Hello people, and welcome to the First Annual Pakistani Private TV Channels Awards. I, Wamid Mir, will be your host for the evening and with me will be the lovely, Dr. Shireen Blackwater Baymaari. Let’s kick off this grand event, but first, a choti se break, and a word from our main sponsors, Aafia Fairness Cream.
Yes, people, every Pakistani daughter, wife, mother and sister should be using this cream, made from natural Jalalabad almonds, ripe Swati lemons, and scintillating Afghan gun powder extracts. Experience a great sense of non-Caucasian fairness with Aafia Fairness Cream … otherwise you’re a traitor!
Over to you Shireen.
Thank you, Wamid. I hate the US!
That’s nice to know, Shireen. Now, can we know who the nominees for our first award are?
No! Not unless you expel the Blackwater agents planted within the audience.
Okay. Can you help us pinpoint them?
There! There’s one!
What? That’s an empty chair!
Well, that’s what Blackwater would want you to believe. Get him out!
Right. We will. Now can you please announce the nominees for our first award?
Okay. The first award is for the Loudest Talk Show Host. And the nominees are: Dr. Deafeningly Danish and Meher Blah Brunette Bokhari.
And the winner is: Dr. Deafeningly Danish! Dr. Deafening, please come up the stage and accept your award.
THANK YOU, SHIREEN!! THANK YOU WAMID! CAN YOU HEAR ME??
Ahem, yes, we can Dr. Deafening. Can you kindly take the award without delivering a speech? I don’t think our mics and speakers have enough watts in them to handle your voice.
OKAY, WAMID SAHIB! AND SORRY, MEHER, I BEAT YOU!!
OH, YOU SHUT UP, YOU URDU-MEDIUM MAN-SIREN!! THIS IS NOT FAIR!! I AM LOUDER AND DUMBER! CAN YOU HEAR ME??
We can hear you both loud and clear. Now will you kindly keep quiet?
Phew. Thank you. Do I hear whistling in the hall, or is it just my ears ringing? Anyway, on to our next award. Shireen, can you take us through it?
I can see CIA agents.
In your ears.
In my ears? But it’s just wax.
Okay, I’ll get rid of it.
Good boy. Okay, our next award is for the most Blessedly Warped TV Personality. And the nominees are: Zion Hamid; Dr. Aamer Aafat; and Dr. Shahid Barood. This is a tough one. But, alas, the winner is the great Zion Hamid. Zion sahib, kindly come and take your award from Wamid Mir saheb.
Zion sahib is in India at the moment, Shireen. He will be with us via satellite. You can see and hear his acceptance speech on this big screen behind me. Yes, Mr. Zion.
Hello, Wamid. Hello people. I am speaking to you live from the Red Fort in New Delhi. And I want to give the nation the good news that my army has taken over India. Rejoice!
That’s India? You are sitting in front of a video backdrop of the Red Fort.
Shut-up, Wamid. What do you know? You’re a CIA agent, anyway. I am in India, and to prove it, I have with me, Muhammad Bin Qasim! Say hello to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, Qasim bhai.
That’s Ali Azmat!
Shut-up, Wamid. He is Muhammad Bin Qasim. Every Pakistani is Muhammad Bin Qasim!
Even the women?
Especially the women! Have you ever seen Maria B without make-up?
You are making fun of your own supporter?
We are at war. And war is fun.
Err … Zion sahib, the Red Fort backdrop was just replaced by a backdrop of a beach in Honolulu.
It was? Oh … umm … that’s not Honolulu. That’s a beach near Mumbai.
Really? Since when have Mumbai beaches got Hawaiian women dancing on them?
Well … err … its tourism season here in Mumbai.
But we thought you were in Delhi.
I am! I can prove it. I have with me Aishwarya Rai. Say hello to your new rulers, sister Aishwarya.
What? That’s Ahmed Qureshi in a sari!
How dare you! Enough! I can’t accept this stupid USA-India-UK-Papua New Guinea-sponsored award of yours. I have better things to do.
Like conquering Israel! My next speech to the nation will be delivered from Tel Aviv.
I see. Well, good luck, Zion sahib. By the way, before you go, just wanted to tell you your backdrop has changed again. And it looks very much like Disney Land.
Alhamdulillah! It seems we’ve conquered the United States as well. Rejoice!
So, Shireen, whom do you want to give this award to now?
Well, I always thought the award should have been shared by all the nominees. They’re all so blessed. Come on up, guys, come to mama, and take your Most Blessedly Warped TV Personality Award!
Nice. Shahid Barood, would you like to say something?
I can’t, Wamid. The evil government is out to destroy me. I’m in hiding.
But you’re right here. We can see you.
No, Wamid, you can’t. I’m not here.
You are very much here, now speak!
Mama Shireen, kindly explain the sensitivity of the issue to Wamid.
Wamid, since Barood is in hiding, we’ll have to call Aamer Aafat to receive this prestigious award.
But he’s right here. I can see him. You can see him. The whole world can see him!
Here! Right in front of you!
Stop hallucinating, Wamid. It seems that ear-wax of yours has gotten into your eyes as well. Good luck, Barood, wherever you are, and may the force of brave journalism be with you.
Thank you, mom, I will only come out of hiding after this corrupt government is toppled by gallant journalists like you and me.
Hey, me too!
Okay, you too, Wamid.
Sigh. Life is not easy when one’s in hiding.
Where are you hiding?
I am in a bunker designed specially by Peo TV for my brilliant talk show, ‘Meray MutaBak-Bak.’
Well, good luck to you, my brave friend. Let me shake your hand. Oh, my, your palms are so cold. Do meet us whenever you come out of hiding.
I will, I wish you could see the state I am in.
But I can.
No you can’t!
Of course, I can’t. My bad. Anyway, Dr. Aamer Aafat, kindly collect the award from us.
Jazzakallah! Jazzakallah! I am honored. How much money am I getting with this award?
Err … none.
Mahshallah. And may I know how much money you are getting to host this show?
As much as you are getting to do that show of yours, ‘Zaalim Online.’
Alhamdulillah. Really happy to hear that. You see, brothers …
I’m a sister, dimwit!
Oh, a thousand apologies, sister Shireen. Wah! Kya naam hai. Shireen. The Sweetening. Mashallah.
No, sister. Say Jazzakallah. We are, after all, Arabs.
But my ancestors were Jats from Punjab.
Wamid bhai, Punjab is in Arabia.
No, it isn’t.
Yes, it is pyare bhai. Can I see the soles of your shoes?
No wonder. Brother, green is the colour of Islam, it is the colour of Pakistan, and now it is also the colour of my hair. Here, see the green streaking in my hair and beard? Lovely, isn’t it? But, brother, it can’t be the colour of the soles of your shoes.
What are you talking about? You have a garden in your house that has green grass and on which you walk. And the carpet you are standing on right now, its colour is green too!
No, brother, you are obviously mistaken. The carpet is black. Isn’t it, Sister Sweetening?
Yes, it is. Blackwater black!
And the grass of your garden. Is that black too?
Arey, Wamid bhai. What are we talking about? Let’s talk about the message of love and peace that our faith gives. Let’s go out and stone a few heathens, lynch a few Jews, flog some women and …
Let’s just move on, shall we. The next award is for the most Ubiquitous Talk Show Guest. And the nominees are: Gymran Khan; Marvi Siren; Sansar Abbasi; and Haroon-i-Islami. This award will be given by the famous TV hosts, Kamran Can’t and Javed Sermon Chudary. The winner is, the super-fit, Gymran Khan!
Wamid, Gymran is not here. He’s busy negotiating with the Taliban.
Thank you, Shireen. He must be up in the mountains of Waziristan then.
No. Zaman Park, Lahore.
What? There are Taliban in Zaman Park?
No, that’s the name of the area where Gym lives.
So Gym has invited the Taliban to his place?
No. He has invited Qazi Hussain Ahmed.
So who is negotiating with the Taliban then?
Gym is, of course.
But he’s in Lahore.
So where else should he be? Mars?
He should be where the Taliban are!
Where are the Taliban?
Waziristan, Swat, Bannu, South Punjab …
Lies! All Blackwater propaganda!
Then with whom is Gym negotiating, if there are no Taliban?
I never said that!
You just did. Kamran Can’t is a witness. Right, Kamran?
Corruption, Zardari, Zardari corruption, Zardari, corruption, corruption, Zardari …
Never mind. Well, folks, I guess that’s about it. Take care of yourself, and I hope you enjoyed this disaster, but we are proud of it because it’s our very own disaster … and a mighty lucrative one as well.
Nadeem F. Paracha is a cultural critic and senior columnist for Dawn Newspaper and Dawn.com.