Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ramzan and the Game Show Mania

Muzammil and his family had applied for the Ramzan game show a month in advance. They got the confirmation call a week before the first roza. Within hours the news had spread like wildfire among their friends, family and neighbours. 

After the initial excitement ebbed away the first issue was the list of people from the household who will go on the show. After a lot of discussions and many arguments, six  family members (which was the maximum number allowed by the channel) were finalised. This included:

1. Muzammil
2. His grandmother - being the eldest
3. His sister - the youngest in the family
4. His father 
5. His mother
6. His widowed aunt (father's sister) - she lived with them 

The remaining family (three brothers, one sister, a cousin) reconciled with the fact that they'll get some gifts from the show.

A few days later friends, family and neighbours started calling or visiting. While some came to wish the family good luck, others came with requests (and in some cases, demands). 

'If only you can get a laptop from the host'.
'My son could really do with a new mobile phone'.
'My daughter is going to be married a month after Eid. If you win a food processor, can you please give it to me? Consider it a wedding gift'.
'I always wanted a designer kurta for my son. You know he was born after five daughters'.

There were some veterans of previous game shows who overwhelmed the family with advice. 

'Learn some religion trivia. It always helps'.
'Request for a car and you might get a bike'.
'Religious trivia is good but memorize some good shair (poetry)'.
'Colour coordinate the clothes. It might get you a few small gifts'.
'Isn't your youngest going to fast for the first time this year? You should tell the organisers this as soon as you reach. She'll get a separate gift hamper'.
'Compose a song around the brand which is giving the bumper prize. A basic tune, nothing fancy. It can help you gain attention. You have to stand out from the rest'.
'Arrive real early to get a seat in the front'.
'Do take a gift for the host - that tasbeeh phuppi amma got from hajj last year or how about making a small handkerchief with the name of the host embroidered on it?' 'But nobody uses a handkerchief these days'.  ' Think of something else then... how about a small keychain with the name of the host on it? And make sure Dadi gives it. That will really move the host'.
'Don't be shy when the host starts giving away gifts at random. Your aim is to get as much stuff as possible'.
'Also, make sure you keep your possessions safe. Take one or two strong cloth bags with you and as soon as the show finishes put everything in it. Not like Zarina khala last year who lost two mobile phones while she was leaving the studio. Of course, somebody snatched it from her, the poor woman!'

After going to the game show and winning a considerable number of prizes, including a bike, Muzammil and his family were the talk and envy of most of their acquaintances. 

Muzammil's excitement about the show fizzled out a few days later when a friend told him that they had won double the gifts Muzammil's family had won. The secret of it all, he said, was to have different family members put in the application on different channels. More shows...more gifts!

Ramzan mubarak!

Note: This is a fiction piece. Just in case you thought otherwise.