‘Blessed’ or ‘White’…, if you like

December 2, 2018

This year too, the Lahoris joined in the most covetous retail event. And it was frightfully bizarre

‘Blessed’ or ‘White’…, if you like

Human beings are weird. I often think about this seemingly trivial matter, and I do not see myself stopping anytime soon.

Despite being embarrassingly proud of the grey matter we possess, we seldom try to put it to good use. That is not to say that we do not use it at all, for we surely do but mostly at times when the use is not really needed or would essentially be counter-productive. But that is how human beings have rolled, ever since they landed unceremoniously on this unfortunate planet.

Black Friday is one such occasion where we can observe our fellow human beings striving to put their minds to good use. Imagine all these minds coming into action, all at once. As you may have guessed, it would quickly turn into a horror show of sorts; a bizarre, satirical nightmare, which might force you to question the very purpose of your existence.

Black Friday is now officially ‘a thing’ here in Pakistan. Though I really wish it wasn’t a thing -- at least, not the thing it has become.

Last year, it suddenly dawned upon some people that ‘Friday’ and ‘black’ should not go together, and therefore it was decided that the occasion should be called anything but black. So, in lieu of ‘black’ we now have ‘big,’ ‘blessed,’ ‘white,’ and ‘best,’ among other such contenders.

Our creativity is timely and admirable, and knows no bounds. Also, who said you can’t borrow an idea and just twist it whichever way you fancy without caring for its nuances?

Every Black Friday for the past couple of years, ordinary Pakistanis are suddenly transformed into vicious beasts, running up and down the aisles of fancy stores stocking up things they wouldn’t dream of buying otherwise. This little ritual is not for the squeamish and, as I found out this year, definitely not for me. Some scenes that I got to witness on that fateful day recently -- as I finally decided to brave these sales -- are now etched in my memory, probably for eternity.

It could be that we are so deprived of quality entertainment that going absolute bonkers is quite possibly our only redemption. I mean, it really shouldn’t matter if our idea of entertainment is pushing our way through a TV shop for one widescreen TV, or fighting off mobs in a local shopping mall, or engaging in fistfights with other hopefuls at the indomitable Sapphire. We’re not to be blamed, we are special, we feel sad, and good sales make us happy. It doesn’t matter if we end up spending much more than we do throughout the year; it’s still therapeutic, isn’t it?

I’m sure my little writing exercise made sense to some of you -- the ones who enjoy the thrill of the chase, the deal seekers, the shopping mall sharks, the blessed/white/big/white Friday banshees (or angels, since we probably shouldn’t use ‘banshee’ and ‘Friday’ together as well).

So, happy hunting, my fellow human beings! And the ones who didn’t understand what I was rambling about, well, cheer up, you’ll get there in time, or maybe not. Just try to act a little surprised when you do.

‘Blessed’ or ‘White’…, if you like