Tales and Tails of Nehr-e-Khayyam - Episode 7

Monday, November 11, 2019 Heba Moeen 2 Comments

Episode 7 – ‘The inelastic demand of tomatoes and the delusional Karachi winter’

Locust - Picture by Saeed Jamal Tariq

Life continued as usual, tourists continued being rated based on their capitalism streak and their best touristy behaviour. Nehr-e-Khayyam developed a tomato forest in the wake of the tomato shortage in the city and started auctioning these under the branding, ‘organic nehr fresh tomatoes’. Whoever was fortunate enough to afford these could enjoy their curry with a taste of the canal … that some still shamelessly called naala (naughty, naughty)!

Karachi had turned cold or so some Karachiites thought … tax paying wishful thinkers.

There was a long queue with each tourist waiting to buy a serving of the day’s specialty – locust biryani which has been cooked post locust attack in the city. Rumour had it that the authorities had planned this attack so that they destroy all tomato fields while selling their tomatoes at ridiculously high prices. Such tactics were not new; they had also cordoned off Churna Island, disconnecting tourists from that spot so that they end up coming for scuba diving at Nehr-e-Khayyam instead.  Monopoly was charming indeed. 

Marsh harrier munching a locust - Picture by Waqar Mursalin

“Do you know how the world will end?” asked Doggo.

“Sometimes I feel that we are already living its end for it’s the after-end, just like the undead … we are perhaps living another chapter of the very depressing book, ‘The Brave New World’” said Kuttay, “My dear Doggo, it’s going to be in phases; there will be a machine apocalypse where machines will take over the world much like what’s already happening, then there is this issue of global warming that has taken Archimedes Principle a step further. Currently, we are going through what can be called the food apocalypse. Why on Earth should tomatoes be worth Rs. 320 and pine nuts worth over Rs. 8000?!”

“Ahh … reminds me of Time Trax I watched while growing up … Well, forget pine nuts! They are so overstated. I mean why create an inelastic demand for these nuts when you have walnuts or cashew nuts? It’s just a way of making theft worthwhile and going for those silly breaking news on every channel. Same will be the case with tomatoes soon …” Replied Doggo. “Did I tell you something? No I didn’t … I stole a NAALAITO from the forest!”

“You what?! Do you mean you stole a tomato from the naala?” exclaimed Kuttay in utter shock.

“YES!” giggled Doggo, “I hope I am not reduced to a mere news report of NAALA LEAKS mentioning, ‘Dog reprimanded for stealing tomatoes from Nehr-e-Khayyam.”

“You will have our species dragged underground!” exclaimed Kuttay, “These super-luxury tomatoes are monitored and tracked through an RFID chip and the naala authorities are already planning on patenting these! YOU ARE GONE! OH NO! YOU ARE GONE! WE ARE EXTINCT!”

With this, Kuttay burst into tears. Doggo continued grinning and couldn’t help his doggy demeanour and started licking his friend.

“Why are you so entitled and classist and prejudiced that you think that my brains are the size of a walnut and I cannot think for a moment before taking a decision? I stole the naalaito from a filthy rich tourist who has a rating of 4.8 … I had been following him since days and his rating on the nape had started glowing. The RFID whatever is disabled when these precious fruits are sold. I got in his way and looked at him with my sorry-for-nothing-puppy-eyes, that’s when he went in to get me stale bread and I stole the naaliato from his grocery bag pretending to be Adam Smith’s invisible hand,” explained Doggo.

“Here! I saved half for you … and your welcome,” continued he while pretending to be shivering in Karachi’s weather which according to some had become cold … cold to an extent that they had started wearing sweaters.

Kuttay landed a slap on Doggo’s head, “You’re welcome, not your welcome!”

“Stop living your name, you thankless animal, now you’ve also started nitpicking my Grammar in a manner of speech. GIVE ME BACK MY NAALAITO!,” demanded Doggo and snatched it away.

“Okay … sorry, please give. Pretty please,” said Kuttay while pretending to be begging which he wasn’t since he was among the pretentious, society elite that looked down upon pye-dogs, forgetting that they were one of them. The elite were just going through a shift from being part of the British colony to being set free, all the way towards now being part of the CPEC colony.

Doggo returned the completely licked, juicy naalaito to Kuttay, along with a hug for the fool that he was, not knowing that they were both being watched … big brethren were watching. The export of A-rated dogs to China had not ceased to exist, it was just a matter of time that they both became A-rated.

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  1. I couldn't wipe the grin off my face while reading it! Hibu u are simply amazing ❤️ Locust biryani hahahaha

    1. On a serious note, can't imagine consuming such a dish. :P