Posts Tagged ‘what to do at a funeral’


Close encounters of the 4th kind

September 13, 2009

So I went to a Namaz-e-Janaza and maybe it’s just me, but I just can’t stop thinking about what I am going to have for dinner that night whenever I pray. Beef with Chilly dry from Orient? No, will have to have fried rice with that. Broast from Karachi Broast with white chutney? No, sister Safina made a convincing argument about how many calories the two items carry. Guess I’ll leave this one to destiny…or Kings & Queens (yes, I belong to the generation that hasn’t upgraded itself to the Pizza Huts of this world). So I try to divert my mind to something more apt like, why am I here again? Ah yes, the Namaz-e-Janaza… And something catches my attention.

The dude standing next to me owes me money! Since 2003! For a show that I did for him back then! (Austin Power close-ups after every exclamation mark). He has avoided my phone calls for over 6 years, escaped the assassins I had sent for him on more than one occasion…and in true Matrix style, dodged my requesting and then later, threatening letters. Aakhir kaar pakra gaya! You can run but you can’t hide! God works in mysterious ways! Ok, I’m out of quotes now. And then suddenly it hit me. I can’t ask the poor guy for money at a Namaz-e-Janaza. It is just bad ethics. And the farishta on my left shoulder said in a half Italian, half devil accent, “Dude, this dude hasn’t had a pope-like attitude towards you either”. Go for it! Just do it! Do you have it in you? Eye of the Tiger! Girls just wanna have fun! (Umm, scratch the last one). What should your opening line be? Would ‘Wassup’ be super inappropriate? Cut the small talk. This guy is slippery. Before you can complete your salaam, he’ll say “Energize” and disappear into a place where many men have gone before. So I pull out an old trick from my right sleeve. When you’re supposed to look right for salaam at the end of the prayers, pause for a while till he turns his head to his left. Gotcha! You can’t look away from me now can you?

So we finish our prayers and I say to him, “Mera naam Wajahat hai aur aap nay mujhay paisay dainay hein”. The poor guy was in shock! Ok I’m lying he was cool as a cucumber. “Aap Monday…naheen Monday naheen Tuesday ko office ajayain, aap ka kaam ho jayay ga”. My spider senses tell me he has done this before. Guess I’m not the first guy to have hustled him at a Namaz-e-janaza. “Aap kay office ajaoon?” is what I ask him. “Ji, Tuesday ko hum saree payments clear kar rahay hein”. He replies. I smile. He seems genuine. Looks naik also. “I will see you on Tuesday sir”, said me.

I went to his office on Tuesday and the guard asked me, “Kya hai?” almost in a traffic police wala type tone. “Saab nay bulaya hai, gate kholo!” I demand in a sarkari officer type tone. He opens it. Maybe I will get paid today. So I start walking towards his office, the chorus from Staying Alive playing in my mind. I approach his secretary and tell her, “Saab ko bolo Wajahat sb ayain hein”. Hey, I can get used to this. The reply came in almost perfect slow motion. “Sorrreee, siiiirrrr, saaaaaab to Maaaaa-laaaaysiaaaa meinnnnn heinnnnnn”.
This was 6 months ago. I’ve been to 17 namaze-janazaaz since then. Disguised myself as a Maulvi, an army officer, a nun, Mithun Chakarborthy and George W Bush. But no luck so far. This guy is just too good. There is one thing though that I haven’t tried as yet…