Thursday, June 4, 2009

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

In the middle of the frenzy about the army operation in Swat / Buner / Dir, the news of kidnappings and recovery of scores of cadets, the apparent killing of thousands of militants and military personnel, and the disaster of the millions displaced from their homes and living in dire conditions, it's good to see some people are able to keep a sense of humour about things.

First it was the Minister for Sports of the North-West Frontier, who announced the holding of a sports festival in the IDP camps in Mardan, "to provide the refugees sports facilities." He obviously correctly surmised that the importance of adequate shelter, food rations, toilet facilities and electricity was being given undue importance by those actually working with the displaced, though he thought better of his initial idea of introducing lawn tennis as part of the sports festival.

Now we have an enterprising soul called Meher Tareen, who has announced the launch on June 7 of her summer collection of "limited edition" tee shirts, under the banner of Sublime.T, to support the fashionable war effort. In her own words (posted on facebook), she says:

"These slogan tshirts represent the Sublime patriotic and eco friendly theme of going green while showcasing uplifting messages in these troubled times to build patriotism and the general Pakistani spirit, fashionably.

Most importantly this new label marks Sublime’s support for the umbrella organisation Hum Pakistan and its Green Ribbon campaign. Hum Pakistan unites 20 Ngo’s with the common purpose of supporting Pakistan and is also currently dedicated to the repatriation of internally displaced citizens of the country."

What can one say about such patriotism that is not only sublime but also eco-friendly AND is dedicated to repatriation. I can almost see the army of volunteers dressed in Sublime tees, pushing the great unwashed in Mardan back to their homes. Could one ask for anything more?

"Sublime will be distributing green ribbons in support of this campaign and will also be channeling part of their sales proceeds to Hum Pakistan."

Oh my God! Will Ms. Tareen's generosity, patriotism and eco-friendliness never end? Not only do we get green ribbons (also limited edition and biodegradable, no doubt) for free, we get cotton t-shirts for, well, I assume less than a meal at Jason's Steak House in the PC. And although, she doesn't quite spell out what "part of their sales proceeds" mean, I am sure it is not less than 50 per cent of the tag price... 25 per cent?... well, at least 10 percent certainly.

But wait, there's more pep talk to get the nation into a fashionable frenzy:

"Please join Sublime-T this Sunday and be a part of this drive toward patriotism, unity and change."

Ok, so she threw in the 'change' bit just for kicks, since a "drive toward patriotism and unity" are usually antithetical to any kind of change. But what the hell. I'm not gonna let semantics come in the way of me and the Sublime Flagship Store on M.M. Alam Road! 

Ms. Tareen then lists all the "slogans" her sublime t-shirts will be carrying. While I find them entirely commendable, patriotic, uplifting and eco-friendly, I thought they could do with some little tweaks and additions. I have added my tweaks as comments to the original slogans. Let me know what you think or if you have other ideas. After all, anything for Pakistan!


1. My heart belongs to Pakistan

[The back should read: "My brain was repossessed long ago"]

2. J'adore Lahore

[Small print beneath that could read: "We Lahoris love French Fries Too." Or "The Heart Symbol Was Already Taken By Some Sod In Karachi." Or "Je d├ęteste Faisalabad." Ms. Tareen should be careful about promoting this T-shirt in Mardan and Swabi though, since it might send the wrong message to the IDPs. In which case, it might be better to put another line on the back that says "So Keep the Displaced Out of the Punjab."

3. I believe in miracles

[Back: "I believe the Taliban will soon disappear" Or "My immigration is in process"]

4. The sun always shines on me

[Below: And out of my ...]

5. Yummy Mummy

[Below: "Only I Know What's Under My Hijab"]

6. I don't need to be rescued, you do!

[Alternative version: "I don't need to be repatriated, you do!"]

7. Addicted to tea

[Back: "The rest we don't talk about"]

8. Love is blind...marriage is a real eye opener!

[Small print on front under 'Love is blind': "I love Pakistan"; Small print on back under 'marriage is a real eye opener': "I'm married to notions of Muslim glory" 

9. Life is complicated enough,I like simple things

[Back: "Kill, kill, kill"]

10. Got it all!

[Back: "Including a green ribbon"]

11.Diva Pakistani

[Back: "And you thought Talibs were the worst thing about Pakistan"]

12. Pakistani Royal Tee

[Back: "With A Uniquely Pakistani Sense of Fashion"]

13.Made in Fabulous Pakistan

[Back: "Exported to Toronto"]

14.Viva La Pakistan

[Smart thinking. This'll come in handy as an exile in France or Spain. Alternative Version (to cover all bases) with Full Sleeves: "Viva La Islamic Republic"]

15. Be yourself. Who else is better qualified

[Back: "Except If You're Part of Lahore's Elite or Pakistan's Patriotic Fashionistas, It May Be Better To Be Someone Else"]



Sohaib said...

I think your additional remarks are rather hilarious.

CPM said...

Trust The News' Instep pages to give a glowing promo to the same today. Among the phrases employed... "patriotic chic tees", "these t-shirts also advocate environmentalism along with patriotism", "going green in fashion with a literal going back to the soil campaign."

Going back to the soil with "the latest patriotism fad" will apparently set you back anywhere between 750-1600 rupees.

I think this calls for another post!

Tazeen said...


If someone ever came up with a T that said this (My brain was repossessed long ago) I will buy the whole lot and would give it to select few who need the world to know that they are not in possession of their faculties

Serial Kicker said...

These shirts would be really popular if they came out with those additional comments.

15. Be yourself. Who else is better qualified

[Back: "Except If You're Part of Lahore's Elite or Pakistan's Patriotic Fashionistas, It May Be Better To Be Someone Else"]

This one is brilliant. I will have to show this to someone.

Farzana Rasheed said...

Haha - can't stop laughing. Very witty.