City Notes

As you read these notes, gentle reader, it’s Christmas. It is also Quaid-e-Azam Day, and not just an extended weekend, but the beginning of the term holidays for schools. The fact that it means an extended weekend is not its purpose, though that is what so many people seem to think. It is not just these two, however, but also Mian Nawaz Sharif’s birthday. Too much of a coincidence? Well, the woman who bore him is still around, and she should know. But maybe she can’t be sure of the date? Any other date, surely, but she would remember Christmas? And by then, back in 1949, it was also being celebrated as the Quaid’s birthday.

One mother who will not forget the birth of her child was the woman who was on a PIA Madina-Multan flight. No one knows why she was let onto the plane, perhaps because no one wants to risk having to deal with her lawyer, presumably drawn from the Multan bar, where they choose to substitute fisticuffs for arguments.

That birth must have brought great happiness to the couple, though they had nothing to do with Lal Singh Arya, the Madhya Pradesh minister with the Happiness portfolio, who was arrested for the 2009 murder of a political opponent.

Well, it was a political opponent, not his wife, for whose 2000 murder, TV personality Suhaib Ilyasi got a life sentence (his own wife, that is, not Arya’s). Ilyasi was the host of the India’s Most Wanted show, devoted to exposing wanted criminals. It was considered a suicide until the murdered woman’s murder cried foul. Does that murder compare with the actress who said that a fellow-passenger on a Delhi-Mumbai flight harassed her by pushing her with his foot? And no, Harvey Weinstein is not in India. Anyhow, he reportedly preferred giving or receiving massages. Presumably with hands, not feet.

Weinstein lost a potential friend in the US Senate, after Republican Roy Moore lost the special election there. Moore was exposed during the campaign as a harasser of long standing. Weinstein needs friends, because the revelations continue. Now it seems that a producer of children’s programmes has had victims coming out.

One wonders if this has anything to do with the opinion poll perception that there’s more corruption under Trump (who was revealed during the presidential campaign as a groper). Sounds like Imran Khan should go across. Presumably with Jahangir Tareen in tow.

Even though Weinstein has not visited the Indian South, it seems that there’s a problem there, centred around the new state of Telangana. First a woman cut off her husband’s naughty bits because he importuned her while she was making lunch. Then a woman tried to palm off her boyfriend as her husband, after the pair had killed him, and he had had plastic surgery to look like the deceased. Naturally, they got caught. Then a man who had had his marriage proposal rejected, had burnt the girl alive, first dousing her with petrol. Was that why Telangana was called into being?

However, in the USA itself, more attention seemed to go to the UN General Assembly vote condemning Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. That irresistibly brought to mind memory of the annual General Assembly resolution condemning the USSR for occupying Afghanistan. The USSR left, but not in obedience to the resolution. There’s going to be a party in Washington to which the USA is only inviting those who voted for it. Right. So what do you have to do to get to kiss Donald Trump’s ring and call him Don?

Well, I know what you have to do to get beaten up in Aligarh by the BJP. Get elected to the municipality, and then take your oath in Urdu. That’s what happened to Musharraf Hussain, and he got case registered against him too for his pains. Maybe he eats beef secretly.

Yadavs seem to be having a hard time. Former Bihar CM Laloo Prasad has been convicted in another fodder scam case. The fodder scam also accounted for Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa Jayaram for some time, but she returned as CM there before dying in office. And Lt Cdr Kulbhushan Jhadav is to be visited by his wife and mother (Wow! Talk about two swords in the same scabbard). Is that a Christmas present or a hint? Since they’re not from Telangana, a hint for what?

The Karachi police are also proving to be great spoilers, banning swimming at the city’s beaches from now till past New Year’s Day, thus preventing so many from taking part in the great national pastime of drowning over the holidays.

I’ve just had a sobering thought, that these will be the last notes of this year. I’m afraid I can’t think of any words of parting wisdom, except that I hope 2018 will make happier than 2017.