Of pan walas and SMS

Stopping at the pan wala outside Baloch ice cream at Boat Basin, I noticed the guy consulting a booklet while sms-ing. Curious, I asked him what he was doing, so he showed me a booklet, Fanaa SMS Kitaab, published by someone in Urdu Bazaar. Fanaa being some new Aaamir Khan movie, the booklet basically contained snippets of dialogues and songs transliterated from Urdu into Roman Urdu. I have no clue whether the guy was sms-ing his friend, girlfriend or lover or harassing some random person, but I loved the idea of it – democratizing technology for everyone’s use. For a few rupees the urdu-speaking population can also communicate via sms. I’m sure Urdu Bazaar has a thriving business in books of the sort.

And if anyone wants a copy of the booklet, the pan wala seemed willing to acquire extra copies if you asked politely.

9 Comments so far

  1. Teeth Maestro (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 1:04 am

    People have all the time in the world for buying a booklet from Urdu Bazar then typing it into the cellphone using those 10 digits which is a massive task especially if you are composing in roman Urdu and then spending Rs.1.00 to send the message to all your loved ones

    PEOPLE have all the time in the world for this :) sign me up to whoever is sending out joke SMS

  2. Saad (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 2:44 am

    A person sending SMS bollywood songs to their lover speaks a lot about their type of romance.

  3. verysmart (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 4:24 am

    Why do we have to read this post? why is someone posting it? dont we have other important stuff going around in the city specially with the rain?

    I am sure there are a lots of submerged placed in the city and we can place pictures of these places for drivers to become aware and choose a different route if they can…. and if someone with enough say in the government is reading this can also take up this matter further and have things solved….

    Please lets stick to the more urgent and Important matters, rather than SMSing Bollywood songs by a dhobi or a molvi or whatever!

  4. Angel (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 4:44 am

    @VS : the rain didnt put u in too good a mood did it now?
    for the paan-wala, this must b so so exciting :) such simple people and yeah they do have all the time in the world to enjoy anything and everything they want to.v, on the other hand, spend time being critics, point fingers and dont even know how to enjoy life the way it is supposed to b enjoyed ! ouch!!!!

  5. care taker (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 4:51 am

    hi guys would you be nice enough to post
    few of those sms, for the people who could not reach them

  6. yo yo (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 5:10 am

    A nice and original idea…Great to see innovation lives on in Karachi

  7. Inspirex (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 10:14 am

    This nation continues to surprise me when it comes to entreprenurial spirit!

  8. IllusionFS (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 10:40 am

    Mobile phone is the most favorite toy all over the world. In Pakistan, because of the non-existence of other recreational facilities for the masses, it is no surprise that it is so heavily used and there are SMS Joke Books in the market. I have also seen ‘Logo Codes (for mobilink) & ‘Ringtone Codes’ mini books available in the stores. These things are available freely on the internet but..

  9. mansoor (unregistered) on July 31st, 2006 @ 11:11 am

    verysmart: lighten up dude (or dudette)!

    angel: good reply.

    care taker: there are a lot of good ‘funny sms’ websites out there.. especiall indian ones, which regularly post such stuff.. you can check it out from google.

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