Life 1

Published on September 30th, 2013 | by Musa Badar


You know you are a Pakistani when

Standing on the sidewalk I see two wide assed women trying to fit their entire existence into a public tri-wheeler rickshaw, as one of them manages to achieve the feat it becomes even more difficult for the other to squeeze in through the fragile door held together only by some strings, through all this the rickshaw driver is putting in a word or two of motivation for the fat ‘baji ji’ every now and then …. After excruciating moments of toil she finally gets through and the rickshaw takes off …. Its engine noise giving the impression of after burners, leaving behind a thick dense trail of smoke ………. This is when I realize, I’m in Pakistan!!

To plagiarize Douglas Adams’s sensational dialogue … “In the beginning Pakistan was created. This has made a lot of people angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move…..” but just like the universe it’s here to stay, not for forever but outliving us all … So here’s a list of things/codes that are downloaded into the blood stream of every Pakistani, and very distinctive from others. The list of things for which you can specify, the person is a Pakistani

1)    The Food you eat is nothing but Cholesterol and Fats – The Fatty-Food

Pakistani food is markedly unhealthy. With spices that could cause ulcers and oil that could give you enough cholesterol for two life times. A typical Pakistani meal is 90% meat 5% rice/wheat and 5% oil. Most people prefer eating at home, fine dining is an alien concept to the masses, and fast food is frowned upon by the elderly.


2)    You know at least 300 cousins in your known family and yet don’t know the rest of 700

Pakistanis have a closely knit family system, and the families have evolved so much over time that every third person you bump into at the supermarket is a distant relative from either your maternal side or the paternal one. People prefer living with their parents even after they have families of their own; the bride moves in to the new house and marriages within the same family are usually encouraged.

3)    Your marriage is your Parents business, its none of yours

Marriages are almost always monogamous and mostly arranged by the family heads, there’s a tradition of bringing forth the proposal on a wedding or any other festive occasion. A married couple strives hard to maintain domestic felicity, where the men go to work and the women are usually stay home moms.

4)    A baby in family does his/her first poop and a party would be thrown

Pakistanis are unusually bright and cheery, they enjoy celebrating. Be it a religious festival or celebration of a new season or the first poop of a new born, Pakistanis will party and party hard. After winning any major sports event on a national level, the streets get flooded with enthusiastic youth screaming and dancing.

5)    You and everyone else thinks he is a PhD in Religion and the only PhD in fact

Religion is more an obsession to some, people have surprisingly less knowledge of the true religion then they’d have you believe. Criticizing openly and judging everyone based on self-proclaimed standards of piety is common practice. ‘Haram police’ is a slang used for such people … who always find faults with your idea of religion and how they have the ultimate right to go to heaven and you’re just a sad infidel. So when in Pakistan look out for the haram police because they’re Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba Baaaad Bad to the boonee.


6)    The poor male is to do all the hard work to get a girl he fancies – the girl is a deaf mute if you expect her to start it

If you’re a guy you’re pretty much screwed. You have to do it all, from the awkward first ‘hello’ to the ‘can I have your number’ with the fear of getting insulted (even physically) at every stage …. and even if you’re lucky enough to have some progress in that field you have to make all sacrifices, remember all the dates, keep the ball rolling.

If you’re a girl making the first move is outright preposterous. You wait for the guy to make a suggestive comment and shy away or get offended, depending on how you feel about him. Expressing loud and clear is oh-so-‘farangi’ (a word used to describe outsiders in Pakistan).

7)    You have nothing to talk about, start praising your political party

Politics is the most oft discussed topic, all it requires to keep yourself updated is a visit to the nearest ‘dhaaba’ (a local tea cafe) where everyone is debating and giving their expert opinion. Your barber would talk about his political party head so passionately you’d sense there might be a new Sweeny Todd in the making.

8)    You are not supposed to follow the traffic rules because the rules are for looser

Unless you keep on driving for an even minute after the red light, you are not in Pakistan. They believe “the Red light” means you should stop your car in a while now fellows.

Musa Badar

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Musa Badar

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