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There is a specter haunting the parks of Karachi these days. It answers to the name Maya Khan. It is shaped like a thirty-something woman, and upon contact with young men and women, it opens up its jaws and spews nonsense about morality and decency. You might be laughing now, but you won’t be when you realize this particular specter has the power to cause similar mutation in thousands upon thousands of women across the land by infecting their brains with its own special brand of stupidity so that they believe its tactics are worthwhile and for the greater good.
Oh. Wait. Maya Khan is a woman and not a figment of someone’s crazed imagination.
Maya Khan won’t run after people who, let’s say, draw salaries from ghost schools, rape little children, cause illegal blockades on public roads to drive around, steal poor widows’ pensions, commit fraud by taking donations in the name of cripples and mentally challenged, rape nurses, mutilate their wives, kill in the name of honour, marry their girls to Qurans, accuse their Christian neighbours of blasphemy over petty issues, issue fatwas against women who work et cetera, et cetera. She will, however, run after young boys and girls who are shooting shit and doing nothing much else in parks, which are public places, which means they are a free-for-all where anyone can do anything they want. Maya Khan salivates at the thought of catching teenagers trying to come to terms with a hideously gender segregated society which is breeding a new generation that is confused about co-existing with each other as able and equal companions. Maya Khan will pull at the abayas of young girls who are trying to get away from her as she catcalls after them. She will laugh at the obvious discomfort and embarrassment her hateful behaviour is causing with her colleagues, live on air, because apparently it is more thrilling for her to ask other people whether they are married or not than to take solace in her own married status. She will do all this because Maya Khan and her pack of hounds is as annoying, disgusting and unnecessary as the army of ants which ruins your picnic on an otherwise completely pleasant day. You want to squash it under your boots and then sweep it away with a mighty flood.
Before this, I thought morning shows were entertainment for bored and frustrated housewives who have nothing better to do, so they turn to the gaudy glamour and ridiculous claptrap of middle-aged women who have had their few brain cells bleached and fried because of the blonde hair colour they keep putting on. Now I think there needs to be an inquiry against this woman and her entire production team with psychologists on board to figure out just what kind of retardation they are all suffering from to have believed, even for a second, that it is their right to stalk people in this heinous manner, and then to yell at them about ‘deceiving’ their parents. It’s a miracle they didn’t receive a brick to their teeth.
The real social ill in the clip doing rounds on the internet is not these silly young individuals hanging out with each other in a public space. It is these so called opinion makers in the media who, having been given way too much freedom, now consider themselves the champions of piousness and morality, and choose to pick on the least important issues to report whereas anything of substance crying for attention goes unheard.
I am not a violent person, but if I ever come across Maya Khan in real life, I will engage her in a debate about why she did this. And if she is unable to give me credible and satisfactory responses about her behaviour, I will gift her with a tight slap up her thick head. Just like her walidayen (parents) should’ve done a long time ago.
In the meantime, I hope everyone who has been rightfully appalled by her display of loathsomeness will write or raise their voice about it. I’m doing this right now - and next I will be found in a park, on a bench, eating a jam sandwich with my husband - without my nikahnama.
What are you going to do about that, Maya Khan?