May 042008

I fear that one day we may only be left with a glorious flagpole, a monument to absurdity rising skywards and narrating to the world and posterity the tragedy of a nation that let its own masculine pride consume its body

Many things agitate me; many I don’t understand. That’s bad enough. What’s worse is that I can’t do much about them. So why not use this space to disembowel myself.

Here are just three, though in no particular order and it won’t do to find any brotherhood among them. They are just things that shouldn’t happen, but do.

I do understand why women need the toilet seat down and men need it up. I could get that even before I took my first biology lesson, in the formal setting of a classroom, if I may add. What I don’t understand is why a woman would want a man to put the seat down when she couldn’t care less about putting it back up.

Is that a biological compulsion or simply conditioning. In other words, to quote Munir, is it a problem of hardware or software, genotype or phenotype?

Then there is the great love affair between Mian Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari. It was consummated when the federal government was formed. Now both are acting like spouses even as they insist there are no differences between them on the restoration of judges. And if they are right about that, why do they make prevarication look so prevaricated and confusion so confounded?

I want to know clearly what the deal is. Are the spouses going to take their respective responsibilities towards the toilet seat seriously or has the seat already become a problem? And spare me an explanation from FB because I don’t want to commit hara-kiri trying to figure out FBese. Plain English would do, thank you.

It’s not that there is any spiritual affinity between toilet seats and the restoration of judges. I’ve already discounted that possibility. It’s just that both impact my life equally negatively at different times of the day, one in the morning when I am bleary-eyed and drowsy and pulling the seat up begins to look like an existential problem and the other through the day when I am asked for my “expert” opinion on the issue of judges and can see the seat going up and down alternately and can’t bring myself to look at that as depicting harmony.

To understand politics, we don’t need democracy. We need politicians created by Carlo Collodi so we could get a measure of their statements through the sizes of their noses.

On the issue of size, let me put forward Khaled Ahmed’s theory about strategy being a function of honour among smaller nations and honour being a tumescent condition. This is also the third on the list of agitators.

I don’t have to explain the area that suffers from tumescence when it comes to national honour but if KA’s theory is right then we are afflicted with a condition worse than Pinocchio’s and our national flagpole is now longer and more enlarged than Pinocchio’s nose.

By the way, the Brits wronged the defeated Germans when they translated Vaterland as “fatherland” because it actually refers to “homeland”. Speaking of which, my research shows that more than two dozen states have words in their languages for “fatherland” and refer to their countries as such. Shows how a “white” lie repeated constantly can become its own truth.

India seems to have both terms (Pitribhumi and Matrubhumi) which is just as well because to me it seems better to consider a state as comprising the attributes of both genders to symbolise reproduction than straitjacketing it as either “he” or “she” — although the reference to motherly attributes is more common and extensive than the other way round.

In our case of course the state has be male if KA is right about his Theory of the Great Tumescence. It stipulates that the national flagpole works itself up into great agitation every time the nation perceives a slight coming its way.

Currently, our mood is greatly biased against the Americans. Given the increasing size of the media and the number of commentators raising Cain against the Americans, the flagpole continues to rise in full glory; it now stands in complete disproportion to the size of the state which is simply incapable of either supporting the weight of this honour-afflicted tumescence or fulfilling its rising demands, no pun intended.

The rest of the body is growing weaker every day because the supply of blood to this splendid national erection can only be maintained by cutting down on, I would assume, essential blood-supply to the rest of the body.

If this theory is right, and sometimes when I see Imran Khan I do get just that feeling, I fear that one day we may only be left with a glorious flagpole, a monument to absurdity rising skywards and narrating to the world and posterity the tragedy of a nation that let its own masculine pride consume its body.

The flagpole, at that point, for all its splendour will be a tribute to oblivion. Sometimes being flaccid is not so bad after all.

Ejaz Haider is Consulting Editor of The Friday Times and Op-Ed Editor of Daily Times. He can be reached at

Source: Daily Times, 4/5/2008

 Posted by at 9:19 am

Leave a Reply

en English
%d bloggers like this: