There is never a dull day on Twitter. Case in point? Indian activist and analyst Sonam Mahajan's tweet about the apparent absence of bindis in the markets of Islamabad and Pakistani Twitter trying to prove her wrong.
The analyst lamented that there are no bindis being sold in the capital, a fact that she'd come to learn through a Pakistani journalist.
"I recently learnt from a Pakistani journalist that you don’t find bindis in Islamabad and then, I spoke to a friend living in Riyadh and she told me that you get all types of Bindis there," Mahajan wrote.
"Can’t tell whether to laugh at Pakistan’s social fabric or to cry at its bigotry," she added.
She also posted a small clip from her talk with Pakistani journalist Arzoo Kazmi as context for her tweet.
Mahajan's replies were soon filled with irked Pakistanis who were more than happy to set the record straight.
"Ever heard of supply and demand?" a user replied. "No one wears bindis in Islamabad BUT you can still find them if you look properly. Your Pakistani journalist friend doesn’t know because she ain’t looking for them. Simple!"
Another user was quick to defend Islamabad as well.
"Just saw a vlog by Luke Damant visiting a jewellery stall in Jinnah market, Islamabad [where they were] selling bindis. [T]hey’re easily available, but [are] not common because very few women in Pakistan wear them."
The user highlighted how "most of Pakistan’s Hindu population is in Sindh where [bindis] are more readily available."
Another user asserted that bindis are easily available in Pakistan overall.
"Sorry to burst your bubble," the user wrote. "[B]indis are easily and readily available on this side of the border."
Soon enough, many people pointed out the availability of bindis in their own respective cities.
Lawyer Jalila Haider vouched for the bazaars of Quetta. "We have verity of designs here in Quetta," she wrote.
"Bindi are very common in Pakistan, even during Eid young Muslim girls wear bindi. I think you are misinformed or ignorant about Pakistan. I myself wear bindi showing solidarity with [the] Hindu community in their festivals."
Another user remarked that Lahore's Dehli Gate market was chockfull of bindis — and some interesting Indian products.
"Indian Bindis, bangles, Dabur products (Dabur Amla Oil, Dabur Red Toothpaste etc), HaldiRam's Soan Papri and many more Indian products are easily available in Lahore's Delhi Gate Market," he replied.
In fact, bindis are available in Punjab in general.
A user wrote, "[G]o to any thella with artificial jewelry and you will [find] plenty of bindis even in small town[s]. There are those hawkers who sell them even on bicycle[s] in the villages [of] Punjab. Set your facts straight."
People brought some comic relief to the conversation as well, pointing to a confusion that many faced when they first read the tweet in question — is Mahajan talking about the vegetable bhindi?
"I legit read it as Bhindi," a user replied.
If only Mahajan's Pakistani source hadn't dished out such unqualified facts without doing some research first. For anyone looking to make sweeping statements on Twitter, here's a suggestion — don't. But then again, would Twitter be half as much fun without these ignorant tweets to debunk and make fun of?