Who is Dr Gholam Mujtaba?
Sometimes I cross a signal wishing I don’t run into him at the next one, but boom! There he is again.
So you’re out on the road, pulled over at a traffic signal. The timer says 72 seconds and is ticking down. After bashing off the khudkush (suicidal) viper wala, the eunuch wearing awful makeup, the gajray wala who says “bhaabhi, ke haath mein bara acha lagay gaa (It will look good on your wife’s hand)” you’re naturally inclined to look around.
As you take a look from one side to the other, you come across a billboard of some lawn exhibition, another that has Katrina Kaif on it, either promoting Slice or Lux, and one, at almost every traffic signal, that has Dr Gholam Mujtaba trying to pass a smile through his thick space-bar type moustache.
Does he even exist?
Do you all see him too, or is it just me having visual hallucinations?
Firstly, who is this guy?
Why is he being so heavily marketed?
What channel is he on?
Who is paying for all this?
I come across his billboards more than I come across Coke Studio, which is literally being aired all the time on almost every channel on TV.
Is he bigger than Coke?
The way he points in the billboard takes you on a guilt trip. It makes you feel that you’ve done something wrong and he knows about it. So among hundreds of people, he is pinpointing you.
He is telling you that you are the harbinger of the apocalypse, or like in any superhero movie where the guy doesn’t really know what powers he possesses until a father figure tells him about it. At least, these are the kind of feelings I get looking at him.
Sometimes I cross a signal wishing I don’t run into him at the next one but boom! There he is again, reminding me that it’s me who is going to be the saviour of this world.
Next signal, he’s not there. Thank God, but hey... check this girl out at the bus stop and behind her, Bam! It’s him again! Posted on a bus stop!
In these past months, I have seen him more than I have seen anyone ever in my life.
Remember the Uncle Sam’s ‘I Want You’ poster? I think this is the Pakistani version of that.
But what is he saying?
I want you… to dye my hair?
Man that’s a good hairline for a guy his age.
But this doesn’t end here. He realised that the billboards weren't enough for him. He was determined to invade every single household, so he decided to take matters to the next level and now he’s on everyone’s Facebook page! Somewhere in the corner with his pencil sketch.
I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s going to be in our living rooms one day, just standing there in his cheap suit and silk tie, pointing at us, and saying nothing.
So who has actually watched his show?
This post was originally published here.