On Friday, there was no way one could get into Karachi's T2F after 8pm.
The ground floor was packed. Forgoing the comfort of chairs, the audience of a hundred and then some squished itself into cross-legged compactness, in anticipation of the country's first all-female stand-up comedy show.
Titled The Auratnaak Show, the show featured ten women - Annie Shamim, Ayesha Tariq, Eman Chamdia, Faiza Saleem, Fatema Shah, Jaweria Khan, Nida Fatima Syed, Reham Muneer, Rooj Hussain, Sadia Khatri and Sana Khan Niazi - who had the audience letting out peals of laughter in no time.
The women dished on everything: Sadia Khatri joked about discovering pads and bras as a young girl, Eman Chamdia poked fun at "being female zoned" and Faiza Saleem's Beauty and the Beast parallel with the Pakistani wife had the crowd roaring when she explained, "Beast jitna hairy aur aggressive ho, prince hota hai, ghar ki cheezoun sey baat kerna tou aurat ka kaam hota hai."
The show was not for the easily offended. Candid conversation about periods and sex can't make it to mainstream media like television, but found a space for discourse at Auratnaak. The women ably highlighted how girls know nothing because all topics are kept hush hush and then suddenly are expected to embrace their womanhood. Ayesha Tariq summed up her puberty experience perfectly by saying, "I was ten, I thought I had cancer!"
It was encouraging to see that the Auratnaak Show enjoyed a diverse mix of women and men, young and some elderly. The comedians should be congratulated for breaking stereotypes, crossing boundaries and opening up topics for discussion.Here's looking forward to the next one!