By Waseem Altaf
Sharmeen Khan is a popular TV anchor and hosts a morning show. Her monthly pay package exceeds rupees five hundred thousand. She has a Chauffeur-driven Porsche and lives in a palatial house in Defense Phase VII. She is married to Qurban Shah, a rich agriculturist cum businessman from interior Sindh who already has a wife and three kids in his native village near Tando Adam. Sharmeen is thirty-three years old, twenty-seven years younger than her husband, (not that great a difference when you weigh the pros and cons!) She first met him when her close friend Shabana, Shah Saab’s private secretary, took her to a party two years back.
Two years back, she was Kausar Perveen, hailing from Qasba Colony. Her father divorced her mother, when she and her two younger sisters were still going to school. Her mother, a nurse at a local government hospital, lived with limited resources and worked really hard to raise her daughters. Kausar Parveen got a job as a dispatch clerk, at Shah Saab’s main office and later got married to him when Shabana apprised that he was interested in her. She was also lured by the description of huge benefits that would accrue after this marriage.
Shah Saab, being a chronic diabetic and a heart patient is on heavy medication. He likes to be in the company of his young and stylish wife. Sharmeen, has two boyfriends whom she secretly meets in private rooms either at, Sheraton or Pearl Continental. There can be no intrusion and only complete privacy with no-one ever having the courage to disturb them during the time of the clandestine meetings. At the same time she is a deeply religious person and a true specimen of middle class morality.
She hosts a morning show called, ‘ghairatmand brigade ka chhapa’ where she along with others and the cameramen raid people engaged in ‘immoral activities’. Lately young boys and girls meeting at a public park were caught on camera and subjected to harsh interrogation.
Farzana Jabeen, belonged to a poor family and had an affair with Mohammad Farooq, a clerk at the AG’s office. They both wanted to marry each other but Farooq’s parents were resisting due to the families’ diverse ethnic background. It was Tuesday, when they both decided to meet each other. Farooq borrowed two hundred Rupees from a friend, took out his motorbike and picked up Farzana from near the Lines Area. They went to Clifton Park and while they were sitting on a bench, woom! There appeared the ‘ghairatmand brigade’ led by none other than Sharmeen. ‘Is she your wife?’ ‘What is your relationship with this boy?’ ‘Do your parents know what you are doing?’ ‘Is it moral to have relations with the opposite sex?’ Sharmeen shouted!
As the footage was telecast on TV across the country, by evening everybody in the neighborhood knew of the ‘illicit relations’ and the ‘immoral conduct’ of the couple. Farzana was severely beaten by her brothers. With a swollen eye and a broken rib she was locked in a room while Farooq’s parents, admonished him for being ‘corrupt’.
Royal Palm Country Golf Club is not for everybody. The membership fee exceeds rupees eight hundred thousand. Sometime back a grand musical evening was arranged by a renowned socialite and an MPA from Lahore where some of the top male and female artists were invited to entertain the audience. Several members of the Punjab Assembly, along with their families were also there. While Fareeha Pervez was singing, many of them started dancing. This ‘high’ was followed by a sumptuous dinner.
Ahmad Rasheed and his class fellow Shazia Rahmat, were members of the college’s cultural committee. They had requested Fareeha Pervez to sing a few songs on a farewell party due to be held in the college premises. On receiving the news that Fareeha would be coming (of course at discounted rates) all the students who had contributed Rs 500 each, mostly from middle class families were very excited as it was not possible for them to go to concerts held at 5-star hotels for which a heavy amount is charged as entry fee.
That same day when they got confirmation that Fareeha would come, the college administration issued a circular that no concert could be held in the college premises as the Punjab Assembly had passed a resolution disallowing the holding of such events. It further added that no such activity could be allowed till further decision by the Government of Punjab.
Khalid Khan, (SP) City, lives in Lahore Cantonment while his family is in the UK. As some of his old friends were visiting him, he arranged a private dance party for them. Nazi and Rakhshi, two female stage artists, were specially brought to entertain the guests. The girls initially performed traditional dances which soon transmuted into erotic shuffling and strip tease while Bacaradi and Cabarnet Sauvignon- an imported red wine from Italy were being served.
Khalid Khan is deeply concerned with the spread of blue films and other such material in the city and has directed all ‘thanas’ under his command to conduct raids on places where ‘immoral activities’ take place.
Bhola and some of his friends contributed Rs 40 each to get a VCD player on rent and a couple of X-rated CD’s. And while the group of seven were watching those in a small ‘baithak’, a police raid was carried out and all the seven ‘culprits’ were caught red handed. The matter was immediately brought to the notice of Khalid Khan, SP (City), who greatly appreciated the action by the police.
Maulana Sadruddin Islahi is not only a political figure but also a noted religious scholar. His only son is enrolled in Aitcheson College, while his two daughters study at Kinnaird. Last month, he attended the sports day held at Aitchison and was greatly amused by his son’s performance in three events. He later met the Principal and applauded his efforts for the promotion of sports in the college. He also expressed his opinion on the significance of sports in keeping oneself fit and healthy.
Butt, as he was known and his friends belonged to the slum area of Mughalpura. In the morning, they would go to school and at around four in the evening they would play football in a small ground near the Railways workshop. That was the only healthful activity available to the poor guys. One fine morning, Maulana Sadaruddin Islahi appeared with a bunch of his associates and declared that a mosque would be built on the small ground. Master Anwar, who was present there, told him that they already had four mosques in the vicinity and there was no need to have another one as children used that space as a playground. However, he was snubbed. ‘The purification of the spirit is more important than the purification of the body and moreover there is no mosque nearby for the Ahle-Hadis’ cried Maulana Islahi. He also showed them the NOC from the municipality for the construction of a mosque.
In few weeks time, a mosque was built with an adjacent madrassa and a few shops which were then rented out. The rent and ‘chanda’ went to the Masjid committee headed by Maulana Islahi.
On August 12,2011 Farooq Ahmad alias Bhola Butt, 24, belonging to a lower middle class family of Qila Lachman Singh, Lahore was lying on an iron bed on the rooftop of his house. He was alone at home when Shakila 8, his neighbor’s daughter came upstairs.
On August 14,2011Shakila’s dead body was found near the side of a shallow pool. The post-mortem report later revealed that she was raped before being strangulated.
Note: All characters appearing in this story are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.