The Pakistani Twitterati

I started using Twitter a few months ago when several friends of mine couldn’t put a lid on gushing about how positively life-altering this social network is. They told me that it allows anyone to tweet about anything under the Sun. All you have to do is conjure up an attractive name with a medium-strong password like hairybelly123 and presto! You’re ready to dominate the world with your photoshopped avatar and somewhat witty status updates. For the first few weeks, I couldn’t believe that I was part of this revolutionary setup that consisted of people tweeting about their laundry and books they actually never read but wanted others to believe that they did. My life found a new purpose. God was happy with me.

Time passed by and I gained recognition for my pseudo-humor. People followed me and I followed a few of them. The ones that I did hit the green tab on were usually journalists, writers, bloggers or citizens who knew how to use grammar accurately. Then, one day, it dawned upon me: There were several easily-distinguishable types of users in the Pakistani-Twitter sphere. I also noticed how they followed each other almost obsessively and formed mini-clans on the desi world wide web. Gain better comprehension of the notion from this instance: Suppose Person A is on Twitter and wants to be famous among other desis. Person A can only secure such a status whence Minor Celebrity B and C decide to follow him. Otherwise he’s a loner.

However it isn’t just the minor celebrities, bloggers and politicians that the Pakistani Twitterati comprises of. There are passionate stalkers, haters and freaks that keep us entertained. I decided to categorize them so that you may know who you’re following (or unfollowing) on Twitter.

Bhatti the Bard:

Poetical and philosophical, constantly in search (online) for the answers to all of his questions, Bhatti the Bard is magical with his tweets. He quotes (and consequently ruins) the beauty of neoclassical and modern poetry in a constricting set of 140 characters. When life gives Bhatti a tough time, he signs into Twitter and quotes the first few verses of Hamlet’s Soliloquy and then adds a hash-tag of #Shakespeare to it so that the rest of the world may drown themselves into his tweet. Fifty to sixty people with extremely bad taste follow Bhatti and regard him as Pakistan’s version of Christopher Marlowe.


The Fairly Popular Writer:

With a master’s degree from a reputable university abroad, the Fairly Popular Writer tweets with panache. He doesn’t change his display picture much and shares his thoughts on world politics, literature and interesting videos in concise words. Despite having more than 1000 followers, the Fairly Popular Writer is modest and amiable. The female Fairly Popular Writer is a tad stingy compared to the nice dude. Rarely controversial though; no bashing them.

Mosharraf Zaidi looking his purple best.

The Harrassed Political Lady:

It’s a love-hate relationship with this woman, you see. I love her because she’s out there unlike most hesitant Asian women, answering the usually-stupid and often-obscene questions posed by the public. I hate her because she tweets about her branded clutch, husband’s receding hairline, inflation and military budget in one go. Plus her display picture attracts the Horny Brethren of Mandi Bahauddin and you have no idea how creepy that lot is. No idea at all.

The Desi Dei:

When I was little, I was fascinated by cults and secret societies with their own logos and codes. That curiosity never evaded me even after I turned 20. So when I joined Twitter, there were three mysterious men with very symbolic avatars and I always tried to find out what they actually looked like. One was a 5 rupee coin, the other was a crow and the third was a tea cup. If these three men (no, I’m not a misogynist for cancelling the possibility of them being females; they talk about sports excessively) had been dumb or slipped a grammatical mistake here or there, I wouldn’t have been this eager to rip their masks off. Later on, a blue rickshaw joined them. They all discuss regional and international politics and sports. Plus they won’t follow you unless or until you sound worth it.

The Constant Whiner:

Twitter is not your shrink no matter how cathartic you deem tweeting is. We all are fighting battles and we all know what pain is but Twitter is not going to help you cure your psychological agony. The Constant Whiner floods his/her timeline with tweets about how unfair God rendered their lives. “Ma homewurk suxxx”, one entered. I unfollowed her instantly.

The Behemoth Tweeter:

This type, I am certain, can be found in any culture around the world. As long as you have a pair of hands and ADHD, you have the potential to give me a minor aneurysm. Exceeding 10,000 tweets, this kind wins an award for Extremely Confident Virtual Shouting. Hell, even I’m shy; I got a meager 2300 tweets or so. Just cut down on the speed or I’ll cry.

The Campaigning Pakistani Pain:

Proudly tweeting about their political party and its objectives in nauseatingly-patriotic tones, this campaigner is a pain in the you-know-what. Thousands and thousands of people follow him and his green and white avatar. I don’t. Why? Well, if you can’t bring a substantial change in my city, I doubt you’ll initiate a revolution online.

The Female Journalist:

This type wins massive appreciation from my side for three basic reasons: 1. They’re women. 2. They’re Pakistani. 3. They’re journalists. Combine these three characteristics and you’re in my list of approved human beings. It’s not very easy to tweet about regional conflicts involving women, sexuality or social equality among a male-dominated network. I’ve seen many male users harass these ladies for speaking their minds and I’ve also witnessed those men having their ass handed back to them gracefully. In simple words: Kudos to you, lovelies.

And a special mention-of-the-week for the sweet and intelligent Kalsoom Lakhani of CHUP. Check out that glitz, baby.

The Venomous Hater:

He isn’t very well-conversed in English but he has a strong opinion nonetheless. This opinion has less to do with your tweet, more to do with why on Earth haven’t you followed him yet. He’s insulted and he’s not going to forgive you so soon. Not unless you follow him and give a +1 to his 6 followers. Oh wait, sorry. 4.

The Semi-Corporate Disgruntled Woman:

Her life in the morning sucks, by noon it’s bearable, by evening she’s high and by night she basically wishes the world would give her a foot massage. That world does not contain me, thank you.

The Cool Elderly Dude:

He’s probably two decades older than you and me but he’s centuries way cooler. Far more progressive, friendlier and funnier, he wins hearts all over Twitter.

The Obnoxious Harridan:

I have nothing to say about this type. She does not resemble me. At all.

P.S. A big thank you to the kind Shazia Ameen for letting me hog her laptop and upload this post.


86 thoughts on “The Pakistani Twitterati

  1. and then adds a hash-tag of #Shakespeare to it so that the rest of the world may drown themselves into his tweet.

    You are on a roll, madam!

    Hilarious, edgy and absolutely worth the readers’ while as always!

    1. @karachikhatmal No, apparently, the girl is holding the twitter bird’s penis. I don’t know whether the artist woul agree with my interpretation :D (ref. wait – did you kill the tweety bird in the last picture? )

      1. So the answer is ‘nothing’ for breakfast – that then explains it. Can I ask you (and be honest) – how long (in time) did it take for you to write that post? If you want you can email (address available on my blog).

  2. Awesome Post. U unmasked many people on twitter. But i m sure so shameless those r, not gonna make change the way they look n tweet.

  3. my favorite thing abt this post is how u’ve drawn all the femme fatale’s boobies sneaking sideways outta the V of the dopatta….that such a true representation, it had me in stitches! :D

    P.S. doesn’t blue rickshaw minds being doodle-less, the poor soul?

  4. hahahha, i sound like the semi-disgruntled corporate woman. only i dont take that to twitter. I normally SMS it to Hubby darling…

    Shit, i bet thats what he thinks of me!

  5. This is one heck of a post – ;) have been left scratching my head as to which category I might fall into, but lets leave it at that as they say “ignorance is bliss”…….

  6. Superb post, can’t stop laughing ‘The Desi Dei’ & ‘The Behemoth Tweeter’ are my favorites lovely pictures!

  7. Then there are SOME cool bloggers-mspaintaddicts-com-tweeters… They only tweet about “Thank-you-for-the-RT’s” kinda like things… :-p

    Awesome doodles, awesome post… Loved every TWIT in it…

  8. I do not know what to say. When I read your posts about the kinds of bloggers we find on web, I thought that this one is the best of a kind blog post and it would be hard to work even better. However, I was wrong as you come up even better and trust me when I say that it is the best blog post and one of a kind that I have read so far. As I tweeted about it “awesome” is not even the proper word.
    And by the way, I am still thinking in which category my tweets and me fit in.

  9. Hell confused whether I should LoL or step back! An awesome post and as always images added the beauty to it.
    BTW unable to find in which category my tweets or I fit in though ‘The Cool Elderly Dude’ is bit closed-one :-)
    Stay blessed & cherish always!

  10. I started using twitter several months ago but am regular only since last one month or so. I don’t exactly know what to do here. Which category I fall into?

  11. One much needed post. Made my day, though i’m still thinking as to what category I fall into. Hehe. Don’t even want to think!:D

  12. Really timely post to raise me from doldrums. Twitterati are so like people in my real life. I have an interest in neurology – ” premorbid tendencies” intensify after trauma. Virtual world intensifies my neurosis.

    Great stuff.

  13. One of my first followers on Twitter was someone called “Awkward Boners”. My avatar pic was a drawing of an old woman out of the 1930s. I have no idea why I got that follower =/

    Initially, I was a Twitter crackwhore! I couldn’t stop reading all the friggin’ tweets! Barely tweeted myself though and now I’ve stopped altogether. I’d totally be the corporate bitch if I continued tweeting :D

  14. HAHA. I made an analysis like that when I first came onto Twitter. The Pakistani community’s really strong on Twitter man.

    Elderly cool dude ftw. XD I love those guys. n_n

    The female politics bloggers whatevers had such long blogposts I could never keep up with them. o_O I crossed out journalism as a career just because of them.

    And ah man there’re these guys with avatars of unbuttoned T-shirts and huge sunglasses who go around frandshipping. They can be recognized by their unique typing pattern. I see they don’t fall into any of the categories you mentioned. Entertaining material.

  15. hey just wanted to drop in and say hello. will be in town for a few days. lemme know if u wanna meet up for coffee or something. u know where to reach me :)

  16. Hello, I don’t usually post feedback on blogs, as I like to read only. But I discover the article that you’ve written earlier has very insightful information, and I discover it very informational. Anyway, I am questioning whether you’re open for link alternate, as I hope that we are able to agree on a mutual hyperlink exchange agreement. Hope to hear a optimistic reply from you, and have an ideal day.

  17. i do not wish to subscribe to anything. i just like reading randomly. that’s it.
    and i see that i can’t even remove my comments. double-commenting.

  18. Nice one – the descriptions and the illustrations couldn’t have been more apt. Don’t know which category I’d fall into since I’ve started tweeting quite recently. Very happy to see that Blue Rickshaw got mentioned. It’s a friend’s blog, and I don’t have many friends who blog, so yeah, ’tis nice. :)

  19. Love it! I’m so glad to have discovered your blog! I’ll be adding you to my south-asian blog-roll directory, a new project I’m sort of doin. Anyone else who is interested I would love to add too, I think we as desi bloggers should have a place where there is a good compilation and since I’ve been blogging for seven years or so I thought it was time. Anyways- def adding you to my reader! Happy writing!

  20. it has been always pleasing moment whenever i find such a young gun along with giant mass of positive thoughts to fire for the diminishing of threats and walls of ignorance from the society. mehreen u have got marvelous style of convincing people through interpretation of ur ideas through letters of words .
    God bless u…cherrs ,,,

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