Halloween is upon us, dear readers, and as Glee’s Sue Sylvestor aptly noted it is “the day when parents encourage little boys to dress like little girls and little girls to dress like whores.” It has long been this blogger’s favorite holiday, for no other reason than being able to legitimately march around in ridiculous costumes (i.e. flamingos and Snuggie-inspired outfits), causing my mother to lament, “Ufh, why don’t you at least try and be pretty?!”
Although Halloween is a largely Westernized holiday (and yes, we know, dreamed up by Hallmark, candy companies, and dentists to make boatloads of money), a little thing called globalization means it is increasingly celebrated worldwide. Therefore, for my fellow Pakistanis, I give you the CHUP Halloween Edition – ideas for clever costumes inspired by the many characters of Pakistani society.
Asif Ali Zardari
This costume is somewhat of a given, but the Zardari costume can be pretty clever. Aside from the obvious glasses and muchie (moustache), you should also carry a hobo-like knapsack filled with Monopoly money and/or a polo stick. If you’re feeling really committed, print out three photos and post it to your kameez – one of Benazir Bhutto, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and – of course – Mohammed Ali Jinnah (see photo above for inspiration). Get into character by twirling said moustache and asking random ladies at party, “If you insist, I might hug.” Plus points for getting said ladies to actually hug you.
Yousaf Raza Gilani
Last year on a visit to Pakistan, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reportedly turned to PM Gilani and said, “Excellency you are not a simple politician but a political magician and I am deeply impressed by your way of governance.”
To be Jadoogar (“Magician”) Gilani for Halloween, you will essentially need to dress like an overgrown Harry Potter with a large handlebar moustache. A wand and robe (with PPP emblazoned on the back) are preferable, and instead of a thunderbolt on your forehead, you can draw a little crescent moon and star. Harry Potter be proud.
Ladies, this is a fabulous and glitzy costume. The kind of costume that will allow you to wear caked on makeup and foundation, paint your nails red, and wear oversized designer glasses. Of course, it may be difficult for people to differentiate you from a regular fabulous auntie, but keep a cigarette in your hand at all times, wear a label that says, “Benazir wuz ma BFF,” and hang out close by to Jadoogar Gilani all evening. Done.
This is a fun one, people. For those interested in dressing like Mushy for Halloween, don a half military outfit (khaki) and shirt/pants ensemble – this will require a tailor or, at the very least, a good stapler. Rip both outfits in half and sew/staple them together. Add a pair of glasses, a muchie (of course), and on the back of your costume, wear a sign with the Facebook logo and, “LOLZ OMGZ. MUSHY HAZ 1 MILLION FANZ!” Take a marker with you and have people sign your sign or “fan” you at your respective party, thereby adding to your number, and hence, your political clout. APML foreva. TTFN.
You will need a scruffy white beard, a lal topi (red cap), and a turtleneck sweater to dress up as Pakistan’s favorite “ultranationalist” right-wing televangelist/conspiracy theorist. Sneak people into party corners all evening to tell them your latest theory about how RAW/Blackwater/Zionists were behind the recent floods/drone strikes/traffic jam/ominous body odor. If you’d like to make this into a group costume, add Shireen Mazari, rocker Ali Azmat, designer Maria B., and Ahmed Quraishi and turn it into X-men/Superhero-inspired outfits – fighting RAW/Blackwater/Zionist agents one day at a time. Plus points for capes and masks.
The entire Pakistan cricket team
Where to even start with these guys? The spot-fixing, the ball-biting, the warts, all lead to a pretty inspired group costume. The beauty is in the props. You and a group of friends should wear the Pakistani cricket uniforms. The person dressing as Shahid Afridi should gnaw on a ball all evening. The Shoaib Akhtar wannabe should wear sunglasses on the back of his/her head, and carry wart (ahem) medication around all evening. Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir should be – err – shady, and try to make side deals with Monopoly money all evening. Let your imagination run wild.
Sania Mirza & Shoaib Malik (& Ayesha Siddiqui)
Oh, these two lovebirds. A great couple costume, the Sania Mirza wannabe should carry a tennis racket, wear a visor, and wave an Indian flag all evening. Shoaib Malik should don his cricket outfit and wave a Pakistani flag all evening. They can get into pretend fights all evening over which country Sania will actually play tennis for now. Extra points for another friend dressing up as Ayesha Siddiqui, the poor woman Shoaib allegedly had a “telephonic nikah” with, and sitting in between the couple all evening.
Ok, I have felt really bad about people making so much fun of Lollywood actress Meera (myself included), but on Halloween, anything goes. The Meera darling should have fabulous makeup and hair and wear a t-shirt that says, “I’m NOT a Layer!” She should also speak English rather incoherently all evening, explaining to strangers, “Oh no jaani no, I work for people day and night, for poor peoples!” Bonus points for someone coming dressed as her reportedly estranged husband Attiqur Rehman, given that their emails to each other were hilariously recounted on the Pakistani news last year.
Ah, Altaf Bhai. I almost forgot you (thanks for the reminder Excelsior). MQM leader Altaf Hussain is an institution, delivering speeches over speakerphone while sitting in London or breaking into heart-wrenching tears on live news shows. The Altaf Bhai costume will involve shaded glasses, a large moustache, slicked back hair, a large ring, and a label on his kameez that says, “MOHAJIR 4 LIFE, SON!” Costume wearer should carry an old landline phone around with them throughout the party, and kiss anyone who somewhat resembles Mustafa Kamal.
What are your suggestions for a rad Pakistan-inspired Halloween costume? Share below.