This is the time for the ‘hot’ lists and the summing up of our current tastes and habits as we look back and review the year! The popular flavours, as it were, compared to what is no longer so.

To say that this has been a year of change in Pakistan is the biggest under-statement! Topping the list of what is out are the three names of Asif Ali Zardari, General Pervez (r) Kayani and Chief Justice (r) Ifthikhar Chaudhry. I think they were such huge kingpins in their respective arenas that they vie together for the top slot in the ‘out’ category and nobody but nobody could foresee such a smooth easing out of all three at the beginning of the year. (13, lucky for some). The PPP’s original philosophy, General Raheel Sharif and the new mild-mannered CJ are all in. Perhaps, what is really in is to have gone to school with General Raheel. The romance of knowing the top Fauji in this country has not been done away with even though the thought of Faujis in power has. The new CJCSC is out while the DGMO is in. Fazlullah is out but Hakimullah Mehsud is in. Ice cream is out and yogurt is in. Zaid Hamid is a miss but Sheikh Rashid is hot.

Fawad Khan is super hot but Humayun Saeed is not. Bilal Lashari has edged out Kamran Lashari. Mubashar Lucman is in and Hamid Mir is out. DMGs are in but the police service is out. Tariq Malik is in and Chaudhry Nisar is out. Ayaz Sadiq is hot and Nayyar Bukhari is not. Asad Umar is hot while Abid Umar is not. Shahbaz is a yes but Hamza is a no. Maryam Nawaz is definitely a fetching yes while Captain Safdar is a definite no!

Being opinionated is a plus and being wimpy is a minus. Shaan is good while Saud is passé. Standing up for minorities is so in while bigots are out. Tahir ul Qadri is in and Munnawar Hasan is crossed out. Dharnas/long walks are fashionable and the ISI is so out. Downloading software for unblocking Youtube is in and the IT Minister Anusha Rehman is totally out. Angeethis are in and gas/electricity are out. Ankle-showing for women is very hot but ankle-showing for men is dreadful. Red lipstick is in and pale make-up is bad. Dollars are in while Ishaq Dar is not. Being kidnapped for ransom is in but paying taxes is not. Zoe Vicaji is hot but Ayesha Omer is not. Fashion weeks are good but fashion shows are boring.

CM Malik is a win-win and CM Shah is a loss. Basant Bahar is in while kill-joys are out. Spiritualism is with-it and activism is given a miss. Facebooking is in, tweeting is not. Turkish plays are oh so in while Indian plays are out. Shopping malls are in while shopping arcades are out, wild hair is in smooth hair is out. NADRA is in but ECP is out.  Shutting down cell phones is preferred in comparison to heightened police vigilance. Fauzia Saeed is hot but Fauzia Kasuri is not. Bootleggers are popular but bootlicking is not.

Shaheen Airways is in, PIA is out. Daewoo Bus Service is in while railways is out. High hemlines are in and tung pyjamas are out. Ali Ahmad Kurd is hot but lawyers are not. Mohammad Hanif is in and Hanif Abbasi is out. Literature festivals are so in while music concerts are out. It is the done thing to chat over the phone even in the same room but not so face to face. Having stage actors of Pakistan is in on TV shows but there is no room for film actors on the small screen. The current theatre scene is good but TV plays are not. Women’s wear from Daaman is in but Generation is out Kuch Khaas is in Sirf Aam is out.

Multi-ceremony weddings are in but remaining married is not. Being a community midwife is in but being a polio worker is not. Being elected the head honcho of private clubs is hot but contesting LB polls is not. Humour is so in but forward planning is not. Sherry Rehman is in and Pervez Rashid is not. It is a tussle between Sartaj Aziz and Tariq Fatmi about who is the hot one and who is not. The electronic media is losing its pull while the print media is getting it back. Ayaz Amir, Adiah Afraz and Babar Sattar are the most readable columnists while A.Q. Khan and Ansar Abbasi are not. Malala  and Malala haters compete with one another for popularity. Having PM Nawaz Sharif’s cell no is hot while catching a cold from him even hotter, but having Mrs Nawaz Sharif’s no is out. Kabbadi is hot but dungal is not.

Amjad Islam Amjad is in, poetry is hot but being a short story writer is not. Tea Houses are in once more but intelligent analysis is out. Instant solutions are in, long term remedies are not.

And so it goes. One day’s hero is another day’s nobody. Yet, it is while one is riding the high wave of popularity in this transient world, that it is important to acknowledge that nothing is forever and it’s worthwhile to do something that is remembered well by time. Here is wishing all the readers a very happy new year and season’s greetings. 

The writer is a public relations and event management professionalbased in Islamabad.

Email:tallatazim@yahoo.com

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