Thursday, August 13, 2009

Celebrating Independence Day By Not Celebrating It

I looked at the my computer clock thingy on the bottom right hand side of my screen today and realized it's August 13, one day before independence day. For a second, I thought I should have a commemorative post on the blog but I didn't know quite what to say. Plus, I think "celebrating" independence day is kind of silly -- I've never really understood it. I mean, I understand why governments and political parties and organizations make a big show-and-tell about it. But I never understand why ordinary people bother putting up flags on their cars or houses or bicycles. I suppose the "day off work" thing is kind of cool, and the crazy bikers on Seaview have a reason to advertise the lack of silencers. But actually feeling pride or whatever else I'm supposed to feel on August 14? I just don't get it. It's just another day for me.

Anyway, for clues on what to say for the blog, I went through our archives (this blog officially became three years old on August 2). And it became quite apparent that our blog hasn't exactly marked this day with great fervor since its inception.

For instance, on August 14 2006, NB had a post. It was about Abdul Sattar Edhi's autobiography. The one throwaway line about independence day was "In my mind, he's the Pakistani who most deserves to be discussed on the 14th of August." Good one, NB. Nice segue. Seriously, well played.

In 2007, we didn't even bother with a post. None of us. Not one. Check the archives.

In 2008, we had a veritable orgy of posts on August 14 and 15 (I'm adding the 15 because we live across multiple time zones, and so a post we wrote on August 14 according to local time might show up as August 15 in the archives, not because we're secret RAW agents infiltrating the Pakistani blogosphere).

I posted a video of a PPP motorcade followed by extremely lame cop cars, a video taken by yours truly, and a quote by Sassi Palejo comparing Musharraf to Hitler. AKS posted a charming personal story about bigotry within the Jamaat-e-Islami. Bubs posted a thorough critique of an Amir Taheri column on the question of impeaching Musharraf. And NB posted on sex aunties Karachi defence horny (you have absolutely no idea how much this post has poisoned our search referral logs).

You will notice that none of these posts had anything to do with independence day.

Anyway, I think it's fair to see that us five rupee-ers treat August 14 like all people older than fifteen think of their birthday: unable to figure out what the fuss is about, but will take the merriment and distraction from everyday stuff. Not exactly bumper sticker material, but there you go.

Speaking of bumper stickers, I say we have a mini-competition. Try to sum up Pakistan in ten words or less. Here's my effort:
Hey, world! We're still here, despite our best efforts.

Happy independence day, everyone. And to those back home, enjoy the day off and the long weekend.

17 comments:

FarooK said...

Pakistan: living proudly in perpetual turmoil since 1947!

Anonymous said...

Wish you all a happy 14th of August.

Majaz said...

Pakistan: jesa bhi hai chale ga.

Americanising Desi said...

may i add my bumper sticker :P

"The Wonder has a Name: Pakistan"

or

"You cant beat Pakistan, it will kill you!"

p.s. sorry but i m patriotically challenged today!

roti fan said...

Going...Going...still here

Sahar said...

I remember that aunty post! Sooo funny!

As for the bumper sticker:
"Pakistan: Nepotism at its Best"

Sahar said...

I remember that aunty post! Sooo funny!

As for the bumper sticker:
"Pakistan: Nepotism at its Best"

Anonymous said...

Na bijli, na paani, phir bi dil hai Pakistani

TAha.. said...

Pakistan Zindabad!
62 years of being alive and kinky!

Anonymous said...

"Laagi hai to se laagi,nazar, saiyaan laagi:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJwU8jjbv-c&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsouthasia.typepad.com%2Fsouth_asia_daily%2F&feature=player_embedded#t=17

Anonymous said...

If one doesnt feel like celebrating independence day,u can at least wish others and be happy for our nation...i mean comon would u still want to be under the rule of the british and hindus?Its a blessing from Allah that we are Sovereign Nation and may we remain one forever.Ameen

Anonymous said...

Ameen indeed. did you want to get away from the british and the hindus so you could do this to the christians? or perhaps you will explain this news item away as a conspiracy of the western media.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/08/14/pakistan.christians/index.html

nb- said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm hoping what you meant by 'it's just another day for me' is that Pakistan means the same for you all year round and you don't need a designated date to declare your loyalty to your country. :) ?

Ahsan said...

On the motto front, I say Roti Fan and Anon1040 are the best.

nb-:

Yeah, pretty much, though I don't exactly "declare" my loyalty year round. I just think these ostentatious and overt displays for love of one's country (flags, banners, dancing on independence day) are a waste of time and energy.

adeel said...

OK. This is new...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHyCAkYO5WE

ali said...

Ahsan,
your argument is a universal one. it's not just pakistan. all modern nation-states pretty much that were "born" on a particular day have a loosely united chunk of its populace celebrating that day every year. why do bbq's on 4th july?

ali said...

For e.g.: recently on 4th of july, i asked one of my good friends here in london to come to an iranian houseparty with me. he replied saying 'no, it's 4th of july, i wanna do stuff with my american friends'. i must point out he is a 'mixed-race american liberal' - whatever that may mean.