9 Apr 2010
I was surfing the New York Times’ Lede Blog again (I’m there too often these days) and I found this snippet at the end of an article about the attack on the US Consulate in Peshawar. The coverage also included a video of the event.
“Readers who watch the footage from Pakistani television above may notice one sign of how routine bombings have become in the country. At one stage, as images of the latest attack were broadcast, the crawl at the bottom of the screen gave updates on a celebrity drama, the planned marriage of a Pakistani cricket star, Shoaib Malik, to an Indian tennis player, Sania Mirza.”
While the comment succinctly recognized the routine nature of the bombings, and at times indifferent and numb reactions from many of the population, it missed the fun part in the celebrity drama.
What it is has been made obvious I think. What a roar it has caused, not so much.
A friend posted this on my Facebook wall, the coverage of the made-for-Bollywood love story having reached across many allies and the Atlantic over to MSNBC.
Pakistanis, gossip obsessed as always (I am no exception), have of course taken to the craze. They have been amazingly enthusiastic and cheerful about the news, while the Indian side has been somewhat cold towards the couple. Raises some interesting sociological and maybe even political questions about South Asian relations. I’m not answering them though.
The Indian side has looked at another interesting sociological viewpoint though. It tries to explain what’s special about Pakistani men. I’m serious. It’s even called “There’s something about Paki men”. The Times of India thinks their “earthy” nature, and “rugged good looks” might have something to with it.
Some Pakistani journalists have unfortunately taken it a bit seriously. They raise good points, but it gives me less to joke around with. This Dawn editorial for example, uses the saga to talk about media ethics, and good journalism. Always good to know they’re thinking about it. (Just on a side note, is it just me or are Dawn editorials adapting to the web age too much, they’re ridiculously short.) Another blog post at Dawn by Asif Akhtar has better jokes than mine, but also finds reason to smack the media. With power cuts, terrorism, inflation and all he believes the media has better things to do.
Personally, I think he has a valid point, but I like my entertainment thank you very much.