rarely enjoyed reading anything more!
sid Nov 09, 2012 10:02pm
Well it is an art form!!!!and it happens everywhere, one has to be able to pull it off!!!
s.rehman Nov 10, 2012 10:56am
Sooooo funny this is a masterpiece,deserves an award .....
Bush Nov 10, 2012 12:55pm
no way hahahhaah!