Six years ago, in 2015, a Pakistani government worker named Asif Faza Rana shared an image on his Facebook account, announcing that he is no longer friends with a man named Mudasir. The aftermath was unprecedented. It triggered a massive meme fest on social media platforms, with netizens across the globe using the line “Friendship ended with…” to describe a range of situations.
In a post on Facebook, Rana shared crossed images of his erstwhile friend Mudasir to declare the breakup and introduced a new friend, Salman. Since then, the meme spun a raft of iterations, from showcasing internal fights between Avengers characters to Indo-Pak hostilities, to American politics highlighting the transfer of power from Republicans to Democrats.
It has also been widely used during Trump’s election in 2015-16 and after he lost the elections in 2020-21. The meme instantly resonated with people around the globe and they started using it to depict a change in relationships.
Meme to be auctioned as NFT
Now, six years later, Rana is putting up the image for sale as NFT on the eve of the friendship day, i.e July 30. Alter, a Lahore and London-based startup is all set to auction Pakistan’s first non-fungible token (NFT).
“We are about to mint and auction a 1/1 NFT of the meme ‘Friendship Ended with Mudasir’ for World Friendship Day (30th July),” Alter said in a statement, referring to a famous Pakistani meme that went viral on the internet in 2015.
The meme is being auctioned on the world’s largest platform for NFT listings—Foundation. The minimum bride price is 1 Ethereum token or $2,320.
As far as NFTs are concerned, they are digital codes associated with blockchain technology. They are stored on a decentralised public ledger that certifies any digital file to be unique. They are digital identifiers that can’t be copied.
In recent times, with the world facing the scourge of piracy and copying, the NFTs have become an increasingly popular tool. For instance, NFTs have spawned an entire art industry worth more than $1b by finding a solution to one of the most chronic problems faced by artists faced: copying.
The story behind ‘Friendship Ended’ meme
Pakistani journalist Naila Inayat recently penned an article in ThePrint, explaining the story behind the meme that has remained viral for over six years—how it all started between three friends before it turned ugly and ultimately famous.
It all began with Rana announcing the breakup of friendship by sharing a picture with cross photos of Mudasir. The message was loud and clear: “I declare that I left my past best friend Mudasir Ismail Ahmad.” Rana claimed the reason behind this dramatic declaration was the “selfish” and “proudy” behaviour of Mudasir. On the other hand, Mudasir maintained that he was “not proudy” and was even ready to forgive Asif for his online screed.
Things only deteriorated from here, before they finally became better. This time, Mudasir went on the offensive, registering his protest with Asif’s brother about the Facebook post. Mudasir’s grouse was that how Asif only crossed his chest and not his face, in the viral post.
Now that shots were fired by Mudasir, the ball was in Asif’s court. In yet another Facebook post, Asif called Mudasir ‘cheap’ for fussing about a non-issue because he believed his only aim was “Peace, Love and Friendship”.
However, something in Asif snapped, and he decided it was time for a detente and reestablishment of friendship. With his meme travelling all around the globe, Asif decided to end the hostilities, so Mudasir and Salman became Asif’s best friends forever. And since then everything is hunky-dory between the three friends.
Reflecting on the meme, Asif says he did not expect the picture to become such a rage. He added that he was upset with Mudasir and had wanted to convey how he felt to him. Thrilled about the NFT auction, Asif says it could not have been possible without his two friends—Mudasir and Salman.