I wish to inform everyone that I am no longer a person. I am a personage, which is a doggedly dogged and obsessively obstinate person of a certain age.  A personage is also a place where parsons live and sheep graze. Such places were beautifully painted by a policeman called Constable something or the other. But I digress or undress, whatever that word is.

Nawaz Sharif has been accusing me of not filing my taxes throughout the 1990s. It’s all lies because I filed them neatly in a steel cabinet under “T”. Does he think I’m stupid? In fact, he’s not the only one who does. I’ve noticed that some people in my party, like these two former foreign ministers, talk down to me and lecture me on how to avoid the Kim Jong-il syndrome. No danger of that, I tell them, I hate Chinese food.

These dharnas are getting so tiresome. It’s cold too, in my container in Islamabad. Last night we had a bonfire. “You can’t get sunburn from a fire, can you?” I asked Sheikh Rashid. Some of my youthias were sitting around the fire smoking. “Smoking kills” I said to them, “if you’re killed, you lose a very important part of your life”. One youthia agreed with me loudly. He said he never wasted his time smoking etc. He did useful things like read and memorize facts. He said he’d memorized all the capitals of Islamic countries. “What’s the capital of Turkey?” I asked him. He said “T” and everyone was very impressed. “How old are you?” I asked. He said, “21”. I said when I was your age I was also 21. The youthias then asked Sheikh Rashid if he used Facebook. “No, I use facewash”. And so this informed and intelligent dialogue continued.

Then we all started reminiscing about Faisalabad. Faisalabad was a riot – like the parties in London. It was a free for all and all for free. Isn’t it wonderful how I’ve become a magnet for all the frustrations and entitlements of the middle-classes without an iota of ideology?

Im the Dim