More on Pom Pom Darling

QA and Pom Pom
On the subject of Pom Pom Darling, there is one more occasion where we find Quratulain Hyder making an oblique reference to the title bestowed upon her. In a section of her biographical work Kaare Jahan Daraaz Hai, we encounter a humourous episode on how she acquires a car from a Mr Jhuunjhuunwala with the help of a relative Rumi Bhayya. The car is ultimately referred to as Pom Pom Darling by everyone in the family, making a reference to Ismat Chughtai’s article titled the same which criticised Quratulain Hyder’s writing.
The following excerpt is a transliteration of the section titled “Pom Pom Darling.”
Teesray pehr ko Rumi mian aik Skoda pur tashreef layey. Mr Jhuunjhuunwala saath they. […]
Miskeen soorat munhani Mr Jhuunjhuunwala nay farmaya,
“Aikdum naya gaari hai. Hum chay hajjaar say kum nahin lay ga. Bajaar mein tapaas kar lo. Iss say kum daam mein Skoda nahin milay ga.”
Rumi nay kaha, “Student’s concession kar deejay.”
Unhoan ne achambey se poocha, “ Aap student loge hai?”
Rumi mian ne kaha, “ Insaan saari umr joyaey taleem rehta hai.”
Jhuunjhuunwala ne iss falsafiyana nuktay ko nazar andaaz kar ke dohraya,
“Chay hajjaar.”
Bohat rad o qad kay baad Rumi mian nay Mr Jhuunjhuunwala say kaha,
“Peer kay roze aik khateer raqm aap ki khidmat e aqdas mein pesh kar di jaey gi.”
“Kaisi rakam?”
“Khateer”
[…]
“Paanch hajjaar.”
Mein jo khareedari kay ma’amlay mein bilkul kori huun ab tuk sabr say khamosh baithi thi. Foran bole uthi,
“Rumi mian, paanch hazaar to bilkul theek hai. Bilkul naee car hai. Checkoslovakian.”
Rumi mian […] nay gehra saans liya… […]
“Jhuunjhuunwala sahab, yeh hamari behn jo hain, in ki aankhein bohat kamzore hain.
So yeh second hand car inko naee nazar aatee hai. Peer kay din aapko iska aik ma’aqool o munasib muaveza…..”
Mr Jhuunjhuunwala jhuunjhla kar uuth kharay huay. Baramday say uuth kar Skoda ki simt barhay.
Rumi mian nay awaz di,
“Jhuunjhuunwala Sahab! Ba fazl e Khuda sauda ba khair o khoobi tae ho gaya. Car yahin chortay jaeyay to mehrbani hogi.”
Parinda numa Jhuunjhuunwala tez tez qadam rakhtay bajri ka maidan paar kar kay bus stop pur ja kharay huay, bohat qabil e rehm nazar aaey.
[…]
Aakhir Rumi mian kay dil mein naiki aa gaee. Car lay kar bus stop pur gaey, aur Jhuunjhuunwala ko uss mein bithaa kar shehr ravaana huay, unhein Karachi pohncha kar, Skoda Maaripuur wapas laey.
[…]
Hum loge drawing room mein baithay thay.
Bahar horn baja, chund minute ba’ad Rumi mian muskuraatay huay kamray mein tashreef laey aur farmaya,
“Pom Pom Darling bahar khari hain.”
Car ka naam bil ittefaaq e raey “Pom Pom Darling” tae hua, jo aajiza kay muta’aliq Ismat Chughtai kay uss mazmoon ka unvaan tha, jo haal mein ghaaliban “Savera” mein chappa tha.”
From “Pom Pom Darling” in Kaarey Jahan Daraaz Hai.
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Zambeel Dramatic Readings aims to present texts in Urdu and English rendered in their dramatised form, to create a dynamic collusion between literature and performance. Referencing traditions of storytelling and the contemporary form of the radio play, our works traverse time and geographical boundaries to interpret and enliven narratives through sound and recitation.
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