Monday, April 04, 2016


This blog has officially retired, if you ever want to contact me my email is mcpagal at gmail dot com :)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Muslim Men Want

Reading between the lines...

1. "I'm looking for a good Muslim girl"
Translation: I'm looking for a girl my mum will like and who looks good in hijab, but who will agree to have countless flirty late-night conversations and coffee dates while I decide if we're 'compatible'.

2. "I'm looking for someone I'm compatible with."
Translation: I'm looking for someone attractive.

3. "I'm looking for someone attractive."
Translation: I'm looking for someone so ridiculously gorgeous, 10,000 ships fly out of her face (a la Helen of Troy)

4. "I'm looking for someone who takes care of her appearance."
Translation: I'm looking for someone gorgeous, who looks stunning when she puts a bit of effort in.
[This one annoys me, because, hey, us unattactive people take care of ourselves too! Sometimes, I even polish my gnarled talons, or scrape the warts off my face. On special occasions I even brush my fangs, shave my moustache, and acquaint my armpits with some soap.]

5. "I'm looking for someone homely."
Translation: I need a maid, my mother's arthritis prevents her from ironing properly.

6. "I'm looking for someone family-oriented"
Translation: I want someone oriented to my family.

7. "I like to travel."
Translation: I go to Pakistan twice a year, and I went to Bradford once, but I heard girls like holidays.

8. "I want someone with a good sense of humour."
Translation: I want someone to laugh at all my jokes.

9. "I want someone independent."
Translation: She works, can drive, will date me before meeting my family, but will agree to live with my mummy and daddy after marriage.

10. "I don't want a girl who's independent."
Translation: I am a giant misogynist and want to marry a hot babe who never leaves the kitchen.

11. "I don't know what I'm looking for yet; I'll know when I find her!"
Translation: ...I think I want all of the above?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hunting Season...

I really am rubbish. My defence for being so rubbish is that there was absolutely interesting for me to say since about, ohhh.. June 21st, 2011. But now, having deeply pontificated on life for the last 15 months, I come with glad tidings that I have something to rant about. How privileged you are, that one future-dwelling person who accidentally ended up here after you googled something about a rishta aunty. I'm almost jealous of you.

Anyway, 15 months on and no, there's no Mr Pagal as yet. And although it's quite nice to aspire to be a crazy old spinster, hoarding newspapers from the 80s and angrily throwing cats at young couples who dare to walk past my shack hand-in-hand...

...I thought I should maybe try to find him, instead of waiting for him to phone the house to see what time is suitable to pop round on his white horse, you know, just so he can plan ahead and shine his armour beforehand.

[Side note: why do single men get the cool word, bachelor, while single women get called spinsters? You wouldn't exactly talk about a cool 'spinster pad' or find a list in a newspaper of the 'most eligible spinsters'. Amelia Earhart didn't throw herself in front of that horse just so misogynists could imply older single women sit around spinning.]

So I did what any single Muslim does in this situation... I joined Unspecified Muslim Matrimonial Site. (Affectionately known as UMMS from here on in.)

At the time of writing, I've been a member for a grand total of about two weeks, and would you believe it, my hatred for humanity has increased, oh, about 2500%. Thems are results right there, ladies and gentlemen!

It's not only the downright ridiculous people that are on there... it's also the seemingly normal people, who do downright ridiculous things. A few examples:

1. Request a photo without sending any message. I see it this way - you wouldn't walk up to a perfect stranger in the street, stare at their face for a minute or so, and walk away without saying anything. Or maybe you would. That's why I reject the requests, these guys probably have a few restraining orders against them anyway.

2. Exchange a few messages, then request a photo, and within a few minutes of me approving the request, block me. That's right, BLOCK ME. I imagine it goes something like this:

SingleDude logs in to UMMS.
Thinks "Oh, a new  photo notification! Hmm, it's that Scottish girl who I asked a bunch of strange questions yesterday. Awesome, I can look at her photo now, this is even more exciting than this morning when I wandered up and down the high street getting in people's personal space and silently stroking their faces. Hmm, loading... loading..."
McPagal's face pops up on screen.
"OH MY GOD IS THAT EVEN A PERSON?! DO PEOPLE REALLY GO AROUND LOOKING LIKE THAT?! Merciful Allah, surely there must be some kind of corrective surgery she could have had? I'd feel sorry for her if I didn't.. feel... so..." *bleeeeuuuurgh! bleeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurgh!*
SingleDude has fallen off his chair and vomited copiously. He now appears to be lapsing in and out of consciousness.
"...What did I ever do to deserve this?"
SingleDude's mother walks in.
Mother: "Beta! What happened? Did I not feed you enough?! Ohhh, I knew you were looking kamzore! I even had to take in the waistband of your XXXXL trousers last week! Hai Rabb this is all my fault!"
SingleDude: "Mummy... don't look at the computer... it's for your own good..."
SingleDude's Mother can't obey. It's her maternal instinct to seek out the perpetrator of any hurt to her beloved boy-child and destroy it. She tentatively approaches the computer, looking only from the corner of her eye, as her instinctive wisdom tells her that the beast on the monitor will defeat her if she looks straight on. (Wo)manfully, she grips the mouse, and with a gasp manages to click the button marked 'block user'. Salvation. The ogre disappears, leaving only a soothing pink background. The monitor shows cracks where it has not been able to cope with the ugliness, and there's smoke starting to snake out of the computer - but the ordeal is over.
Mother "Well beta, I hope you realise this is why I said I'd find you a wife. I was only trying to protect you. Now, let's go downstairs and find out if Aunty Shameema has a nice, tall, fair, homely, professional girl who looks like me when I was young."

Yep, that's what must have happened. Because personally, I can't think of any reason a mature adult would block someone just because their appearance isn't up to scratch, other than that their appearance makes them want to scratch their eyeballs out.

The most offensive thing is that the first guy who did this, looked like a bit of a weirdo from his photo, and I didn't want to reply to his message, but my parents did the whole sensible thing and I realised I was being a bit shallow - oh the irony...

3. 'I don't think we're compatible'. This in itself sounds like a perfectly innocuous, even reasonable statement, doesn't it? But it usually comes after a couple of bland messages and then photos have been exchanged. One time, I snapped. I sent the guy a reply along the lines of 'that's fine, all the best, but if you're going to be so shallow as to judge compatibility based on looks, you should probably tell people that in the first instance'. So then he called me judgemental. So then I made sure I got the last word in and then blocked him. Ha.

Anyway, the above has taught me that I should probably have a photo up in the first place to avoid these kinds of exchanges.. but I can't bring myself to do it. So first I settled for a disclaimer a the end of my profile that I'm not drop-dead gorgeous, which didn't have any effect. So I added an addendum to my disclaimer that I have dark skin, and now nobody sends me messages. Oh well... time to go cat-shopping, I guess.

[I was going to have a rant about irritating things guys say on their profiles, but I'll save that for next time. Which hopefully will be sometime this year...]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How To Offend a Rishta in Ten Ways

Sometimes when I'm bored I like to come up with hypothetical scenarios and things I could do in them. One of my favourites is the rishta scenario, mostly because you hear about so many daft aunties behaving in socially unacceptable ways to girls and their families when it comes to looking at marriage potentials. Like asking for a girl's height/waist size/weight before meeting her (I like to think that they're cheapskates and are looking for someone who'll fit into the walima dress they have mouldering away in the attic); or making a disgusted just-smelled-some-unexpected-faecal-matter-right-under-my-nose-oh-God-I-think-it's-in-my-mucha-hairs face when the girl walks in (perhaps to aid in negotiations further down the line - her face was an affront to my retinas, I felt physically nauseous when I saw her - I won't pay more that twenty quid mahr, final offer! Desis are born hagglers after all); or making her walk up and down the room so they can properly assess her physique (and possibly her ability to remain ambulatory without limping, dragging her knuckles across the floor, and/or drooling. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that, people are just so superficial these days).

I understand, though, that single British Muslimah sistahz seem to be suffering somewhat from a drought of decent marriage fodder, and offending the ones that do turn up would be irresponsible, immature and probably quite unIslamic. However, fantasizing elaborate scenarios that will never happen is a known analgesic and aids respiratory function (no it's not and it doesn't, I just like making stuff up) and besides, my daydream about winning 3 gold medals at the Olympics is getting quite old and I needed a new story. So here are a few ways you could be as offensive as possible during a rishta meeting:

1. Mid-conversation, give a polite excuse me, then get up and leave. Ideally through a window.

2. If the aunty (or, in fact, the boy) looks disgusted, play along. Make retching noises and really go for it - make them believe that you're struggling to hold your bile down. [Wo]manfully get yourself under control and say something like 'sorry, I just didn't realise faces could look like that'

3. Alternative to above: 'My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing!'

4. If the aunty asks your measurements, reciprocate. Bring a measuring tape to verify your findings.

5. If the aunty has come to assess you without even bringing the potential along, then lament to her about how hard you have been looking for a decent mother-in-law with a good education, good height and the complexion you desire. Ask her questions about herself. If she mentions her son, turn the conversation back to herself, because it's really the mother-in-law you're looking for, the husband's just a means to an end, right?

6. Talk yourself down - spectacularly. If they ask what you like to do in your spare time, tell them drink and drugs. If they ask what you like to cook, laugh and say that all the beatings you've given your mum have taught her to have food on the table. If they ask about your job, tell them you never actually got a degree and that you just drive your dad's car round all day with the windows down and the music loud. Make sure you deliver all this as sweetly and demurely as possible.

7. If the guy himself is an annoying show off, one-up all his stories. He likes to travel? Well, you've been to all the countries in the world, ever, even the ones that don't have names. Twice. He earns 6 figures? You earn 26. He likes his cars? You own Ferrari. Not a Ferrari, the actual company. He prays 5 times a day? You pray a bazillion and five.

8. If they place a lot of emphasis on looks, place a lot of emphasis on something else, like money. Ask if you can audit their accounts.

9. If (okay, when) the conversation gets boring, tell them you're very sorry but you have to leave urgently for a work thing. Then go outside and play in the back garden. Make sure the room they're in has a good view.

1o. Short and sweet: when the boy walks in, give him a dramatic thumbs down like a roman emperor condemning a gladiator to death.

Hijab Pants

You know bonnet caps right?

creepy mannequin faces not included

As a hijabi, there's two vital facts I have learned about them:

1) When left lying around, say on the sofa or on your bedside table or in the corner of the living room for no reason at all - anywhere! - they look like a pair of pants.

Yes, the underwear kind of pants. It's a recognised phenomenon. Here's an illustration for the visual learners:

please don't take this literally, it's potentially unhygienic

2) Much like safety pins, hijab hats fall into the category of irritating items that ALWAYS seem to be lying around when unnecessary but disappear off the face of the earth when you're actually looking for them.

Now, combine this with the law of the universe that I like to call McPagal's First Law of Baisteefication, things will always be at their most embarrassing in front of the people that will make you feel most embarrassed about it.

This may take some explanation, so let me provide examples:
-When you have uncontrollable giggles which develop into full-on uncontrollable raucous hyena laughter in a public place, there will be an angry looking bearded brother round the corner who will storm past you disapprovingly;
-When you have spewed on the bus and are trying to disappear off the face of the earth but need to find a toilet to clean yourself up in first, you will be approached by a Street Doctor crew asking if you want to be filmed
-When you've gone crazy in the sales and bought an armload of discounted bras and knickers from Primark, including the silly novelty one that made you laugh so you bought it in a ridiculously huge size because it was only 50p and you thought it'd be funny to give it to your sister as a joke; the only available cashier will be a young Asian male. Possibly one you recognise. And the barcode on the novelty bra won't scan properly so he'll have to awkwardly ask for a price check while you both stare at the floor and pretend like this isn't at all awful and making you want to sink into the ground and disappear.
And so on.

What results is at least 2 potentially horrible scenarios:

-People come to visit when you've not tidied up properly. People you don't know too well but need to make a good impression on for some reason. They see the hijabpants lying dustily in the corner where they have been hiding for the last 2 months, unmoved because you thought you'd lost them, and are disgusted that you'd leave horrible dusty pants around when people come to visit. You fail to make a good impression, and what's more, when you go to pick up the hijabpants when they leave they are nowhere to be seen.

-You are with people you know a little better, friends maybe, and go to put on your hijabpants. Only this time you misjudged and really did pick up a pair of pants. You are now wearing pants on your head.

These scenarios and countless others burn away at the back of the neurotic section of your brain for all time, eventually turning you into a jibbering wreck at the thought of all the untapped baisteefication potential there is in the world, ready to ensnare you when you least expect it, drowning you in a pool of awkwardness. This is what I live with. Who knew hijab hats could be so dangerous?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things That Make Me Hate You On Facebook - Part 2

PART 2 - Content! [Also, the part where I pretend there wasn't a 5 month (wait, really?!) gap since Part 1, thereby avoiding having to make up any tediously reasonable excuse for said gap]

Before I list these, I should clarify something you may not have noticed about me: I am a horrible, horrible cynic who likes to privately (like, in my own head privately) mock people's foibles. However I also recognise that I have my own, often extremely irritating foibles myself. I'm perfectly happy for people to point these out, because I have a ready-made excuse (which is, incidentally, the same excuse I have for all my spelling and grammar errors) - I was doing it on purpose. You know, ironically. Ha.


1. The life story
08.02:'Just woke up, eyelids are having trouble coming unstuck'
08.07:'Getting out of bed was a struggle, finally managed it LOL'
08.14:'Decided to use small circular motions to brush my teeth rather than the old side-to-side, now my gums are bleeding'
08.16:'Dropped my phone down the toilet trying to eiuuhgeneangh ehfoiuhn...s''@##'
You get the picture.

2. The Drama Queen
'Some people need to focus on their OWN selves instead of HATING like HATERZ.'
'Had a great night out with my girls, we don't CARE what people say about us cause they're all HATERSZZ'
Somehow, I find myself not wanting to hate these people because it would be giving them what they want. It's nigh impossible though.

3. The Deep Dark Soul of Mystery
'Some days you just have to be strong'
'I can't expect anyone to understand'
If anyone makes an attempt to understand, however, e.g. by asking what's up, the Deep Dark Soul of Mystery likes to respond cryptically, maybe with a '...' or a picture of a bucket of their own tears. They're deep like that.

4. The Broken Compass

Friday morning: 'Jumah mubarak my Muslim brethren. Protect yourself from the hellfire. Can't wait for the khutba by Sheikh al-Famous today, it'll be awesome for sure inshallah'
Friday night: 'Whooo had an awesome time gettin high on sheesha and freemixing, and the gambling was awesome too LAWL'
Sadly, the latter update is usually accompanied by photographic evidence, the type that makes you cover your eyes and cringe.

Also included in this category: the people who don't seem to give a toss about Islamic stuff normally, but when it comes to the ins and outs of moon-sighting, or halal food for example, they're tossing out fatwas and hadith like they're smarties. But not the red smarties, because they have cochineal which is from dead beetles and are therefore haraam, for further evidence please refer to yadda yadda yadda...

5. Captain Obvious

[Someone makes a witty remark involving Barack Obama and his similarity to a writing desk]

[It's snowing outside, and has been for the last week]

[It's hot outside due to a widely discussed heatwave]
Status Update: IT'TH HOT WHYYY?

[It's Tuesday]

Thanks for being so informative, Cap'n.

6. Anyone who dares express themselves in anything but the most cursory written form.

X's Notes: My Poetry

X's Albums: My Artwork
This one is no one's fault but my own. Anyone who likes to post their emo-poems or artwork will face my scorn, albeit never expressed to anybody at all in case they should realise how very mean I can be and block me from their facebook, and my source of future amusement. Their poetry/artwork might not even be altogether vomit-inducing, but in my head the very fact they posted it on facebook makes it ridiculous. Although it usually is vomit-inducing, to be fair.

Tune in next week, to see McPagal step on a kitten and then laugh!*
*Not really.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Things That Make Me Hate You On Facebook - Part I

I love Facebook. I love that I can keep in touch with family and friends as far away as Switzerland, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, America and even England. I love that you can start a conversation with one person and have it end up as a discussion between people on your friends list that would never have otherwise interacted. I love that you can see what a small world we live in, when your friends overlap in a veritable Venn diagram of unexpected ways.

There is, however, plenty of hate for Facebook out there on the web (should that be in the web? I dunno). Bleeding Mafia Wars and Farmville in particular. I figured I'd join in - all in the spirit of 'love the sinner, hate the sin' of course! If anyone who knows me on Facebook would like to point out irritating things that I'm guilty of myself, please do. So that I can promptly defriend you.

Profile Pictures
The thing with Facebook is that the title is pretty self explanatory when it come to profile pictures. Unless you're using a pseudonym and using Facebook for stalkery purposes, it's good to have your face as your picture. Look, the placeholder is even a silhouette of a head-and-shoulders portrait, how helpful! I suppose there are those who have so many random people as friends that they feel shy about showing their faces, but then the question arises - why add so many randoms? Ok, you want to network, blah blah whatever. Stop fighting my argument with REASON.

Apart from a lack of faceness, here are the worst crimes in my subjectively objective eyes - most of them perpetrated by the female facebook population because, hey, I'm not going to ogle GUY pictures, that'd be wrong (even for research purposes) plus I have no witty observations to make on guy-pictures anyway...:

This neanderthal uses someone else's face as their profile picture. Usually someone famouser/prettier, for example Aishwarya Rai instead of their 75 year old, nicotine stained, toothless, morbidly obese self. This is especially irritating when perpetrated by a hijabi/niqabi - it's not ok to show yourself with your hair/face uncovered, but it's ok to show someone else's? That's like wearing a wig over your hijab! And that would just be ridiculous!

This is when you take a close-up picture of your eye (or to make it a double whammy, take a close-up picture of someone else's, more photogenic and artfully made-up eye that you found on Google images - in a bold, ALL-SEEING EYE THIEF move) and use it as your profile picture. Yes, eyes are pretty, and said to be the window to the soul etc etc. But this makes me think that you:
a) are very vain and want everyone to notice/comment on you having pretty eyes, in common with 99% of the world's population
b) somehow think that showing off your beguiling eyes is somehow more 'halal' than showing your face, despite making sure that your eye is well adorned with heavy eyeliner, mascara and bold eyeshadow - like one of those Caged Oppressed Muslim Woman In Desert Country novel covers; or
c) are a one-eyed mutant freak.

This is when you combine a desi girl with a good, strong camera flash to give her that goree-chitti, face-dipped-in-atta appearance. Typically this picture will have a long trail of comments on it saying how gorgeous the person looks (for once, you know...) despite the fact that the flash frequently comes with the side-effect of making the subject's nose disappear into whiteness. THE WHITEOUT may be combined with:

Do. Not. Show. Your. Teeth.
Also, tilt your head to the side, look up through your eyelashes, and lift your camera high, and MySpace-pose it. The only difference from the dictionary definition is that as a desi girl who is not emo, you may smile, but should remember not to show any teeth (that would be soooo laaaame) and should use as much poutage as possible. You may also comine this with:

DAFFY DUCK incidentally, way cooler that Donald
Pout!! Pout like you're trying to touch the ceiling!! Why not add a touch of:

Here's a tip: whenever you go out anywhere, like a nice restaurant or hotel or other wedding venue - don't bother taking pictures anywhere, you know, scenic. Instead, make your way to the toilets with a couple of your best pals and hold an hour-long photoshoot. That way, people can see your picture reflected in the mirror, with a beautiful panorama of washbasins and toilet cubicles behind you. You should make this your profile picture because then everyone can see that you're the adventurous sort who stays inside posing in public toilets.
Just remember to wash your hands when you're done.

So, you're a hijabi/niqabi and you feel like you're missing out on some fun? Just use all the tips above, and don't bother with the hijab. It doesn't matter, it's just a picture you're putting out there for the world to see, and you're still wearing it in person so that's ok, right? Right?

to be continued...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Crime Scene Investigation

Okay, I'll admit - CSI: Miami is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, a cheesiness too good not to be indulged in occasionally. If you've never seen it then this will tell you everything you need to know about Horatio, the main character, and internet laughing stock:

(and this is hilarious too)

Anyways, I wrote this script for the same thing as the Rishtapprentice... thing.. but it never got used and it's a bit bizarre but I don't write stuff for no reason and it's been kicking about for a while so here you go I guess!

CSI Miami:

Horatio: aka H.
Eric Delko: H’s sidekick
Uncle Zafar: unclejee
Zeeshan: son
Aunty Zarina: auntyjee


Door opens

ERIC: Hear that, Horatio? A man was found dead in an apartment in London, dressed as a banana. Police say they want us to go investigate.

H: No need, Eric... This one... is a definite suicide.

ERIC: How do you know, H?! Are you a psychic CSI now?

H: No, I just... know... he killed himself.

ERIC: But why?!

H: Because he was... a kela.


Main Bit

ERIC: Riiiiiiiiight. Look, we have another crime scene to investigate. We got a call at 0900 hours today, from a Mr Zeeshan Zubair. Apparently his mother has gone missing without a trace, last seen a week ago in the family home.

H: It’s seems... he thinks this is CSI:... My Ammi.


ERIC: No H, we already did the start bit! You need to save the puns for later!

H: You don’t think they’re... punny?

ERIC: [pause] Let’s go.

Car screeches off

...Doorbell, door opens

ZEESHAN: CSI! Oh my God, am I glad you’re here!

H: Aaah, you must be... Mr Zubair.

ZEESHAN: Uhhh, yes. What’s with your sunglasses? We’re inside!

H: Never judge a man... until you’ve walked a mile in his... shades.

ERIC: That one was just weak, H.

ZEESHAN: And this is no time for jokes! My Ammi has gone missing!

H: Your... Ammi?

ZEESHAN: Yes! Last time we saw her was a week ago, in the kitchen making rotis. We think she might have been abducted by evil villains!

ERIC: Who’s this we, man?

ZEESHAN: Me and my dad! He’s in the kitchen. He’s been sitting there since she disappeared.

Kitchen door opens

UNCLE Z: Veeeeeeeeeeeeeehf! Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeegum! My jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

ZEESHAN: He’s been like this all week, guys. We don’t know what to do without my ammi!

UNCLE Z: [sobbing] I miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssss you begum!

ZEESHAN: Dad! These men are here to help us. They’re going to find out what happened to Ammi!

UNCLE Z: [still sobbing] ...My Zarina? You’re going to find her?

ERIC: We’ll do our best, sir.

UNCLE Z: Thank God! We haven’t been able to eat a thing all week!

ERIC: Wow, you’re that worried?

ZEESHAN: No, we just couldn’t work out how to use the cooker. Seriously! We pressed every single button, and no khana came out!

UNCLE Z: Veeeeeeeeeeeeeehhf!

H: We’ll find her. But now... we need you... to leave.

ERIC: Yes, we’ll need to investigate this crime scene – and we can’t let any evidence get contaminated. Could you wait outside please?

Door closes

H: Investigate the scene?... I just wanted... to steal their biscuits.

ERIC: H, man, that’s out of order! We need to find Zeeshan’s ammi!

H: Oh... right. Well, seal off the perimeter, Eric. I’ll check this area for evidence. ...


H: [GASP!]

ERIC: What is it boss? Have you found something?

H: It’s some kind of... white powder. It seems to be emanating from... that sack... over there.

ERIC: [sigh] Boss, that’s just flour. And the sack in the corner is a bag of Elephant Atta.

H: I... knew that. But what do you think of... this!


H: It’s a strange... cuboidal structure. Gold coloured... with a piece of paper protruding from it.

ERIC: It’s a tissue-box holder, H. Look, here’s a hanky.

H: Who in their right mind... would cover a tissue box? No, Eric. This seems more like... a communication device. From an alien planet.

ERIC: Yes, okay. Hey Horatio, come and have a look at this! There’s a note on the fridge!

Rip noise

ERIC: reads “Zafar and Zeeshan. Remember I’ve gone to visit my sister in Leeds this week. Your dinners are in labelled boxes in the fridge. Just heat the food up in the microwave. I love you, back on Tuesday. Zarina. PS – take the food out of the box before you put it in the microwave. PPS – the microwave is the white machine in the corner, beside the fridge.”

ERIC: Ha, looks like we know where the missing Ammi is after all!

H: Don’t be... stupid, Eric. That’s just a decoy note. Planted by... aliens.

Door opens

AUNTY Z: Slaamlekum! Zeeshan? Zafar? Aap kaha he?!

H: You see?.. She’s even speaking... an alien language.

ERIC: ...Sure boss.

Door opens again (did anyone close it last time?!)

ZEESHAN: Ammi! You’re back!

ZAFAR: Veeeeeeeehhhf!

AUNTY: Bayta! Mian! Me tumhare liye lassi liyayy hu!

ERIC: Looks like it’s case closed, H.

H: Yes, all’s well... that ends well. And it seems that Lassie... wasn’t just a dog...


Monday, July 27, 2009

The Rishtapprentice

Last year I wrote a bunch of comedy scripts for the youth section of my local Ramadhan radio station, and I found them kicking about in my emails so I thought I'd share! The first one is based on The Apprentice - British version, hence the Sugar name. This one was a whole lot funnier when it was recorded, but anyway...

The Rishtapprentice

NARRATOR: he narrates
The Family:
AUNTY CHINI: Over the top, overbearing and overweight
SAJID CHINI: Son of aunty
SHUGUFTA: daughter-in-law & advisor to aunty, voice of reason
SHAMYLA: older daughter-in-law & advisor, sycophant
The candidates:
MARIA: candidate (medic)
(AMIRA): “ “ (dentist)
PINKY: “ “ (pakistani)
SAMINA: “ “ (bimbo)
NASEEM: “ “ (male)
(FATIMA): “ “
(ZAINAB): “ “
(SHAZIA): “ “
(FARAH): “ “

Music: The Apprentice theme tune

AUNTY: This is the rishta interview from hell. I’ve raised my son for the last 27 years – your prize is, working for meeee!

NARRATOR: From across the country, 10 candidates have been chosen from 20 000 to come to London for the opportunity of a lifetime – to become the wife of millionaire entrepreneur, medical doctor and the country’s most eligible bachelor of all time, Sajid Chini.

AUNTY: I’m looking for a girl who is cream of the crop – beautiful, eh-smart, taaallll, gori, lovely, and she always listens to me. This is the most important decision Sajid will ever make, so I will help make it for him!

NARRATOR: But first Maria, Amira, Pinky, Samina, Fatima, Zainab, Shazia, Farah and Naseem will have to prove their worth in a gruelling series of tests - and will ultimately face Aunty Chini herself in the sitting room to find out who’ll be fired... and who’ll be hired. 9 candidates, one job. Welcome... to the Rishta Apprentice!

Music ends.

Main bit:
AUNTY: Velcome in front of me. As you are knowing, I am the number one aunty in Britain today. My 3 sons are together vorth over 10 million pounds – but the money doesn’t matter, because they are all dactars and also very handsome. I am controller of this family empire, and now I am looking for an apprentice. My bahus Shugufta and Shamyla are here to help me decide, by watching you 24/7 and reporting back to me everything. And of course my son vill make the ultimate decision. Say salaam Sajid!

SAJID: Uhhh... salaam girls. I just, uhh, wanted to say before we start this that-

AUNTY: Aho Sajid. Now we will start the first task, but before that- Naseem?

NASEEM: Yes Aunty? I’m really looking forward to this, you know, I’m going to give 110% and I think I’ve got what it takes to go all the way, I can be the best daughter-in-law ever!

AUNTY: You’re fired.

NASEEM: disappointed Aww...

AUNTY: Let’s see... Farah, Shazia and Zainab? You’re all fired too.

GIRLS: But we just got here! You can’t do that! Why?? Etc

AUNTY: Tooooooo short, too fat and too ugly. Get out! You’re hurting my eyes! And Fatima, you too. You might want to stay out of the sun, you look like a little burnt kajoor.

NARRATOR: 9 candidates reduced to 4 in a single master stroke – but what’s in store next?

AUNTY: Acha. Now your first task, kooriyay, is what I like to call ‘the roti challenge’. The koori who makes the most rotis wins, and gets to suggest to me who I should fire next. But the rotis must be mazadar and acha and fair and lovely. And also you don’t get any tawa, atta, and you’re not allowed to use my kitchen.


SHUGUFTA: Saas-ji, maybe we should give them some money so they can make the rotis somewhere else?

AUNTY: Chup! When I vas a girl ve made rotis from the whatevers ve had in our pockets, and ve had to valk 12 miles to get to the tandoor! In the pouring rain, with no shoes on! And then ve had to valk on coals while people threw stones at us!

SHAMYLA: Yeah, shut up Shugufta!

AUNTY: Now get out of my house! And make me some rotis!

Door slam

NARRATOR: 6 hours later, the girls are allowed back inside to show the fruits of their labour...

AUNTY: Acha so ve are all back here now, and I see ve have some rotis. I vill judge to see if they look pyari enough, and taste delicious too. Roti time!

Tense music

NARRATOR: The candidates are judged in alphabetical order. First up is Amira, a dentist from London, who-

Music cuts off

AUNTY: Vait vait vait. Did you say dentist?!

NARRATOR: Erm, yes?

AUNTY: Dentist is just someone too stupid to be a dactar! Amira, you’re fired!

NARRATOR: In an unexpected turn of events, our 4 candidates are swiftly reduced to 3! The next up is Maria, a doctor from Edinburgh.

AUNTY: Haa, ye to acha hai.

Tense music starts again

MARIA (nervous): Aunty-Chini-Ji, I used the emergency bag of atta I keep to make these rotis, over a campfire I lit myself. I- I hope you like them Auntyji!

AUNTY: Hmmm, the shape is nice and round... texture is a little bit too thin, but okay...
Aunty eats, loudly

AUNTY: Hmm, not too bad! I give you 6 out of 10. Plus one point for being a daactar. Satt!

NARRATOR: Next up is Pinky, a kuri from Jalander in Pakistan.

PINKY: Auntyji, aap bohot pyari hein aaj! Hee hee! Vat I did vas I made a tandoor from scratch, and I ground the atta myself from some vheat in a field. Packet atta is not so good, you know?

AUNTY: Haiii? These rotis are so round! And so light and fluffy!

PINKY: Hunna? And if you look closer aunty, I made your shakal in the roti in the little bits I saik-ed!

AUNTY: Achaaaaa? Aunty eats noisily again

AUNTY: Koi hor hai? Mmm, perfect! Nine out of ten, any better and it would be made by me!

NARRATOR: Last up is Samina, an office worker from Leeds – but she has a hard act to follow.

SAMINA: Soooo, I went to Tesco, but they, like, don’t sell “Rotis”? And I asked around, and like bought some flour, but it might have been self-raising? But, like, I’m a really talented woman, and I think I really nailed this task, you know! By the way, it’s Sam, not Samina, okaaay?

AUNTY: Oh my Gawwd. I’ve not seen such a horrible roti since I let my bahu Shagufta cook for the first time. Sooo fat! And burnt! And the shape... it looks like a map of India! Aunty eats with displeasure

AUNTY: Euuurgh, it tastes like one too!.. No points! No points for you! Kuriye, I need to get that taste out of my mouth.. so your next task is... make me some chai!

PINKY: Done! I made it pukka Pakistani style Auntyji, with dalchini and garam masala and lachee and ghur and padaam and sownf and halva, and also a teabag.

SAMINA: Ohmigod, that’s like so unfair! She made it while we were talking!

MARIA: She’s tayz alright...

AUNTY: Vell, a good kuri vould have thought of that. Acha kaam kiya.

NARRATOR: 2 tasks over, and one to go. Now, the candidates have to-

AUNTY: Tu kyon bolta rehta? No more tasks. I have made my decision! Ajo! Betto!

NARRATOR: Fine! [Quickly] The candidates make their way to the boardroom for the final rishta meeting, where Aunty Chini will make her decision on who gets to marry her son Sajid. Okay?

Tense music again

AUNTY: Acha. I have 3 girls in front of me... and only 1 can be vinner. Samina?

SAMINA: Yes Aunty? It’s me? Ohmigod, I just knew you’d love me!

AUNTY: You’re fire. You can’t make roti, or chai, you talk too much, and you’re not even veering a shalwar kameez. Chal paray! Maria?

MARIA: ...yes?

AUNTY: Your rotis were not bad, and you’re a daactar. But you’re still too short, and my Sajid is nice and lamba. You’re fired!

MARIA: Oh thank God. I can’t believe my mum put me through this!

AUNTY: Now... Pinky!

PINKY: Jee auntyjee? Meh boht khush hoon! Meh vinner hogee! Hee hee!

AUNTY: Aap bhi fired hain.



AUNTY: Haan, yes, your rotis were nice and the chai vas so mazadar, but I have chosen a different winner! Everyone, meet... my niece from Pakistan!

NIECE: Slaamlekum jee.

SAJID: Ammeeee! You said you wouldn’t make me marry a cousin!

AUNTY: But she is the vinner! And contract says you have to marry the vinner!

SAJID: continues to protest and sob in background

NARRATOR: Join us again for another edition of Ristapprentice! But not with me – I quit! You can’t fire me, aunty!

Theme tune

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to Ruin Your Mum's Favourite Song

This post comes to you in honour of mother's day, which as a somewhat less than perfect daughter, I am clearly honouring a day late.

Step One: Identify your mum's favourite song. In my case, I think it's this:

(although with my innate knowledge for ruining songs, my mum might be deceiving me deliberately...)

Step Two: Sing the lyrics as often, as loudly, and of course as tunelessly as possible. You don't even need to know most, or indeed any of the words. Anything you don't know can be replaced with lalala's or neeneenee's. If you're adopting pro tactics, learn one line and make it fit the entire melody.

Step Three: When you are forbidden from doing the above, hum the melody from time to time, interspersed with amateur beatboxing and shouts of 'break it down!'.

Step Four: This part is treading into dangerous territory. Again, take to singing the song, but now subtly change or indeed completely overhaul the words to be offensive, irritating, and downright unseemly. Bonus points go for toilet humour and abstract symbolism.

Step Five: Take your pillow, your duvet, and maybe your entire winter wardrobe. Duct tape the whole lot to your body. It will be invaluable protection while you receive the (possibly chapal-aided) beating of your life.

Step Six: As a mother's day gift, promise not to do any of the above again. See the tears of happiness well up in your mother's eyes. For bonus bonus points, make her a cup of tea.

To my long suffering mother who sometimes reads this blog at work as of a couple of weeks ago: I love you so much, and am constantly surprised that you put up with me too :)