I am the laziest person I know: Mohammed Hanif

Published: April 25, 2010
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Mohammed Hanif is a journalist and author of the bestselling A Case of Exploding Mangoes.

Mohammed Hanif is a journalist and author of the bestselling A Case of Exploding Mangoes.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Geo on mute. A clean ashtray.  Four figure word count.

What is your greatest fear?
The war on drugs.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Gentleness.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Firmness.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Sort of….

What is your current state of mind?
Anxious.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Consistency.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Weak knees.

Which living person do you most despise?
I never use that word despise…it’s an ugly word that says nothing.

When and where were you happiest?
On the days my mother made me halwa with poppy shells.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To cross roads fearlessly, to write without using adverbs.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d get new teeth.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Always thinking some other TV channel might be showing something better.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Self-righteousness.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Self-righteousness.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have never been without a job since I was 16.

What is your most treasured possession?
Family and old notebooks.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Saturday suicide bombers.

If you didn’t do your current job, what would you choose to do?
Nothing.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I am the laziest person I know.

Who is your hero of fiction?
Alice.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Inshallah Khan Insha.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Dudes who sell sunglasses on the roadside. Kids who carry your stuff in Sunday Bazaar. Retired soldiers who work as private
security guards. Nurses.

What is your greatest regret?
A new one every day. Today: not saying no to a questionnaire copy-pasted from Vanity Fair.

How many hours of load shedding did you experience yesterday?
You just added that for local colour, didn’t you? Five hours.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Maliha Aqueel
    Apr 25, 2010 - 1:17AM

    This is wow! Haha, I love the vanity fair part. But he probably meant poppy seeds and not shells?Recommend

  • M Zaidi
    Apr 25, 2010 - 2:26AM

    Hanif is a snob of his kind. He’s been trying to say something different since becoming a novlist but his this endeavour lacks substance.Recommend

  • Mohtashim
    Apr 25, 2010 - 4:06AM

    I for one have to disagree. Hes saying something different right now by answering this vanity fair derived question-thingamajig fairly well!Recommend

  • Apr 25, 2010 - 6:39AM

    Simple, not so philosophical, nice replies.Recommend

  • Khan
    Apr 25, 2010 - 7:21AM

    You can’t really mess around with people who are smarter than you with words. He totally called this questionaire out, and took it apart. Don’t know if I completely agree with his points of view, but I sure am proud to have such personalities in my country. Thanks for stepping up Hanif.Recommend

  • kala shah kaku
    Apr 25, 2010 - 2:42PM

    Hahaha, Hanif wins. But I have to say, a lesser paper than you would have edited it out – so kudos to the tribune for having the guts to go ahead and print it!Recommend

  • Motabacha
    Apr 25, 2010 - 3:24PM

    I love M Hanif’s humor and he is so right in what he says. Also, notice that he is so tactful when asked questions like who is his hero and he replies nurses, sunday bazaar boys who carry luggage etc.

    Questionnaire could have been more interesting. Recommend

  • Ahmer Butt
    Apr 25, 2010 - 4:41PM

    Answers are so real, I didn’t find any fake expression. Recommend

  • Apr 25, 2010 - 5:30PM

    Hanif is so spontaneous in saying different things that he can’t help himself saying same boring things. He is certainly very talented and full marks to his witty and spot on answers. Love you Hanif sahib.Recommend

  • Akmal
    Apr 25, 2010 - 5:48PM

    I always read Hanif’s wrirtings and interviews with interest but have started feeling humdrumness in his effort to what another commentator said ‘say something different’, and there’s also an underlying arrogance and weariness in his tone but that might be the product of his laziness :-)Recommend

  • talat khan
    Apr 26, 2010 - 10:08AM

    the man is a genius. Recommend

  • lkhan
    Apr 26, 2010 - 10:19AM

    carry on being lazy, such brilliant writing, not a single word wasted….Recommend

  • Reader
    Apr 26, 2010 - 3:19PM

    hahah! love the copy-pasted from vanity fair part!
    loves it!Recommend

  • Rahim
    Apr 27, 2010 - 4:28PM

    Idea of perfect happiness: “Geo on mute”. Hahahahaha.
    Well said, brother. So true.Recommend

  • Naeem Aziz
    Apr 27, 2010 - 8:41PM

    He is the wittiest I know.Recommend

  • Sara Nisar
    Apr 27, 2010 - 8:41PM

    Wow. The man’s a genius. And it shows!Recommend

  • nothing man
    Apr 28, 2010 - 1:30AM

    i like his economy with words…… Recommend

  • Apr 28, 2010 - 2:32PM

    lol- spot on with the Vanity Fair jab!Recommend

  • zubair torwali
    Jun 3, 2010 - 12:50PM

    Hanif,
    You are one of my most favourite writers. I am in a programme to edit a booklet. In this regard I have sent emails to the prominent men/women in Pakistan. I would like to have your feedback as well. Kindly give me your email address: mine is [email protected]Recommend

  • Tasneem
    Jul 20, 2010 - 11:22AM

    its the same Hanif people know you in 1995-1996, I like your consistancy and improved qualities of writing like addition of a Novelist….. Peace n lovRecommend

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