Paindoo” is a Punjabi term which is translated in English as being a "Villager". The synonym of this word can be "Deyhaati", a person living in the village. However the Paindoo word is generally used in a derogatory manner by our "modern" society to look down upon people who have a village background or exhibit certain habits or values which according to them are uncivilized. So here is a Paindoo addressing the "In-Lot" by adopting the English language as means of communicating.

I would have preferred to write in Punjabi, but the same will neither be read nor understood by our burger-generation which under the influence of the west has become more American than the Native Americans. Can’t really blame the present lot for this as disconnect with one's past owes its roots to the education imparted by the parents who have discouraged their siblings to even mention about their past which they consider it demeaning.

I am proud to belong to a village located three kilometers away from Lalamusa, called Kotla Qasim Khan, which was named after my forefather. We own a decent land but more importantly a lot of respect has been earned through the conduct by our forefathers for whom monetary considerations carried the least value. Standing tall for ones principles and morality was much more important than anything else.

Though getting educated at one of the prestigious seats of learning abroad, I am also labeled as a Paindoo because I prefer to communicate in my own mother tongue instead of speaking a foreign language to impress others. So my combination of Punjabi and Urdu makes my presence in the "trendy" circles a bit of an embarrassment for others. I switch to my English, intentionally, so that I can enjoy an element of total surprise and bewilderment on the faces of the classy lot who are generally baffled to encounter a Paindoo of this sort. I have my moments of glory. Switching back to my native language comes naturally.

I love the restaurant menus. At times I need the help of a dictionary to decipher the names of the dishes. Failing to pronounce the exact accent, I prefer to quietly tell the waiter the serial number of the dish to get out of this trauma. But what my taste buds force me to look for is a menu of another kind which if spelled in the cushy environment of the high end restaurant will make an ass out of me. But my Paindoo instincts force me to look not for the Pina Coladabut for a glass of Lassi or Bajray Ke Roti with Saag. How low can I get; as the ones around me feel. But I proudly gulp the stuff with extreme pleasure and without any remorse.

Then there is a serious issue of copying the foreign accent. Not difficult to learn. If the call center operators living in the slums of India can change their voices to sound like Michael, Julie or Jane & fool the callers, why not our own people follow the same route. The problem however is deeply rooted as we need to impress others with a dashing foreign accent. Desperately trying to show off but miserably failing for it brings to surface the inner hollowness. So the lips have to be turned and the tongue twisted to utter poetic words.  When a Paindoo like me speaks English as it comes naturally, it becomes a matter of concern. Ever heard the word originality; for goodness sake.

Another attribute of a certified Paindoo is his desire to wear whatever he really likes without looking at the designer labels. As long as one likes the stuff, does this really matter if it is made by so and so? Affordability is never an issue. One’s choice is. But stop here. The items have to carry the labels of Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein, Donatella Versace, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurentetc. Fake copies won’t work. The audience is too smart to detect that.

The problem with many Pakistanis is that if they look down on something, they start labeling it as Paindoo. Although the term is not derogatory, it is used in terms of simple or backward people. It is the same as having pride about one's lineage isn't bad but to look down upon others because of it isa bad thing. As the great Punjabi comedian Amanullah once said, there is nothing wrong in being uneducated, there is something wrong with being uncivilized.

So when we come across educated uncivilized lot making judgments about others, the manifestation of their mental backwardness becomes obvious. To put it simply, I am proud to be a Paindoo and would continue to be one till my end.

The writer is a PhD in Information Technology, alumni of King’s College London and a social activist. He is life member of the Pakistan Engineering Council and senior international editor for IT Insight Magazine. He has authored two books titled Understanding Telecommunications and Living In The Grave and several research papers. The writer prefersto avoid human interaction and finds peace & happiness being alone, in silence with his own self.