Review: Maps for Lost Lovers

Maps for Lost Lovers
Maps for Lost Lovers by Nadeem Aslam
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No need for a map to get lost in the millions of metaphors this book is sprinkled liberally with. A story of a Pakistani family and South Asian community lost in trying to finding ways of living (and loving) in Dasht-e-Tanhai (the “Desert of Solitutde”) somewhere in England. In the way of (according to the author) Pakistani thinking, the language brims with flowers (and moths & butterflies) in a way that is entirely and utterly enjoyable.

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No more sexting in Pakistan…

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has banned 1,795 expletives on SMS, ordering telecom companies to filter out SMS-es containing these offending words with effect from 21 November 2011. The letter includes a list of 1,109 English words, more pornographic terms than expletives, and another 586 Urdu words which are more colourful sexual expletives of the standard South Asian kind rather than the plain garden variety pornography.

The Pakistani Twitterverse was on fire last night as the two lists make for hilarious reading. The English list begins with A.S.S. and ends with yellowman. Some words sound harmless (crap and crappy), others bizarre (Jesus Christ, flatulence, murder, monkey crotch). Many are commonly used obscene words (“FUCK YOU”) and care has been taken to account for alternative spellings (biatch, muthafucka). While many spelling variations of ‘masturbation’ are on it, the correct spelling is not. Most words seem to be designed to prevent ‘sexting’ or sending sexually explicit texts (sexy, lick me, do me, S&M, lotion and porn). The list comes down on anal sex as much as vaginal sex. But it isn’t just sex. By banning drunken they perhaps hope to reduce alcoholism.