Driving on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hazara Expressway, lady in pink lost her temper when a police officer dared to stop her car along with several others. Coming out all guns blazing, she introduced herself as colonel ki biwi. In that moment, even time would have stopped. But who could stop the wrath of colonel ki biwi?
Hurling abuses, demeaning the officers, and threatening them of dire consequences, she kept asserting that no one is above her majesty, not even the law of the land: Subedar ki m**, main colonel ki biwi hoon, woh kut**y ka bacha, usko bulao main uski wardi utarwati hoon. In that moment, she seemed to be the most powerful person in Pakistan. She got out of the car, pushed the barricades and ordered her driver to run over the officer. It didn’t end there. At one point, she told the officer main aapko dhakka doongi. She could definitely be crowned Biwi No. 1.
While the officer stood guard all along patiently, his colleague recorded a video and later made it public, followed by a complaint. Now, video spoke louder than words. According to local media, Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa took notice of the incident and reprimanded the colonel over the ‘misdemeanour’ of his wife. However, no official communication on the issue was made by the Army chief’s spokesperson at ISPR.
No ‘stopping’ colonel ki biwi
If you think there is just one colonel ki biwi in Pakistan, then you are thoroughly mistaken. In fact, colonel ki biwi is not a person, it is an attitude of entitlement that many carry in this country. A mindset that allows the powerful to exploit those who they think have no power over them in the society, often stemming from the VVIP culture. The Indian equivalent of Pakistan’s colonel ki biwi is: jaanta nahin mera baap kaun hai?
They consider being stopped at a checkpost as an insult. To obey the law of the land is beneath them. In Pakistan, the powerful follow a separate set of laws from an unwritten book.
In this case, association of the biwi with an institution (Army) became a case for the people to voice their grievances with the establishment at large. It doesn’t matter if General Musharraf can’t be punished for high treason. We will treat a slap on the wrist of Colonel sahib as a big win. Oh! Our idea of any civilian supremacy.
Some civilians are also colonels, they don’t need badges or titles. In the past, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders, Shireen Mazari and Uzma Kardar, who is also a retired colonel’s wife, have displayed their colonel ki biwi hun hoon side.
That the women in the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA), are made to stand in long ques for hours, while a colonel ki biwi can have her way after humiliating authorities, is a localised version of Pakistan’s two-nation theory.
And Pakistan’s making memes
But you can’t criticise colonel ki biwi for long. She has to be credited as well. In these difficult times of coronavirus, colonel ki biwi gave us a treasure trove of memes.
Stay home, stay safe is now even more important because colonel ki biwi is roaming in the streets. The danger is real.
You bloody civilians, that’s the attitude of colonel ki biwi, who thinks there is a master-slave relationship between those in the Army and those outside of it.
It is said that the role of colonel ki biwi’s driver in the viral video is very much the part Imran Khan has in running the country.
They say the plight of colonel sahib is real. The ordeal he’s been put through might even win him a Nishan-e-Haider. Who knows.
— Rehman Hashmi (@RehmanH34736728) May 21, 2020
When Colonel’s powers were abused by his wife he called his mom to inform her.
— Ahmad (@Iam_ifti) May 21, 2020
But then, there is no gain without a little pain. Colonel is in demand. Forget captains or majors, Colonel is the new General.
Colonels are in excessive demand here. The eruption began since #colonelkibiwi made her husband famous.
Neighbour tells me his sis in law want to wed a colonel. I suggested a nice young capt. She says who's going to wait for the bugger to make colonel for her to be famous.
— Salman Rashid (@odysseuslahori) May 26, 2020
And not to forget ISPR’ drama Ehd-e-Wafa. Pakistanis have been swift at drawing comparisons between the real colonel ki biwi and the one in the TV soap. That’s how life imitates life.
— Ìbràr Álí (@ibrarvibes) May 21, 2020
Twitteratis and their appetite for memes did not stop here, it reached to the ‘top’. There was another take on colonel with biwi.
— Faysal Hussyn (@faisalhussainsd) May 21, 2020
Either way she’ll find her way, so better if we make way for colonel ki biwi.
Utho! Anarkali yahan se colonel ki biwi ne guzarna he pic.twitter.com/MYI3ZPBWI1
— MahinTahir (@MahinTahir3) May 20, 2020
For all those who have dared to talk about colonel and his biwi, a special Vigo ride awaits. A car ride that will ‘disappear’ you. Is it too late for us?
— Muhammad Sulaiman (@MSulaimanSaeed) May 20, 2020
The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.