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A Pakistani fan video that tickles all alike post Indo-Pak match

23-year-old London-based Lahore boy speaks of pain and frustration at the abominable fitness levels of the Pakistan team

One of the biggest takeaways of the India-Pakistan CWC 2019 match on Sunday was the show of self-deprecating humour by Pakistani fans, manifesting most prominently in their sporting tweets in the face of defeat. The blockbuster of the day, however, was 23-year-old London-based Lahore boy Momin Saqib’s “burger-pizzzey-Hico ice cream” gig about a Pakistani fan’s pain and frustration at the abominable fitness levels of the team. The hyper melodramatic-comic tone and the relatable “Punjabiness” of the act made it go viral on social media in India as well, and it is still regaling many online. “People are happily sharing the video and editing clips into other relevant memes as well,” Momin told The Hindu in an email exchange.

Shot outside Old Trafford Manchester, the meltdown of the Pakistani fan is set up like a spontaneous interview. While Momin vents on about the betrayal by captain Sarfaraz Ahmed and how the world came crashing down at the score of 119, his elder brother, Bilal bin Saqib, wipes his simulated tears with the country’s flag. “Everything that happened [in the video] was spur-of-the-moment and totally impromptu,” says Momin.

 

Momin’s cricket videos have been popular in Pakistan for a while but this one worked both sides of the border. People in Pakistan have been able to relate to it due to the shared disappointment and displeasure that he expressed, whereas, in India, it is the humour that has attracted the audience.

Refreshing relief

The fun has come as a refreshing relief in the “war zones” that India Pakistan cricket matches seem to have become of late. Momin thinks that cricketing rivalry is equally prevalent in India and Pakistan and both the nations know that winning and losing is part of the game. “Since the emergence of social media’s meme trend, we have been able to handle defeat with humour for quite a long time now and that beautifies the game itself,” he says.

 

While congratulating India for a wonderful performance, Momin admits being disappointed by the Sunday loss but isn’t ready to give up his optimism: “Failure and defeat can bring you big wins if you learn from them constructively. My comments were only pun-intended and I am hoping that our Pakistani team is going to power up for the upcoming matches and will leave no stone unturned in making us proud, just as they have been doing in the past.”

Momin, who believes in living in the moment, has a very loyal network of followers on social media — Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat — which he calls his “online family” and who he helps in adopting a positive mindset through his daily feed. “I have always tried to cheer people up in times of stress and challenges on a daily basis… most of us get too involved in the idea of being defeated by adverse moments while knowing nothing is in our control except our own mindset and attitude,” he says.

Comedy is not all there is to Momin. In fact he doesn’t like to consider himself a stand-up comedian. He recently completed Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Management from King’s College London and hopes to work in the education sector. In 2017, he became the first non-European student to serve as the President of the King’s College London Students’ Union in its 144 years, representing 32,000 students locally, nationally and internationally.

Motivational speaker

He has been a motivational speaker, has given a Ted Talk at the King’s College London, elaborating on his journey from Pakistan to London and his foray into student politics. He has been actively involved in the promotion of youth engagement in social and political issues and in mentoring students.

During his time at King’s he was part of many initiatives to promote peace between India and Pakistan. “One example is the development of the King’s College London Indo-Pak development forum where I hosted its first event on women empowerment with speakers from India and Pakistan,” he says.

His brother Bilal, who he considers his greatest support and who is always part of his videos, is the current postgraduate president at the London School of Economics representing 7,000 students. Momin and Bilal are co-founders of Tayaba, a non-profit organisation that aims to provide ease in accessing clean water in rural Pakistan. “It has transformed the lives of over 30,000 women and children in rural Sindh,” claims Momin.

A Bollywood fan, who actually wanted to do a degree in method acting after his A-Levels, Momin has made many Indian friends during his London stint and is looking forward to visiting India in the future.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 9:12:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/a-pakistani-fan-video-that-tickles-all-alike-post-indo-pak-match/article28051196.ece

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