KARACHI: “I Nawabshah. And I here for Sania. And big Shoaib also. I Sania big fan. Not fan of room, but fan of choice. They not here, so I sad but I big pray for them so they happy,” said Gul Hasan without mincing his words. He was at the Jinnah International Airport to see off a friend and as challenging as it was for others to make sense of what he was saying, he was sure of one thing.
Hasan wanted a photograph with the new Mr and Mrs Malik aka Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza. But the new symbol of Pakistan-India friendship jetted off to Islamabad for dinner with the prime minister without saying hello to their fans at the Karachi airport while they were in transit. The commotion at the entrance gates of Jinnah Terminal was fit for a cricket match.
The media crush pushed and shoved with its flashing cameras and zooming lenses. To add to the chaos was an equal number of enthusiasts who tried to leapfrog over the cameramen in a bid to catch a glimpse of the star couple. One excited man tried to put his son on the shoulders of a cameraman. “No!” screamed the journalist. “You cannot put your child on my head. I am working.” “It’s not such a big deal,” retorted the parent. “All he’ll do is stand on your shoulders.
You media people are all hypocrites. All you care about is that couple and not the feelings of your people.” For nearly four hours, from 2 pm, fans and the media cooked in the sun as threats poured in from producers and news editors for them to get everything on camera. “How am I supposed to catch them on reel if they haven’t come,” complained one of them.”Can you believe this? My producer has just suspended me for a week. He’s saying that since I was at the site, it should have been my duty to ensure that Sania and Shoaib came out and allowed me to take shots.”
A gaggle of well-heeled and heavy-hipped women from the little known Pasban group showed up to “well come” the couple and especially Pakistan’s new “bhabhi”. “We love her and wish her the best of luck,” said one of them. Suddenly, however, the excitement deflated as one of the public televisions at the airport showed that the Maliks had made it to the domestic departure lounge. They were not going to come out. For the fans and media, it was a complete “miss”.
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