Über Desi

Keeping it real, desi ishtyle

Uber reporting

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What it takes for an 8-sec announcement on television. Thank God for reporting that is not live…

Uber reporter – Chand Nawab, Indus News, Karachi….

Those kinky Pakistanis

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In various parts of South Asia, leather products are often seen as a sign of affluence. These are troubled times in Pakistan with rising fears of Talibanization of the nation. But there may be hope yet, in the form of leather. [NYT]

Pakistanis become major exporter of leather fetish goods
img: via NYT

deep in the nation’s commercial capital, just next door to a mosque and the offices of a radical Islamic organization, in an unmarked house two Pakistani brothers have discovered a more liberal and lucrative use for the scourge: the $3 billion fetish and bondage industry in the West.

Their mom-and-pop-style garment business, AQTH, earns more than $1 million a year manufacturing 2,000 fetish and bondage products, including the Mistress Flogger, and exporting them to the United States and Europe.

Which brings us to an all important question – is the Mistress Flogger, used by the mistress or on the mistress?

The secret to this million dollar business catering to sex products flourishing in a conservative Pakistani society? Don’t ask, don’t tell and partly because most people in that part of the world, particularly among the blue collar class do not understand the significance of these products.

“If our mom knew, she would disown us,” said Adnan, seated on a leopard-print fabric covering his desk chair.

Besides ticked off mommas and begums, their business also faces growing opposition from radical Islamists, the crumbling economy and political instability.

The brothers idolize former President Pervez Musharraf, crediting their success to his industry friendly policies, like not requiring export licenses and banning trade unions.

Since President Asif Ali Zardari took office, Adnan said, trade unions have been legalized and prices of some raw materials, including leather, have shot up, as have interest rates. The result: a 15 percent dip in AQTH’s profits.

The General’s policies were supportive of the adult entertainment industry in America and Europe? Who would’ve guessed? From humble beginnings in a mosquito infested factory to stumbling across an adult product that inspired this business to using Pakistan’s antiquated production technology to their advantage, their rise to success had been an intriguing tale.

And who buys these goods in the West? Apparently, the leather brothers have done their research and concluded that a majority of their clientele comprise of Obama supporters and tourists to Amsterdam.

Today, they sell their products to online and brick-and-mortar shops, and to individuals via eBay. Their market research, they said, showed that 70 percent of their customers were middle- to upper-class Americans, and a majority of them Democrats. The Netherlands and Germany account for the bulk of their European sales.

Of course, working in this business has its perks.

A major perk, they say, is attending international fetish shows to see how their products hold up in action.

To think that a lot of people from all over the world pay to travel to to Vegas to watch these products in action. These Pakistani guys get to do it every year, most likely for free.

“I go to Sin City every year,” said Rizwan, referring to Las Vegas in a sheepish laugh. It’s all business, he said. “Clients know our country and culture, and they don’t invite us to participate. We’re a little bit shy.”

Of course, nothing cures shyness like a leather mask and whip.

Thoughts? Comments? :-)

Pakistan stock market plunges, investor go loco …..

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….. desi ishtyle, of course. [NYT] (tip Karthik via email)

Bad day at work?
img: via NYT

The pictured scene is not from a campy Lollywood flick (which by the way I highly recommend for purely entertainment purposes), it’s the aftermath of the violence near the Karachi stock exchange. After 15 days of losses and the worst month in the stock market history, investors decided enough was enough and decided to take matter into their own hands, of course by matters, I mean objects of lethal force, frequently employed on the subcontinent, when we so desire, to express our displeasure.The trigger point was the denial of a request command by the investors directing the stock market to stop trading to prevent further losses for the day. Rules being rules, the stock market denied and the investors fulfilled their wish anyway, through alternate methods.

Angry investors stormed out of the Karachi Stock Exchange on Thursday, hurling stones and planters at the building in protest over slumping share prices.

Of course, no stock market crash is complete without the perfunctory sob story.

“I have lost my life savings in the last 15 days, and no one in the government or regulators came to help us,” said Imran Inayat, 45, a protester and a former broker in Karachi

As is, par for the couse, the investors speculators blamed the government for their losses ……

Some of the fury was also directed at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, which this week removed a 1 percent daily limit on price declines. The restriction was aimed at halting a slide that has wiped out $30 billion in companies’ combined market value over three months.

…….. leading Phil Gramm to call Pakistan “a nation of whiners“. Ok, I made that one up.

Other stock market experts beg to differ.

“There has been some level of mismanagement by the authorities,” said Habib-ur-Rehman, a manager at Atlas Asset Management Ltd. in Karachi, according to Bloomberg. “This may be due to their misperception that they can prevent the market from falling. Investors have to learn to bear losses as they do gains.”

Translation: A resounding STFU for the speculators.

The root cause for this violence appears to be a misplaced sense of entitlement brought about by asinine government protectionism and market intervention. The 1% drop-freeze rule, presumably instituted by Musharraf, not only shielded the speculators from losses which are a part of most stock markets around the world, it also spoiled them to the point of making them feel entitled to be protected from losses.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Indo-Pak brawl at hockey match

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Sports commentators often love to indulge in clichés. It doesn’t get better than when cricket commentator and former player Tony Greig said something to the effect “There’s a lot riding on this match” in a must-win game for India in Sharjah before Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar went on to play his monumental innings in a desert storm, but I digress. When two rivals, for instance New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox in baseball, Dallas Cowboys-Washington Redskins in the NFL and India-Pakistan in cricket, play each other, one of the common clichés commentators use is “There’s bad blood between these teams”.

How about Indian and Pakistan in hockey? [Hindu]

Good ole “raada” – desi ishtyle
img: via Hindu

The occasion?
The semifinal of the sixth junior Asia Cup hockey championship
The teams?
India and Pakistan
What exactly happened?
India was dominating early and Pakistan was feeling the pressure.

The Indians quickly regained composure despite Pakistan forcing a penalty corner in the very first minute. The outstanding display came from the defenders, especially Innocent Kullu and Diwakar Ram, while Ranjit Singh on the left-flank showed enterprise and imagination in warding off a series of threats from Pakistan captain Shafqat Rasool and Shahzad Nasir.
In the 16th minute, winger Roshan Minz fed a precise short pass from the left-flank to Gurwinder Singh Chandi who in one action trapped and essayed a delectable reverse hit from the left of the ‘D’ to give India the lead.
With even Jagwant Singh making his presence felt upfront, India looked the better side. And with Chandi and Mandeep Antil working in tandem, the Pakistan citadel was often under pressure.

In the 31st minute of the game, the Indian captain was allegedly mugged by a couple of Pakistani defenders which led to an all-out brawl.

When Indian captain Gurbaj Singh was allegedly jostled by the frustrated pair of Khasif Ali and Muhammad Irfan, it led to the players being involved in a brawl in the 31st minute.

Things ultimately got under control …

For four minutes the situation seemed to be going out of hand before better sense prevailed at the intervention of the technical officials and the referees Marcin Grochal of Poland and Al-Wahibi Thani Shaheem of Oman. Irfan got an yellow card amidst protests from the Pakistan camp.

… and India ended up victors enroute to the championship game.

India seemed to have reserved its best for the semifinal against Pakistan and Diwakar Ram came up with a sterling display both as a defender and in scoring two goals to fashion India’s 3-1 win and entry into the final of the sixth junior Asia Cup hockey championship here on Tuesday.

Congrats to the junior Indian hockey team for the victory and a big thanks to both teams for providing spectators with some extracurricular entertainment. While I personally don’t condone violence, some sort of extracurricular activity in sports is ok with me. The “calculated” brawls in ice hockey and baseball while entertaining, happen way too often to hold any real interest. But the rare minor brawls in a blood rivalry like India and Pakistan on the field can only be good for the otherwise dying game of field hockey.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Other posts on Über Desi about field hockey [1,2]

Gimme more Pakistan( Updated)

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Stop the presses!

Brit AdnanTabloid reporters in Pakistan have begun sharpening their pencils. Pakistani paparazzi have begun stocking up on film. The religious right is busy composing new, improved fatwas. Rumor has it that the ersatz princess of pop, Britney Spears is moving to Pakistan [link]

Britney’s latest acquisition is a little known man of Pakistani  Afghani origin  ( Thanks for the correction, Karthik!), poetically named Ghalib. The rumor mills are working overtime suggesting that Spears plans to convert to Islam and move to Pakistan. In true  semi -desi fashion, Ghalib’s parents have professed horror at this turn of events and have disowned him.

I believe it. I also believe that the moon landing was fake, Paul is dead and that I look good in acid-washed jeans.

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