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Opinion

The sugar daddy

ARTICLE: In the past six months, the hapless citizens of Pakistan have been subjected to endless media onslaught on...

June 30, 2020

ARTICLE: In the past six months, the hapless citizens of Pakistan have been subjected to endless media onslaught on sugar - sugar mafia, sugar price, sugar cartel, sugar smuggling, sugar commission. Enough! Sugar is a very boring industry - hot, messy and water consuming. I have been a director on the boards of many sugar mills. Quite boring really. Besides, sugar is a bigger killer than tobacco, alcohol and Covid-19 (to date). Let's talk about another sugar-related topic - Sugar Daddies. More exciting, titillating and entertaining.

Sugar Daddies go back in time - perhaps to 2000 BC - the time of the Pharaohs. Every man of standing in a given era, has been a Sugar Daddy. Henry III broke relations with the Vatican because he required religious ratification for his various Sugar 'Babes'. The history of the Mughal and the Ottoman empires is replete with stories of Sugar Daddies and their Harems. The early American tycoons - Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Morgans, etc., - were as famous for their wealth as for their sugar daddy roles. The biggest sugar daddy of America, of course, was Hugh Heffner, the founder of the Playboy empire. He single-handedly changed the sex entertainment landscape of conservative America. In the process he was a sugar daddy to over 300 playmates. A Guinness Book of Records achievement. Down South, in Cuba, Fidel Castro, was a famed sugar daddy. In 2003, Fidel was quite ill. A team of Cuban doctors was conducting tests. Finally, the head doctor went to Castro and told him "Comandante, you are an ill man - you have to either give up women or cigars". Castro immediately replied, "I'll give up women." Pakistan's contribution to the sugar daddy "Hall of Fame" is the famous prince Aly Khan. In the 1950/60s there was no man who could equal his mystique in the US and Europe. He was numero uno. Rita Hayworth succumbed to his charms. Recently, Jeffery Epstein, a US financier, was a sugar babe supplier to the rich and the famous. He committed suicide in a maximum-security cell (a technically impossible task). With him went the untold secrets of many world personalities. What a book he could have written.

Hollywood and Bollywood have always been known for sugar daddies. In Bollywood, no young female aspirant can make it big without a sugar daddy. Pakistan abounds with sugar daddies, the epicenter being Islamabad. All the videos surfacing on YouTube and other social media would lead us to believe that most politicians are sugar daddies. And, of course, there are plenty of sugar babes. It's the law of supply and demand.

All said and done, sugar daddies are performing a vital national duty. They are redistributing wealth, helping the sugar babes survive. Their contribution to correcting the Gini coefficient is unquestionable. So, let's shift the national focus from the boring sugar crisis to the more interesting subjects.

(The writer is the former Executive Director of the Management Association of Pakistan)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020