Dear Sir divided by Madam,

Through this letter, I beg to submit that it is the job of newspapers to give voice to the marginalized sections of the society. The era of so-called objective journalism is over. It is the job of independent journalists like you to give space to the opinions of those who have been oppressed and whose narratives are ignored by the mainstream media. Instead of blindly following the conformist traditional media, you should set an agenda that includes the alternative perspectives they dismiss.

Newspapers and television channels carry pictures and quotations of all and sundry, from film stars of Lahore to the starving women of Thar, but it seems like journalists have been deliberately ignoring this scribe. If you look at the news every day, there comes a time when you start to doubt that I even exist. You are a journalist of great repute. Can you tell me what I can do to get my sentiments heard in the media?

Looking forward to your positive response.

President Mamnoon Hussain,

Islamabad.

Dear editor at the rate of newspaper,

I am a poor woman who is only writing to you to thank you for your amazing coverage of my heart-breaking wailing and crying at a great personal tragedy recently, and carrying such a large picture of it in your esteemed newspaper. I will definitely make it my profile picture.

I especially want to comment on the touching sad music that your sister television channel played in the background during the news about my tragedy. The musician has used the flute to render that gloomy melody with perfection. Thank you so much for everything.

After you ran the story of my tragedy, the chief minister came to my house and gave me a lot of money. I will write to you again soon, after the check he has given to me will not cash. Please carry another picture of me crying when that happens.

Pensive Parveen,

Lahore.

Dear editor at the rate of newspaper,

I want to bring your attention to a very serious problem. I have recently become a host of a political talk show on television. But that is not the problem I am referring to. The problem is that the guests on my show do not listen to me and start quarreling amongst themselves. I fiddle with my ear piece and ask them to stop talking because I have to go on a break. My producer says such things to me that I cannot repeat here. But the guests do not listen.

Another related problem is that when the viewers call me, they do not turn down the volume of their television no matter how many times I tell them. Every time I make a comment about what the public is thinking, they call and deliberately say things that contradict my observations.

Last but not the least, as you might have noticed, I come up with some great suggestions for the government, the opposition, the public and the world community at the end of my program, but I am increasingly realizing that they simply do not listen to me.

I am glad that at least you read my entire letters all the way to the end. By the way, this letter is not meaning to be published.

Ashraful Makhlooqat,

Islamabad.

To whom it may concern,

I want to bring your attention to a great evil in the society. Mobile phone service providers in Pakistan offer very cheap call rates at night. Young men and women secretly talk to each other about immoral things.

I can speak from experience, as I became the victim of such a libertine girl recently. I had been talking to her for months and thought she was innocent, but her true evil self came to the fore only after she found out that I am not 18 but 58, and married, with grandchildren. She began to emotionally blackmail me by refusing to talk to me. At one point she said I was getting on her nerves.

I am only sharing my story to point out that our society has become full of such shameless girls who talk to strangers. Do you know any morning show on television that I could be invited to?

Baba Dinga Singh,

Sialkot.

Dear sir divided by madam,

As a long time worker of the People’s Party, I want to complain that my party has been a victim of one conspiracy after another. First there was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Then there were those two governments led by Benazir Bhutto. And now they have launched Bilawal. How long will this continue?

Jiyalay Shah,

Tharparkar.

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

harris@nyu.edu

@cyborgasms