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February 9, 2015

Honey-coated with humour,Amar Jaleel gives a dose of sarcasm


February 9, 2015

They were pearls of wisdom as well as humour-coated thorns of sarcasm as that master of wit, a sage of modern times, Amar Jaleel, was at his usual best at a Karachi Literature Festival session on Sunday.
Titled ‘Atam Katha: In Conversation with Amar Jaleel’, the session was thronged with people for the Sindhi scholar and writer who instigates critical thinking, mostly with intellectual guidance and once in a while through admonishment.
Jaleel started casting his spell by describing a conversation between him and an imaginary friend who has a liking for “English-speaking people”.
Jaleel: “Have you ever savoured the taste of ‘Phajjay ke Paye’?”
Friend: “No. What is this Paye?”
Jaleel: “You don’t know?! Paye are the hooves of goats and cows. Even our prime minister relishes this delicacy.”
Friend: “Oh, now I know what’s wrong with you people, why your troubles are never over.”
Jaleel: “And what’s that?”
Friend: “You have a prime minister that relishes on hooves. What else do you expect?!”
In another part of this conversation, Jaleel asks his mystery friend another question.
Jaleel: “Do you know who killed Benazir [Bhutto]?”
Friend: “I won’t tell you.”
Jaleel: “Why?”
Friend: “You want me to have two daughters and a son orphaned?”
Smiles never left the audience’s faces as they listened to this conversation, and there was the frequent breaking out of laughter.
Jaleel went on that his friend had called him a ‘Badmaash’ (ruffian).
Jaleel: “Why are you calling me a Badmaash? Have I abducted a Hoor (a virgin maiden) from Heaven?”
Friend: “No. You can’t do that because there is a shortage of Hoors there with all the Jihadists going to Heaven these days.”
Jaleel: “Well, we can send some Hoors there. The girls in our country are nothing less than Hoors. They’re like Katrina Kaif.”
Friend: “Who is this Katrina

Jaleel: “My God! You don’t know who Katrina Kaif is?”
Friend: “I told you earlier I am only interested in English-speaking people!”
After this sarcasm-laced conversation ended, Jaleel started reminiscing his childhood days, when he was taught at school that a person’s country was their mother.
“This mother was split in two in 1947,” he said. “Now I need a visa to see my other mother. Does anyone need a visa to see their mother? Those born after 1947 don’t face this problem, but what about us?”
Jaleel lamented the creation of the visa system itself. “Makkah and Madina are for all Muslims. But when we answer God’s summon, it’s a visa that we need.”
The scholar noted that the value of books had declined to such an extent in our country that they were sold as scrap by weight. “How we treat our books reflects our failing society.”

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