It was our first week in Islamabad and we were looking for a “money changer”, one of those ubiquitous shops where dollars are converted into the local currency. There are dozens of them in Isloo, just like the paan shops in India, but back then we didn’t know any.
We sought directions from a helpful cabbie, who told us that there was one behind “Mr Books!” So we headed for “Mr Books!” and found none. We took the stairs, checked all the shops on the first level, yet there was no “changer” in sight.
We were about to call the cabbie names, when we got told by a shop help that the changer was behind “Mr Books!” and not “Mr Books Too!”
We looked up and realized that the guy was indeed right and that we were parked in front of “Mr Books Too!” and not “Mr Books!” On our way to “Mr Books!” we saw a “Mr Old Books”, retailing second-hand books.
Ever since we have noticed a “Mr Chips”, “Mr Cod”, “Mr Food”, “Mr Craft” and more recently “Mr Cotton” – I know that some of them are internationally renowned brands but I would have preferred the Urdu equivalents: “Mian Machli” or maybe “Mian Bawarchi”.
We have it all mapped neatly in our heads now. When we have to go to Super Market, our landmark is “Mr Books!” (we get off, and always ask the owner about Mr Jaswant Singh’s impending Pakistan yatra to publicise his famous book on Jinnah); when we have go towards Constitution Avenue, we know that “Mr Cod” is a good option to stop by and hog; and, of course, “Mr Craft” is a great place -- but just to window shop.
I’m certain there are other “Misters” too, like the one I recently noticed at F-8 Markaz. I somehow recall it as “Mr Munchies”, but then I am sure only about the “Mr”.
But seriously what is this “Mr” fixation? A techie who blogs as “Mr A”; children who learn about “Mr Potato” at school and a country which has a “Mr 10 per cent” at the helm!