An Insider Look Into the Workings of Modus Operandi

Enter the world of Modus Operandi; from cult leaders to church conspiracies, making this category was perhaps one of the most memorable experiences of our A-Level journey. Putting aside the often disconcerting amount of workload the nuances of Modus Operandi demanded, the making of this category was quite thrilling: the bloopers, the bullying, the cast interviews and dramatics, and more, all contributed to the creation of not just this category, but the new bonds created behind-the-scenes. Therefore, Habiba had the brilliant idea to share it with you all, so here we are, presenting to you the inner workings of Modus Operandi. Here is how it all went down.

It began with the interviews in which Wasay emphasised on how much he wants this category to be his ‘bebe’, and honestly speaking, he might actually have succeeded with it. However, Mahnoor would like to interject at this point, since as it happens, her and Habiba’s Wattpad reading in their adolescent years was what actually allowed them to name ten out of the twelve characters involved in the case. (Read: Mahnoor and Habiba forever simping for the perfect character by the name of Markus Phoenix who is totally not a manipulative psychiatrist turned cult leader.)

The Modus Operandi category is set in the murky town of Louisiana in the year 1969 (for obvious reasons), where a detective and a farmhouse owner get killed and tied up as scarecrows. Don’t worry guys, even though we designed the basis of an entire cult, we’re not actually involved ourselves (fingers crossed). Speaking of cult, it is high time we give some clout to Wasay due to his genius creation of the poem which was a disguised hint for the delegates. (We really hope they catch on to it since at the time of writing, we actually don’t know how it’s all going to play out.)

We didn’t really have any intention of doing this, but we started to realise how certain people on campus were carbon copies of the characters of our narrative; not implying that some of them are psychopaths, but- you get what we mean, right? Imagine if Lana Del Ray (or Arooj, same thing) was a news reporter or if Rashmil Tufail was Hamzah Zahid’s father; these constitute just a sample of the random 3AM shower thoughts that got us through with choosing the cast. Although, in our defence, there is no way we could have given Markus Phoenix’s role to anyone but Zaryab Nisar, considering how he is the only individual on campus who can manage to channel his inner cult leader without even trying (Zaryab deniers would disagree, but they don’t really matter). Additionally, we won’t lie and say that all cast members were treated equally, since *cough* all the killers *cough* were invited to a separate Zoom meeting where they were debriefed about the entire case far more extensively as compared to the rest of the cast members. This meeting was the defining factor that made us realise that Hamza Athar is indeed a very, very, very, scary man who can method act a little too well. The cast turned a formal WhatsApp group into an extremely dramatic one, ranging from things like bullying Habiba (we fully approve of this), guessing who the killer is (we only told them whether they are innocent or not, and to keep this information discreet), and torturing them with cursed sticker spams.

We cannot say much about how consistent the category management was with keeping their word about meeting on Discord at 7PM for category work, but they were definitely quite efficient in bullying their poor hard-working co-head. More precisely, Wasay was the only brutal dominating head who abused his power and was also heard saying “I like it a lot” when asked about his actions. Speaking of the MVP (not you Wasay), Discord was the “category’s best friend” which all three of us unanimously agreed upon. 

Inside jokes became a normality during the making of this category, and the heads had a tendency of making random statements out of context. Our personal favourite is: “Henry Blake’s only crime was to be in Paris”. It is actually a wonder how Mahnoor was able to bear our socially unacceptable humour, but honestly, we are not surprised since Mahnoor is the all powerful, goodest (how in the world did we get selected for tlc?) head of all time. It is our strong belief that this category would not exist without her so it is safe to say that we will always simp for Mahnoor.

This was, more or less, the entirety of what the Ad-Infinitum Event Head Hamza Ather claimed to be “the top 1 category”, and if you find yourself interested (haha, nerd) feel free to look at the google document below to read about the category itself in detail. We spent many sleepless nights drafting the case, and revisited it more times than we could count just to make sure that there was no loophole left. Creating characters from a scratch and coming up with their personality traits was almost like we were bringing our own various personalities to life. The entirety of the category required way more effort than we could have anticipated, but nonetheless, it was one of the most unique experiences one could live through. We hope that you have as much fun reading the case as much as we had creating it.

Habiba Rashid
TLC Writer

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