Has the monsoon arrived?

Did the monsoon break in Lahore with the torrential rains last Sunday night, which lasted into the Monday morning, with some places (like my house) getting flooded? Or did it break on Eid morning, when there was rain, thus making it a third year in a row for the monsoon to arrive on Eid day, just in time for the Eid prayer.

Or maybe it hasn’t broken yet, and all we’ve had have been premonsoonal rains, as they are snootily called by the Met Office. It’s probably something to do with global warming, though exactly what I don’t know.

I don’t know what effect it had on the Great Eid Exodus, but I’m sure it made it more messy. But what I did notice was how empty the mosques were on Friday. They were merely full, as opposed to bursting at the seams. I suppose all the missing congregants were still in The Village, and swelled the congregations at their local mosques just as they had done on Eid day.

As usual, the Eid holidays were such that with a little bit of management, you could skip out for an entire week.

Before the Eid holidays, there was firing outside former Punjab Governor Latif Khosa’s house. The alleged shooter has been arrested, one Mohsin, who also rejoices in the monicker of Labba. Now he would be Mohsin urf Labba, or aka (also known as), or alias. The labba is said to be a rodent that can grow up to 15 kg in weight, and has coarse brown chestnut hair. If that is how Mohsin got his moniker, I don’t think either of his parents gave it to him. I suspect friends who might have noted the resemblance. At a certain age, kids are very cruel and observant, quickly picking up on physical characteristics, and maybe Mohsin had protruding teeth or something.

Some names never get traction, as they come late. Mr Khosa is not known as Latif Tind, though he is gloriously bereft of head hair. At the time you get nicknames, and ones that stick, you always have a full head of hair. Of course, being bald has a long history. There was a medieval French king remembered as Charles the Bald. French monarchs have had a thing about their crowning glory. Louis XIV, the Sun-King, was as bald as an egg. And introduced the fashion of the bag-wig The huge, extravagant monstrosities he wore are nowadays reduced to hair transplants. And then there was Napoleon Bonaparte, who didn’t lose all his head, but tried to cover up what he lost by combing it forward.

How can there be any discussion of head hair without mentioning the Sharif brothers, who have four prime ministerships between them? Suffice to say, they’ve had transplants. And so has Aleem Khan, who has moved from the PTI to the IPP, and who insists now on being called ‘Hairy’ by his friends. I wonder if that was the first alarm bell that Imran Khan should have paid attention to. Maybe that is why he lost trust in Governor Sarwar, who has had any experiences in life, but not that of a hair transplant, preferring to overawe interlocutors with his shining dome.

I wonder whether the IMF MD was more impressed with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s full head of hair or the PM’s improvement on total baldness. As a matter of fact, the first Finance Minister Mian Nawaz went with was Sartaj Aziz. Mow that was a man with nothing on his head, whatever there might be in it.

I wonder if Labba chose to go first with Latif Khosa because he had a head to flash. He had also been assigned Aitzaz Ahsan, but he has a luxurious head of hair. Labba is a chastened man, for not only has he been caught, but he’s still short the Rs 900,000 he was to have been paid on completing the job. Well, he’s short at least Rs 400,000, for he completed the Khosa leg of the job.

I have a suspicion that the firing wasn’t just because the two have challenged the military courts,, but has something, in some twisted way, to do with the killing of the Quetta lawyer, for whose murder Imran Khan has been named.



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