LAHORE: The floor was lined with cushions as people made their way into the soundproofed room. Kanwal Khoosat’s voice rang from behind the blinds as she introduced the ‘queen’ and urged the audience to tip her without hesitation.
Miss P Chattni entered the room wearing a Marathi saree to ‘Fevicol’ blaring from the speakers. The audience was enticed as she quipped, “Good evening to all the women and the gay men.” This was a cue for laughter as people nudged each other playfully.
Pakistan’s first drag comedy show, “Liberals ki akhri sazish” opened on August 10 and 11 at OLO Junction and was sold out two days before the opening night.
Drag comedies host performances by trans-people and cross-dressers. In this case, the show hosted Miss P Chattni, who recently returned from America and Annaya Shiekh, a member of the Auratnaak comedy troupe and a transgender rights activist.
Chattni related her sexual adventures or ‘misadventures’ with Pakistani men as she highlighted the double standards surrounding sex prevalent in Pakistani society, not a direct hit of course. She asked the audience, “Why do Pakistani men date transgender persons?” No one answered so she added, “To experiment sexually without the risk of getting a girl pregnant.” Men in the audience ducked behind their hands, laughing embarrassedly.
Annaya Sheikh swayed into room dancing and made fun of Chattni for being Amreekan. She, on the other hand, kept on claiming that she was “shareef” as she had to live in Pakistan.
She took a hit at the “defensees”, residents of the urban class Defence Housing Authority in the audience, claiming that if they didn’t understand Urdu, she could always translate her jokes for them.
Later, Sheikh commented on the show by remarking playfully, “Ham ne kandha diya aur bandooq ap ne chalayi. Pakre jayen ge to akathay hi.”
After the show ended, people took to the garden to light cigarettes and take pictures with the performers.