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Opinion Print 2024-04-19


“I want the letter B expunged from the English alphabet.” “Are you crazy! There are so many keywords that...
Published April 19, 2024

“I want the letter B expunged from the English alphabet.”

“Are you crazy! There are so many keywords that begin with that letter.”

“Not Pakistan, not democracy, not constitution, not even establishment and need I add the name of none of the political parties begins with a B or has a B somewhere down the line.”

“Don’t be silly you don’t have ownership of the English alphabet, even our spiritual guides do not talk of expunging any letter from the Urdu alphabet, and I am referring to the hated ain (twenty-fourth letter of the alphabet) that was so very onerous to The Third Wife, why are you laughing?”

“Well I don’t see any ain in the name Asim or Muneer, none in Nadeem or Anjum, none in Nawaz or Shehbaz or Maryam, none in Zardari or Bilawal or Aseefa or…”

“Oh shush anyway, why do you want to expunge the letter. Oh! I get it, is it because of the butchers of Gaza - Bibi Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, or the US President Biden…”

“Nope, not going there. Do you remember Benazir Bhutto took exception to many referring to her as BB on the grounds that in our language Bi Bi refers to an uneducated woman and…what? Shut your mouth – as my dad used to say, a fly may find its way inside…”

“When BB made that observation she was not the prime minister, so no notification was issued and unless a notification is issued a directive is not implemented!”

“Two things. First some directives land up in dustbins, the directive to reduce the price of roti…”

“Agreed, Notification Maryam Nawaz’s enforcement of that directive even with daddy accompanying her has been less than what 10 percent.”

“And second don’t forget that Benazir Bhutto headed her party and didn’t need any notifications to ensure implementation of her directives which is why she is never referred to as notification BB.”

“Dear Lord. Anyway, I know where you are going with this.”

“I don’t know where you think I am going with this. All I know is that those who referred to Benazir Bhutto as BB did not intend any disrespect and were simply taking the first letters of her name…”

“Oh yes, you do know where I am going with this. The Third Wife is referred to as Bushra bi bi by even her second husband, The Man Who Shall Remain Nameless…”

“That’s true, but she has never ever claimed to be educated, if I recall correctly she informed National Accountability Bureau investigators to speak to her in Urdu as her knowledge of English was limited due to her not being educated was it and….”


Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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