The best thing about feedback on the internet – as opposed to letters by mail prevalent when this scribe began writing – is that one doesn’t have to spend so much time trying to decipher the poor handwritings, and can focus on being amazed at the ridiculous opinions of the readers. In line with the principles of engagement so important in contemporary journalism, I have always tried to give space to the opinions of people who would otherwise have to make inappropriate comments and embarrass family and friends and themselves at family dinners and in college classrooms. Today’s column is typical fan mail.

Sir,

Every week you post the fake news. What is this?

Nadan Khan,

Lahore.

- Every week you post the fake comments. What is this?

Sir,

What you do is not journalism. I am very disappointed that a reputed The Nation is giving space to a clown like you. What is happening to Pakistan? This country needs a revolution.

And if you think you are funny, sorry to pop your bubble but you are not.

Kohram Khan,

Lahore.

- Shut up

Sir,

I can see from your opinions that you are a paid journalist.

Imran Khan,

Lahore.

- I feel embarrassed, almost guilty, to admit that at a time when journalists in print media have to wait months before they get their salaries, and some don’t get any at all, I get paid almost on time.

I’d take this opportunity to remind media owners that when we speak about free media, we mean free speech, not unpaid labor.

Sir,

When you mention ‘this scribe’ is it really you or is it a fake persona?

MeganFoxLover,

Islamabad.

- Did your parents actually name you Megan Fox Lover, or is it a fake persona?

Sir,

You copy Nadeem Farooq Paracha.

Nadeem Farooq Paracha,

Karachi.

- You copy the guy who posts hate comments under his articles with fake names.

Sir,

I am writing to you because I have no one else to share my predicament with. The problem began several months ago when I fell in love with my girlfriend’s sister. She also fell in love with me. We spoke over the phone a lot and occasionally watched Game of Thrones together. But that changed two weeks ago when her boyfriend of two years suddenly broke up with her. She is heartbroken, and she keeps calling me all the time because she wants someone to talk to. She keeps going on and on about her life, and it takes up all my cellphone credit, and I can’t give proper time to my own girlfriend, her sister. I don’t want to tell her this because I don’t want to break her heart or make her jealous of her sister.

What should I do?

Hairan Khan,

Karachi.

- Look at all the choices, the choices in this world. The world spinnin’ on freedom, freedom for the boys and the girls. But the boys and girls, they don’t know what love is like. Love is like appreciation, mixed in a double cup with Sprite. So, can we go, no left or right. You go your way, and I’ll go mine. – Justin Bieber

Sir,

My boyfriend and I usually date in restaurants. Sometimes when I am eating, I have to lower my veil and he gets to see my face. Is that permissible?

Haya Khan,

Sialkot.

- Is what permissible?

Sir,

The mistakes of my past are coming back to haunt me. My parents want me to marry. I really need your help.

Pareshan Khan,

Peshawar.

- Only repentance can save you. Also send Rs 3,500 at our address given below.

Sir,

I used to suffer from body image issues, but your medicine has solved my problem. Thank you so much.

Haseena Khan,

Lahore.

- How do I know you’re telling the truth?

Sir,

Something awful you did has been posted online. Are these horrible things people are saying about you true? If not, swift action is necessary if you don’t want EVERYONE you know seeing these shameful acts you committed.

Before it’s too late, please send click on this link and type in your email address, Facebook and Twitter passwords, and credit card number.

Instantcheckmate.com,

New York.

Oh my God!

Sir,

How should we treat Tahirul Qadri?

Nawaz Sharif,

Islamabad.

- Like a king treats another

The author has a degree in Poetics of Prophetic Discourse and works as a Senior Paradigm Officer.

harris@nyu.edu

@cyborgasms