A non-chronological gander at all the U-turns, highs and plummets in Naya Pakistan’s society that we either loved, abhorred, pursed our lips at or are still unsure how we feel about them!

Chai with Abhinandan

On 27th February, a day after India’s violation of Line of Control, PAF shot down and captured two Indian aircrafts in Pakistani airspace – one pilot being identified as Abhinandan Varthaman. In a video released by ISPR, Abhinandan is recorded conversing affably with army personnel in a congenial environment with a cup of chai in one hand. “The officers of the Pakistan Army have looked after me very well," Abhinandan acknowledged in the video. Just the sight of an Indian pilot sipping chai – nation’s favourite icebreaking activity – with our military personnel was as historic as it was iconic.

“Mard buhat pyari cheez hai,” – Hira Mani

No, don’t get us wrong. We love Hira Mani as a seasoned actress of her generation, but we are confused about her do bol. Known to make controversial revelations in her interviews (is it legal to steal your best friend’s boyfriend? Asking for a friend.) Mani was quoted saying how men are victimised ever so often, with women failing to understand their emotions. Social media roared with laughter. Not being a misandrist, but we do love men when they are not gaslighting/ beating/ abusing/ manipulating the living daylights of out us.

“Peezay, Burger” feat Momin Saqib

Pakistan's defeat against India during World Cup 2019 stirred a riot of emotions and memes. Amidst the pal of disappointments, with emotional crescendos blaring was a video that went viral on social media. Momin Saqib, a patriot and an ardent cricket fan was filmed rebuking the Pakistani cricket team over eating “peezay aur buger” all night and delivering poor performance on the field. Momin’s comic-timing and melodramatic take on the cricket team made him an internet sensation overnight.

The Royal Visits

Two royal visits coincided in the year 2019, just months apart.
In their first official visit to Pakistan, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate were welcomed with open arms, lovely designer attires and a tuk tuk Richsaw ride. Their five-day tour was all the pressers, masses and international media would talk about.
After her last visit in 2016, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands arrived for a three-day visit to Pakistan as well.

The One with Hocane Sisters Diagnosing Depression

In a rather eyebrow-raising discourse on depression, the Hocane sisters attempted to explain what causes it at a morning show. A few minutes into the said conversation, it was apparent the guest-sisters and hostess were utterly misinformed and ignorant about the brevity of depression and what causes it. "There are so many problems these days, we hear someone say that they've got depression or mental 'disease', but it’s all because of food! There's no other reason,” said Urwa, whose statement was backed by Mawra, who piped up with “It’s what you put in your body.” We agree that a well-balanced diet is key to a healthy mind, but a diet isn’t the solitary cause which leads to depression or prevents it. Backlash ensued from all quarters calling out the sisters over trivialising an important issue on a morning show watched by scores of people.

“Do takkay ki larki!”

Media critics would agree that Merey Pass Tum Ho came almost second to the stardom and acclaim of PSL series, in galvanising the time and attention of the frenzied audience. The dialogue “do takay ki larki” blasted by a hurt Humayun Saeed over wife’s deception in particular made waves, penetrating household discussion, local brand advertisement gimmicks and watercooler conversations at work.

Walkouts from LSA nominations

Alleged harasser Ali Zafar’s nomination as Best Actor (for Teefa in Trouble) at this year’s LSA resulted in several nominees pulling out in protest. Eman Suleman, Jami Moor, Meesha Shafi, Saima Bagerfeld and brand Generation pulled out of the awards on common verdict: they refuse to share the nominations with a sexual abuser. Special mentions to Jami Moor for dumping his LSA trophy out on the streets!

“Are you done venting?”

Sometimes, all it matters is to ask the right questions at the most unexpected places. Give it to Pakistani immigrant Ayesha Malik who called out Priyanka Chopra for her hypocrisy in a sea of actress’ admirers at BeautyCon LA 2019. “So it was kind of hard hearing you talk about humanity, because as your neighbour, a Pakistani, I know you’re a bit of a hypocrite,” fired Malik. “You have encouraged nuclear war against Pakistan,” she had said after which a security guard snatched away her microphone. UNICEF Ambassador Priyanka Chopra’s tweeted “Jai Hind!” in the middle of escalating military hostility between India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed countries. And, no. We are not done venting.

Age of Platonic Relationships

It took a progressive Islamist actor-turned-politician to describe what a halal relationship should look like. In a less-than-romantic marriage announcement on Twitter, he added a new word to the local urban dictionary.

Platonic Relationship (noun): “Love and affection in bond without any sexual element in it.”

How receptive the masses were of the concept is truly laughable.