Chand raat of the Mithi Eid — a phrase so nice, you can say it twice! When you read it, doesn’t it sound grand and full of enchanting sweetness? Well, it is. It’s the Eid that doesn’t leave roads drenched in blood and streets full of guts and ripped open stomachs. This is Mithi Eid and the sweetness I essentially indulge in on this grand occasion is staring at girls, left right and centre. Without a shadow of doubt, Chand Raat is a taroo’s heaven, his Las Vegas and his Raiwind Palace.
It all started when I was four years old. Word on the street was that a gori ma’am (white lady) had come to visit our village to see the schools and meet the kids. I was dressed up and sent to meet the white lady. What a sight. The moment was amazing, seeing over 300 men just staring at her, regardless of them being Chandio, Afridi, Butt or Lund. All generational rivalries were put aside for a common goal — stare at the gori. From that day onwards, I knew that the only way we can all get along is through shameless staring.
I have been an avid stare-r. I started from the nurse who cut the cord, went on to the female teachers in my all-boys school and now, I am proudly known as the sala office ka tharki.
Girls give weird and angry looks when they are stared at, but I am pretty sure they secretly like it. Sometimes, when they say: “No… hell no! Get away from me,” what they really mean is, “yes”. This phenomenon is popularly known as ‘playing hard to get’ (take notes guys; I am giving you pearls here).
Also, the girls wearing western clothes — jeans and tops — they love it when we stare. The reason why they wear those clothes is so that we can stare — they like the attention. Why else would they wear those clothes?
Back to the event of the year, that is Chand Raat. My Chand Raat starts with picking up my friends and then hitting the malls — you know the usual mehndi corners to check out girls while they are all dressed up to get their henna on. Mehndi corners are only for girls and families, so we just stay close to a family, as an attempt to blend in. Some girls come with their boys, who give you the stink eye if you check out their ‘Ras Malai’ (yes, I have actually heard someone call his loved one that). We aim for the girls with families; they are an easy prey. Stare at them from afar, make eye-contact when Abu isn’t looking, stay close by, wait till she looks at you, and then…wink! Nine out of 10 times she rejects, but every now and then, a sad, lonely, low-self esteemed girl comes along and she doesn’t slap us. The one that does slap us leaves us wondering how she could do this to us. Following the slap, other taroos seize the opportunity to be seen as her knight in shining armour, become Ajay Devgan from Diljalay and start thrashing me in an attempt to save her honour. But then again, that is all part of the thrill, as I always say, ‘one has to risk it for the biscuit’.
You might have female friends, but my several years’ experience of staring at them has taught me more than you’d ever know about them as friends. I have more knowledge about women than most of the men around. So what if my mom can’t find me a bride because everyone calls me cheap? One day, I will find a girl who eye-to-eyes me and we will tango like Taher Shah’s curls.
Taroo (I got my eyes on you, literally)
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2014.
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