If V-Day were a Pakistani religious holiday
It is the day after Valentine’s Day in a parallel universe where Pakistanis do not shun cupid’s play day but celebrate it with great fervour. So great are the celebrations that the day has even lovingly been dubbed Yom-e-Haya day.
On the grand day itself main city centres had shut down to make room for all the people who wished to celebrate their love for only they knew what. To make things easier for the entire nation the Mehman Ralik on the other side was gracious enough to declare the day a public holiday so people could really get into the Valentine’s Day mood. Grand rallies had been arranged by several key party leaders and several absolutely obscure people who did not have anything better to do. They were joined by a band of merry men with their turbans, prayer beads and unchi shalwars in tow chanting their slogans of love and peace. To ensure the security of the love infused processions all major roads were blocked. And to absolutely guarantee that the security measures were indeed foolproof, no workable detours were added or highlighted for any citizen of the country leaving no room for terrorists or any son of man to pass through.
Amil Riaqat developed a special show in collaboration with different leading scholars to outline why he keeps returning to the same channel over and over again. Leaders from various sects outlined exactly how Amil Riaqat should go about strengthening his bonds of love with the channel he most wants to continue doing shows on. The show concluded with the host singing his favourite Nikki Minaj love song. Meena Valik had her own social show dedicated to the salient features of haya on the pious Yom-e-Haya. Her almost entirely male audience enjoyed as she called her male guests to discuss how she can help them with problems related to haya in their lives. The show was an instant hit with the masses, many of whom had been having trouble dealing with haya, sharam and other related issues.
All buildings in the country are well lit with pink, red and maroon lights. Plants and donkey carts were also decorated to allow the plant and animal kingdom feel like they’re a part of the love fest as well. Valentine’s Day only happens once a year so to provide the required electricity all industries, offices along with basically anything that uses electric power is shut down. President Bardari approved of the measure outlining how people enjoyed the calm and cool February weather a lot more than staying indoors and shutting down electricity to power the brilliant lighting extravaganza that kept everyone upbeat and happy – even his ex-BBF Sawaz Narif who had broken his heart.
Of course there’s always an opportunity cost to being happy. Unlike our universe where people actually help businesses by buying things and celebrating Valentine’s Day the normal way, in the parallel universe urban cities show record losses because of the extreme waste of time and resources and extreme abolishment of anything productive. Most of the day after Valentine’s Day is spent by people cleaning up the remains of what was Feb 14, remembering the great joy they felt when they got to commemorate the religious holiday.
On our side of things all we manage to do is buy some chocolate, a random teddy bear and grab some dinner. It is the Valentine’s Day of that parallel universe that one should really crave. And that day isn’t far when Yom-e-Haya will be realised as a true day to be celebrated.
The writer is a journalist based in Lahore. She can be emailed at [email protected] She tweets @luavut