“Hey! I was just looking at the list of Oscar nominees for this year. Where is Zinda Bhaag?”
Shuntoo just scoffed and continued to concentrate on the book in his hand.
“How can it be? We had everyone bragging about its nomination for Oscars and respectable NGOs claimed that it had been nominated at its screenings. Where is it?”
“It wasn’t nominated.” Shuntoo said putting the book aside and looking straight at me. He lit a Marlboro and continued, “it wasn’t nominated. It wasn’t even shortlisted. And all the claims that were made in the past three months were bull-crap, since the nominations weren’t even announced till last night.”
“Pakistanis are not the most talented people in the world.” Shuntoo continued.
“We are not so lucky to be at that stage.” He took a long puff of his cigarette. “We are worse than that. We live in a retarded idiot’s paradise. We believe in things that don’t exist to make ourselves feel better. We won’t appreciate the fact that movies like ZInda Bhaag, Bol and Waar show that with some effort we could make movies that could win an Oscar. No, we would rather believe that a movie already got that nomination and then feel all proud. We won’t say that with some effort we could become the best nation in the world. We would rather believe that we already are the best. We wouldn’t focus on how, with some effort, we could be better human beings. We would rather believe that we already are perfect human beings and spend our life trying to convince others.”
“So we prefer to make asses of ourselves than to make an effort.”
“And it’s hilarious.” He started laughing and the conversation ended.