I’m not going to lie, I was blown away the moment I saw Ms. Pudina Chatni walk into the room with her flashy attire, flawless makeup and over-all spellbinding presence.
Our very own yet very local drag queen is not only unapologetic and smug but also poised. Her artistic genius derives from her own sexuality and goes on to touch unspeakable topics in Pakistan.
Her sharp wit and unrestrained humor was definitely startlingly blatant for the desi crowd but despite that, the audience seemed to be spiraling into fits of effortless laughter.
The room at MAD School Zamzama was brimming with people of all ages on July 7th when Ms. Pudina Chatni walked in dancing to Kajra Re. It would be a shame to not draw attention to how well it was executed. Her jokes, while very explicit were at the same time, on point. Her social and political commentary, subtly fused with her raunchy humor and heavy sensual undertones, made one rethink the purpose of the drag show.
She spoke openly about both, male and female sexuality and the massive taboo they are in the Pakistani society. Employing Illicit and graphic encounters that make one cringe to the core yet, religiously agree to every social situation she put forth, were terrifyingly relatable.
Her perfectly executed take on masculinity, emotional labor and pleasure for all parties made people uncomfortable because of its sheer accuracy. While she took multiple clever jibes at people who have made fun of child abuse and have been champions of racial discrimination, she blatantly yet brilliantly, outdid herself with borderline blasphemous jokes. As refreshing as it was, it took the audience a minute to cope up and we were not regretful, not even for a minute!
Ms. Pudina Chatni – The Undisputed Local Drag Queen
Needless to say, her work poses some important questions that range from sex-education (that Pakistan is so clearly devoid of) and breaking social and cultural barriers while she unapologetically accepts her sensuality.
It also goes to show how the nature of stand-up comedy has and continues to transition and cross over into the realms of risque, that too, by a woman of Ms. P. Chatni’s caliber!
She’s as real as it gets and don’t mind if we claim her, our undisputed local drag queen.
The show ended with another spectacular dance performance that left the audience in awe of the embodiment of fearlessness that Ms. Pudina Chatni was and continues to be.
Maryam’s a Communication and Design major and an English and Comparative Literature minor at Habib University. She thoroughly enjoys reading South Asian Literature and is a Partition Literature enthusiast, who is often found admiring the origins of cultural theory.
While one may occasionally find her at events catering to art and culture in Karachi, she would much rather be home binge-watching British comedy.