07 August 2009

mohammed hanif on pakistan

i just finished reading mohammed hanif's 'a case of exploding mangoes'. i like his writing style, although i found the content too military focused for my liking. this morning, i came across a wonderful piece he wrote on his return to pakistan from london. it's long, but so engaging that you don't notice. i wouldn't be able to summarize it in a way that does it justice, but here is my favorite para (which should be read in context):
Walking along the Karachi seafront after returning from London, I worked myself into a self-righteous rage at these young women in black burkas hanging out at the beach when they should have been at school or in some mosque praying for our collective salvation. But then I looked closely and found out that many of them were on a date. Some were actually making out, in broad daylight, with men with beards. Covered from head to toe in a black robe, this is quite a spectacle – and provides just the right combination of challenge and opportunity. Walking on the beach with my wife the other day, we stared at a couple who were exploring the full possibilities of the burka, using their motorcycle to lean against. With the Arabian sea lapping at their feet.

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