Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lawn Yawn

It’s that time of year again, when the weather changes and the sweaters and jackets start coming off. Along with all other Pakistanis, women too complain of how hot it has become, how this year’s summer temperatures are bound to be worse than before, how the load-shedding will be as frustrating/high-blood-pressure-inducing as always and so on. Pakistani women though (during the ranting and raving about summer, temperatures and power cuts) will have a little gleam in their eyes. There will be some salivating as they think of some of the names which will make the summer better for them.

Sonya Battla, V9, Gul Ahmed, Sobia Nazir, Sana Safinaz (Eeeeeeeee! Imagine women shrieking, arms raised as they salivate over what lovely lawn prints they will be able to lay their hands upon.) Days are counted down in all the major cities around Pakistan as lawn exhibitions come to town, causing traffic havoc in their wake.

Hordes of women descend upon the venue of said lawn exhibition. These venues can be recognized by the fact that they will be surrounded by cars of all sorts, with a driver in each one, with a murderous, boiling rage bubbling inside as they battle with other unfortunate men who must wait for ‘madam’ or ‘baji’. Madam/Baji in the meantime is inside the venue battling it out with other ladies in screeching and snatching at the lawn print of choice. Feet are trod on, little toes crushed, apologies are muttered (in a non-apologetic manner), elbows are dug into ribs (of others) and battle lines are drawn.

Sometimes when battle lines are crossed then all thoughts of age or self-respect go out of the door. I refer here to a pitched battle that took place at a certain lawn exhibition in Lahore, where rumor has it, two ladies had a disagreement and there was a punch-up. The two then proceeded to slap, kick and pull each other’s hair. While this is a hilarious story to tell, I feel rather puzzled about the object of the conflict. A lawn suit? One which has no special quality other than being ‘designed’ by the lawn designer of the year? One which is not exclusive in any way at all? One which has been bought by hundreds of others and will be bought by hundreds more? One which is bound to be worn by at least two other women when you go to work or out shopping or to pick your kids up from school? And if not worn on the same day then definitely worn some time during the week by a few others at least? You seriously want to fight over THAT?

I am not entirely sure why there is this craze for lawn prints. Obviously I am missing some important point about something which a lot of others do understand since each year there is a mushrooming of a few new lawn print designers. I am assuming they must do well, since they seem to appear the next year again, with another batch of designer-mushrooms.

Lawn print prices rise every year and still a manic state of consumerism is achieved. Ladies rush from lawn exhibition venue to home, for suits to be soaked and impatiently wait for them to dry, before rushing off to deliver them at the tailor. If you make the mistake of not going to check out the latest prints immediately, at least do not make the mistake of wearing last year’s lawn print in public. For you will be looked down upon if not outrightly sneered at.

The stacking up of pile after pile of the latest lawn print from every ‘designer’s’ collection is continuing unabated at the moment. With a towering heap of lawn suits precariously balanced, the appetite for lawn is quenched (at least until next weekend’s lawn exhibition anyway).

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