I was writing this scrap which reminded me of HS the editor of an Urdu fashion magazine. I had first met him at my office, he was my business associate A’s friend. In a brief meeting with him I thought HS was a nice and learned man. A few months later I dissolved my partnership with A, after which HS called me for a favor. His computer was out of order and he wanted me to download a few things from the internet for him. I called him to the office at my home the other afternoon. That afternoon I was reading “Kalank” a translation by Fehmida Raiz of “Taboo” a research on the Redlight area of Lahore by Dr. Fouzia Saeed when HS arrived. The book was lying shut on the desk between HS and me, HS leaned forward and picked it up and a grin appeared on his face. He quietly flipped a few pages and stopped at the book’s photo section. He went thought all the pictures smiling at every single on of them and as soon the picture section was over he snap shut the book and looked at me with a sarcastic smile and said “Achi Kittab hai, Mager tasweerain kum hain” (Nice book, but there are only a few pictures). This was the first shock for me, I expected an editor to behave differently.
Anyways ignoring this and without replying I asked him what he wanted me to download from the internet which is when he reached his pockets and came up with a tiny, crimpled, verminous and soggy piece of paper on which a few URLs were scribbled. I opened the first URL listed and a website which had Indian movie and drama gossips appeared on my computer. Now he pointed his finger to a paragraph (written in plain English) under the heading of a Star Plus drama and asked me what is written in that paragraph, when I translated the paragraph for him in Urdu he asked me “Hum is main ja sakhtay hain, daikho is per haanth bun raha hai ? ” (“Can we go inside this, shee if the curser turns to a hand over it”)…. There was a link provided in the end reading “MORE” so I clicked it and a whole page of information for that drama appeared which is when he “Bohat Khooob” (“very good”) and asked me so save it in a folder and open all such links and save them all to a folder and burn them all to a cd along with all the pictures.
Now I knew how he managed to get all the content for his monthly magazine, out of curiously I even asked him how he will get this translated which is when he told me his assistant at the office will translate it for them. I had no intentions to become his partner in crime, but by now there were almost 20 webpages saved in this folder and were ready to be burned on a freshly provided CDR, so for a split second I thought and almost instantly an idea popped up in my head. I inserted the CDR into the writer and as I knew the editor couldn’t read anything I checked the stimulation mode on the writing software and acted as if I was writing the files for him on the disk and at the end of the process I handed his empty disk back to him.
The editor called me the other day telling me that the cd was empty, I told him I had already deleted the folder which contained his files and I cant help him anymore. Thankfully HS never contacted me again.
On the news stands around the country we find countless magazines filled with content lifted from internet and other magazines and there is no one to stop them.