Guardian Articles 2010
Shazia Mirza's Weekend Column
24 April 2010I am in Pakistan - with my mother. I came here to do a gig and decided to bring my mother with me as she hasn't visited the country for 20 years. You don't realise just how crazy your parents are till you have to travel with them.
A few hours ago we sat together in Starbucks at Heathrow airport when all of a sudden she gets a copy of the Qur'an out of her handbag and starts praying really loudly. Chanting verses from the Qur'an at any airport in 2010 before getting on a flight is not a good look. Iwanted to talk to my mum about the lipstick I'd bought from duty free; she wants to chant about nothing, to nothing, while facing Starbucks.
This continued on the flight, where my mother used the tray table as Mecca. I used it to eat my vegetable pasta like all the other normal people on the plane.
I asked her why she's always praying. "It's my job," she replied. But I'm always suspicious of people who are so openly "religious" and I was proved to be right when arriving in Pakistan my mum ripped off the rickshaw driver. He asked for 200 rupees for the journey and my mum agreed. But when we arrived at our destination she gave him only 150. I don't feel bad; he probably gets it back from gormless tourists from Buckinghamshire. So it's OK to rob a poor man, as long as you pray all day. All she has to do now is have a few dubious encounters with children and my mum could become Pope.