Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Idiot Box

I am becoming increasingly shallow; I prefer watching TV to reading a book! On the other hand, while books, at least these days, leave me as a case of information overload induced anxiety and devoid of any self-respect, all the TV fluff makes good blog fodder. As read below.

Digests are the Pakistani equivalent of mass paperbacks in Pakistan. From Urdu Digest to Suspense and Jasoosi Kahanian (Detective Stories) to Kiran (moon beam), Shua’a (sun ray) and Khwateen (Ladies) Digest, all monthlies sell like hot cakes. The former three are a collection of thrillers and the latter are all romance; a desi version of Harlequins, with as many veils and shrouds of morality as befits desiness, ahem. Typically populist fare which of course means it would be frowned upon should one be found curled up with a Kiran, Shua’a or Khwateen. And obviously one would love to be found in the compromising situation, ahem. To one’s credit though, on has never ever bought a new copy of the offending digests, it’s always borrowings, buying old ones, stealing it from cousins and other noble means of getting one’s reading supplies.

From one fluff to another, read above, usually channel surfing my stopover is longer at Pakistani channels, out of interest. There are so many channels coming up each day I wonder how they would sustain themselves over the period of time. Of course it also means there is a mad scramble for producing kitsch for the idiot-box; generous smatterings of Star Plus' Saas Bahu'esque soaps with garish make-up, elaborate gold tinted sets, a significant lack of acting, exaggerated histrionics and the like. Leaves a terrible taste and a sudden urge to purge the living room of the offending presence of a TV set airing such torture. In such a scenario it's always a welcome change to actually want to stop and sit through an entire Pakistani drama. Imagine my surprise when I found not just one or two but three watchable dramas on the local scene!

The first is Lahasil aired on HumTV, then there is Amar Bail that comes on TV1 and lastly a Mehreen Jabbar serial on Hum TV again. Jabbar does good work and her projects I make a point to watch. No nonsense, her dramas, and definitely worth a watch. Shame I forgot its name. The first two serials are based on serialized novels that regularly appeared in the frowned upon digests. I've lost steam and don't want to go any further now.

Then there was this TVC I caught on Channel V. A cartoon featuring a man staring at Mona Lisa. After a while Mona Lisa, turns to the man and says, 'Ae, ghar main maan behn naeen kia, *^&#$.' (Don't you have mother and sister at home, a typical response to disrespectful ogling men.) I loved the TVC, needless to say, and made it my life's purpose to tell it to as many men and women possible. *wink*

And ending this randomness and poor excuse of a writing/typing:

بربادئ دل جبر نہیں فیض کسی کا
وہ دشمنِ جاں ہے تو بُھلا کیوں نہیں دیتے

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Snootiness 101

Course: Snootiness 101, SS 1206
Semester: Fall 2006
Instructor: Ms. Prissy Ahaughty
Classes: Thursdays, 1230 - 1530 Consultation: Thursday 1530 - 1535
Email: ahaughty@snooties.edu
Course Objective:
The objective of this course is to train students to become snooty. While the learning outcome states suicidal depression as the ultimate goal, this course seeks to demoralize students into thinking that they are the very vermin and scourge of the society and can never ever do any good, eventually pass this course with a best-possible ‘B-‘ and let loose the Snooties™ brand of snobbery onto the society.
At the end of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Become absolute pain-in-the-neck snob.
2. Think high and mighty of himself.
3. Have his/her spirit broken and crushed.
4. Preferably become suicidally depressed and pass it on to others.
Note: This course is compulsory for all BBA and MBA students coming to Snooties™, the best business school in the world, to inculcate in them an organised understanding and respect for the practice of being mean.
Teaching methods: Lectures and presentations.

Grading policy: Students acing this course will be automatically graded ‘F’ till their spirit is broken, which will be graded ‘B-’. Students committing suicide during/after taking this course will be eligible for a posthumous ‘A+’ and earn a permanent place in the Snooties Hall of Shame™.
Class Participation: 25%
Class Behavior: 25%
Attendance: 10%
Assignments: 5%
Projects: 5%
Purchase of course material: 10%
Final paper: 20%
Bonus marks: upto 50% (At the instructor's discretion)

Recommended Text:
All books authored/edited by the instructor. Get a list from the course TA and buy all of them.

Attendance, Assignments and Participation:
Students are expected to be punctual and graded accordingly. Late comings are allowed upto 2 minutes, but marked Late. Every late is an absent. Any absence is an automatic ‘F’.
Students are expected to be casually dressed, giving enough fodder for the instructor to blast them for their shabby dressing.
All assignments are to be handwritten and given in by the due date, which will always be announced a day later. Late submissions will be graded down.
Students are expected to maintain pin-drop silence in the class. A pin will be dropped at random in class, to test silence and the while class graded according to the audibility of the pin-drop.
Students are expected to fawn over the instructor, flatter and praise, the only participation allowed and graded for this class.

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