mehngai: the popular view

amid all the conspiracy theories and alleged cover ups we hear of everyday, mainly reinvigorated by dan brown’s da vinci code and indeed have been hearing all our lives – is mein parosi mulk ka hath hai – there is a whole bunch of theories about the newest crib for karachiites, mehngai.

mehngai, and the word sums it up better than the english “increased prices”, is not exactly a new phenomenon for my generation. i’ve been hearing people bitch about it since i was a kid. “baees rupay ka high octane, pata nahi kya chah raha hai yeh zia…” (and its what? 65 now? pata nahi kya chah raha hai yeh musharraf) however, the media influx combined with the relatively freer speech scenario which makes it possible for your sabzi wala, for instance, to watch a tv anchor grill the advisor to the pm on finance affairs, has created a slightly extended awareness of the causes for the country’s problems.

nonetheless, it is not possible for a person who hasn’t passed the third grade to understand the intricacies of the consumer price index even if he watches tezi mandee every day. the following is a collection of the opinions of the less fortunate on the subject – and the slightly amusing (if somewhat sad) way they often hit close to home, and often very far from it.

aap ke khayal mein mehngai kyun barh gaee hai?

asad ali, driver (monthly income = rs. 5,000) : bhai, jub apnay mulk ka tail bahir ki company-aan nikal ker le jaein gee to yehi hoga na. pakistan mein to us ka tail istaimaal hi nahi ho sakta. humaree hukoomat to jub tak saaray wasail baich ker kha nahi jaye gee, khush thoree hogee…

furqan habib, watchman (monthly income = rs. 4,800): sahib, ameer log tax nahi daitay, qarzay le ker bhaag jaatey hain, hukoomat kokam chalanay ke liye kahin na kahin se to poora kerna hai na. to daal mehngi ker di, cheeni mehngi ker di, tail aur gas tomehnga hai hi…..

sher zaman, watchman (monthly income = rs. 4,000): humaray ko kya pata? yeh to tum parha likha log ko pata hona chahiye ke yeh kaafer hukoomat kya chahta hai

wali khan, cobbler (monthly income: undisclosed): yeh azaab hai azaab. itna fahashee hai is mulk mein…. (and things went off an interesting tangent)

waqar ahmed, barber (monthly income: didn’t ask): inflow-ation ki wajah se. jub stock market is tarah se upar neechay hogi to yeh game bhi hoga ghareeb admi ke saath

abdul majid, waiter (monthly income: “taqreeban paanch hazar”): sirr yeh jo saara shehar khoda hai, muft mein thoree kaam horaha hai. hukoomat ko kharcha poora karna hota hai.

and my favourite

jalal khan, gardener (monthly income: rs. 4000 – 6000): oh yaar mainu ki pata? loadshedding ki waja se barh jatee hogi.

any gems you people might like to share?

8 Comments so far

  1. UnholySaint (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 2:12 am

    Kudos Xill! a creative article. Loved reading it. Here is my input about the culture. Pakistan does not have a culture where folks older than 30 go back to College or Uni to get more education, unlike Western countries. 1 of my Professors got his Phd at the age of 48. We dont have a culture of promoting reading non-fiction books. No growth of the human mind.

  2. sheysrebellion (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 2:45 am

    Pakistani culture does not value literacy, education or free thought.

  3. Poo Poo Head (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 7:17 am

    Hey Drama King , why did not you ask salary from barber :-)

  4. Mariam (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 9:09 am

    This is one get with no economic planning and living off hand outs by super power.

    On another note I saw an interesting article related to Pakistani situation

    P.S. Faiz Ahmed Faiz used to be the editor of this magazine.

  5. mansoor (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 11:27 am

    good one xil!!

  6. Xill-e-Ilahi (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 1:05 pm

    @ poo poo head: drama king? me? you lost me somewhere there…

    @mansoor: thanks buddy

  7. Kashif Aziz (unregistered) on July 5th, 2006 @ 3:48 pm

    mairay shehar say bijli jaatay hi mairay ga’on main bijli aai hay

  8. Checkmate (unregistered) on July 8th, 2006 @ 1:36 pm

    Kashif: So true

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