This Article is From Sep 04, 2014

Poor Imran wants a Naya Pakistan Via a Nayi Shaadi

(Shobhaa De is an established writer, columnist, opinion shaper and social commentator, who is considered an authority on popular culture.)

All the nubile and not-so-nubile social butterflies in Isloo are in a total tizzy ever since the dishy 62-year-old leader of the Tehreek-e-Insaaf party announced his latest strategy to overthrow Nawaz Sharif's government. It is possibly one of the most unique and innovative ideas ever employed to destabilize a nation. Any guesses? Hint: tanks and nuclear heads not needed. The Revolution that will transform the destiny of Pakistan, according to Imran Khan, has a gender. It is a woman!

Imran has dramatically declared he is looking for a new Begum. And that the niqaa will only happen in a Naya Pakistan! Oho....which means... ummm....never? Poor Khan has been pilloried in his own country and all across the world for his embarrassing attempt to establish himself as the Naya Aadmi of Naya Pakistan. Not that his juvenile outbursts ("outbreaks" according to the Social Butterflies), shocked his countrymen - "Go home, Imran..." advised The Nation - but they sure as hell drew attention to his marital ambitions. The Begums of Lahore have been asking a delicious question: which woman in her right mind wants to become Mrs. Imran Khan Number 2? Not so surprisingly, ladies of a certain stature and vintage across Pakistan speak fondly about Mrs. Imran Khan the First (beauteous British socialite Jemima Goldsmith).

That marriage ended over a decade ago. For a man who famously boasted many moons ago, "We Pathans come down to India to s*** your women," Imran today is sounding a little desperate. He has reason to. Imran is no longer 'husband material'. Sure, he looks ravaged and weather-beaten in his sixties, but like Mick Jagger, Imran's sex appeal has nothing to do with his age, ability or appearance. He remains rakishly handsome and impossibly attractive as he stands atop his customized shipping container (reportedly personalized for Khan at a cost of 12.5 million Pakistani rupees), urging his rag tag army of supporters (including a DJ called Butt!), to go forth and create chaos. That's clearly not enough. Plus, nobody takes Imran Khan seriously. He has been derisively dismissed as "the Sarah Palin of Pakistan." And his bete noir, Nawaz Sharif, ain't budging, leaving Im looking pretty idiotic after boasting that Sharif had wet his pants (geeli shalwareein) in fear of the sit-in by Imran's party workers.

The chances of landing a brand new trophy biwi under such droopy circumstances, are looking pretty bleak. Which begum wants to stay inside a bullet-proof container? Sure it has a modern loo and all that. But really! There's no sho-sha in such a life. What else is Imran offering? A tired body after all that speechifying and posturing? An exhausted mind? Serious delusions (he has taken to comparing himself to Mahatma Gandhi)? And not that much in the bank (Sharif, on the other hand, is a wealthy steel magnate from Pakistan's most prosperous province).

Perhaps Imran Khan has found his love match. And she is a firangi. Ideally, it should have been Padma Lakshmi, who is currently dating Richard Gere, who was once seen with Jemima Goldsmith...oh, never mind! That alliance would have made the most sense for a once-dashing cricket captain now reduced to playing his last innings, minus the staying power or aggression of old.

Imran's sister has claimed she has identified a suitable girl for her brother. Let's see how he bats when the next innings begin, if they ever do. For now, his unabashed shot at establishing a Naya Pakistan via a nayi shaadi  is likely to remain a distant dream. As the Social Butterflies were saying in the  fragrant salons of  Lahore, "We toh are ready to support Imran from the backside... but who will marry a man who couldn't bring down such a weak government? Nobody wants a revolution in Pakistan, thank you very much! We'd rather have our  Gherkins... err... Birkins."

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