Paap culture: What Katie did next. Really, what did she do?

Published: October 21, 2019

KARACHI  : It was a few social media posts ago when Meghan Markle was somewhere in Africa asserting her claim to humanitarian causes. Your lives matter, you are important, so are your views and we are all equal, she said to the loudspeaker, slowly and emphatically as if she wasn’t entirely convinced of the loudspeaker’s capacity to function.

The crowd of little black kids who looked at her listlessly scratched their heads and shuffled in the heat. Aside from wondering why their lunch hour has been taken away, they looked mildly concerned about white people and the amount of brains they had. The Really Important Lady didn’t seem all there in the head.

Markle remained unperturbed, though. With her coffee tainted whiteness, she is a self-appointed Rebel Royal with (or without) a cause. Her work has made headlines as she rallies for women’s rights, the poors and wears black nail colour to ensure world peace.

In case you wanted out of this year’s circus, you’re in for another ride. Royalty will not let itself be outdone, even by their own selves. Hence the Queen of all things philanthropic descends. Notice how philanthropic is a bigger word than humanitarian.

Blues in the Land of Green

Kate Middleton is a true blue Royal. It’s so obvious; you have to be colour blind in order to question her claim to the throne.

Her Grace is also mindful of the cultural mores of a country where the flag is mostly green because the minority populations don’t deserve a colour. So we witnessed a historical, out of the blue of arrival of the Royal couple a few days or a lifetime ago. Good princesses don’t travel alone so she was accompanied by Princess Diana’s firstborn. (Must Google his name, profession etc).



The first image I saw of Royalty amongst us was that of a grinning rickshaw driver. The same frame then revealed a statuesque Middleton in an emerald green gown (Some dispute it’s an Anarkali but last we heard of her, she was in a wall somewhere). If you look closely, you’ll spot a balding Englishman. That’s William. Her husband, the next ruler of the British Empire. Actually, next to next. There’s a Charles in between too. (Googled it. Still looking for his professional reason to exist, though).

Her bottle-green Sherwani is just right for a stroll with the Prime Minister as they discuss the white kurta adorned by Princess Diana in the split image next to theirs.



The Prime Minister, being in both pictures as a firsthand witness reassures Middleton how her Sherwani is better tailored.

She looks elegant in her Cerulean hybrid Kurta by Maheen Khan. It took several Insta posts to discover why she was peeking into a brown child’s face with delight and disregard for his personal space. They were visiting a school.

PHOTO: Reuters

PHOTO: Reuters

There is a red-faced, dehydrated William too in this photo op. They both look ecstatic to be with the children of this land. I’ve seen less happy brides on psychotropics.

The pastel blue cowl necked shirt is lovely, a perfect ensemble for ascending from the plane to the ground with nude heels and her signature diamonds. The clutch she holds is a thing of wonder. It’s unimaginable as a commoner to travel with a clutch that size.


Just when you think you’re ready to wash away cyan tint dilating your pupils, Middleton is found on the flight of Badshahi mosque’s stairs in a Nearly Neon blue kurta. The terracotta stairs look stunning against her attire.

Prince William and Kate walking in Badshahi Mosque. PHOTO: Reuters

Prince William and Kate walking in Badshahi Mosque. PHOTO: Reuters

Upon the Prime Minister’s sage counsel, she decides to put the split image debate and exorcise Princess Diana for the nth time. It’s somewhere between a Thursday and a Friday when we know she was wearing the same shade of off white by Ideas Pret, ostensibly as a peace offer to the common Pakistani aunty. She wears it better and now swears by the First lady’s supernatural prowess.

PHOTO: Reuters

PHOTO: Reuters

Somewhere in between the breathless wardrobe onslaught, the Royals decide to be one with the rurals too. Amidst picturesque mountains and presentable villagers, you see her under a tribal topi with feathers, wearing an intricately embroidered jacket that exploits the love and labour loss of a tiny pagan community kept alive for tourism.

Prince William and his wife Kate meet the ancient, animist Kalash tribe. PHOTO: AFP

Prince William and his wife Kate meet the ancient, animist Kalash tribe. PHOTO: AFP

Middleton’s delight at this is evident in the image that captures her grinning at an increasingly translucent William. I think he smiles too, can’t be entirely sure though.

On the Presence of Absence

In case you are wondering what really is the point of a visit that is going to cost taxpayers basic amenities, skip a meal or three and look at the not nearly there William instead. The Prince is the answer. He fulfills his Royal duty by serving as the backdrop to Kate Middleton’s carefully curated wardrobe for a state visit, symbolic of the ethereal fragility of existence.

 Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge look at each other while visiting a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral, Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

Britain’s Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge look at each other while visiting a settlement of the Kalash people in Chitral, Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS

He’s the first King to be, who manages to embody the answer to one of the most pressing questions of human existence. Why are we here. Why, really, why o why are they here.

He saves us all from an abyss of existential dread.

The pointlessness of being, that’s the point. Kate Middleton punctuates this by her nude makeup with peachy undertones in order to ensure the glint of diamonds against her stratified blow dry. The constance of a wispy hairdo that repels frizz asserts the illusion of change.

Dekh Magar Pyaar Sey 

Love is blind. All is fair in Love. In case of war, Kangana Ranaut’s outbursts qualify for press releases. Revenge, hence, is a dish best served cold.

All clichés are perfect truths. 2019 will remain a testament to this. This was the year when all we saw was, well the infinite scroll option on our smartphones. Nothing registered.


Rupert Murdoch and his brand of tabloid journalism rose from the dead print presses and exacted its icy dues. Media houses and production moguls followed suit and used social media influencers as a cover to perpetuate an MSG-laden news feed that ate away at chunks of our brain. The ADHD of screen time took over substance abuse and Steve finally lived up to his name by doing a job immaculately done.

Everyone blindly loves how much Ranveer loves Deepika and the vacation updates by JSisters. The Kardashians became cultural icons, no one knows why and Marvel productions took over cinematic craft. It’s only fair then news output disregards any question of brain drain and nutritious output of informed journalism is as vague as William. Look shiny and it’s all good. It’s only love.

Paap culture is a bi-monthly column about cynical commentary on bizzare pop culture happenings. 

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