The rishta brigade

Published: February 13, 2013

It was the fourth time that month that a family had come to see her for their son. PHOTO: REUTERS

The show started around 10am. The room wore a very neat look with the curtains being freshly washed and couches from the adjacent room placed next to the sofas.

The arrivals comprised an elderly woman and two young girls, welcomed very warmly by Ashraf and his wife, Atifa.

There was a clear demarcation of positions on the either side of the table — to its left were seated the guests, and to its right, the hosts. The latter wore forced smiles which did little to hide the tense anticipation gnawing at their faces and sunk into the worn-out seats like pleading, grateful entities.

After formal exchange of pleasantries, the conversation entered into the regular second round – that of questions and answers. The questions were thrown with a keen fervour coupled with a thick air of complacency and answered with meek smiles by the other side. Intermittently, now and then, silence would creep in and throats were cleared.

“So what is your daughter’s age again?” the elderly woman asked in a shrill voice, partly natural and partly due to her try at sounding high-pitched.

“She’ll turn thirty this year,” a subtle tone of apologetic reassurance crept into the Atifa’s voice.

“Ahem”, throat clearing.

Silence.

Then came the creak of the door opening.

The object of their interest was here. Clad in a blue dress and wearing lipstick, Nazia entered the room. Being the fourth time in the same month, she had thought the estrangement of the whole setting would be fleeting now. Yet, her face was embarrassed and eyes lowered as she pushed the cart set with the refreshments – a pineapple cream cake, cookies, pizza and halwa. Quite an extravaganza it was.

“With the grey sprouting through her hair, she looks much older than thirty,” the woman muttered just loud enough to be heard through the room.

Helping herself with the cake, her gaze lingered ominously at Nazia, taking in her face, then shoulders, it slipped lower, thoroughly scanning her in all.

“I don’t like her teeth when she smiles. They look so big,” the two girls bantered, whispering among themselves.

“And look at her nose. It seems like the flaring nostrils of a dragon. Natiq likes sleek, pointed noses,” the second of them commented.

My son is very well-educated and he has a fine job,” stuffing herself with yet another helping of cookies, the lady announced, though in a by-the-way manner.

The hosts nodded fervently presenting their agreement of whatever she uttered.

“And, of course, being an educated family, we are against dowry. However, Natiq wants to live honourably in a separate house with his wife. You agree, don’t you?”

Her insinuation was well picked by the hosts who suddenly had aghast looks on their faces which looked almost comical with their plastic smiles still intact.

The show dragged on for yet another hour. Nazia was thoroughly noted. According to Natiq’s mother, her upper lip was slightly detached and gave her a strange look with her rather large teeth. And her nose, too, duly pointed by her daughters, was a no-no. Plus, although she had thoroughly applied mascara, her eyes looked quite small.

As soon as the clock struck 12, the mother clasped her hands together and stood up.

“Well, that’s all. I’ve to visit a few other houses in the neighbourhood. We’ll let you know of our decision within a week,” her daughter conveniently picked the last cookie on the way out.

Nazia retreated back into her room, needing some time to ‘recover’ till the next instalment of the show was to commence. Every time, she would end with soft sobs interred deep into her pillow.

Ashraf and his wife sat in silent contemplation, wondering a car certainly would’ve cost less, it being the demand made on the last show. This time, the demand was a house.

I don’t like her. Rejected!” the woman exclaimed as she walked with her girls to the next house.

And thus the show culminated.

For now.

Read more by Salman here or follow him on Twitter @SalmanLateef

salman.latif

Salman Latif

A blogger who blogs at salmanlatif.wordpress.com/ and tweets @salmanlateef

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Working Woman

    Hmmmmmmmm So when it is going to change?
    May be, never. PLease hear me Lord, I don’t want to end up with things like this.Recommend

  • http://www.jaaliangrez.wordpress.com Baji Please

    Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god! Just that! :(Recommend

  • http://www.jaaliangrez.wordpress.com Baji Please

    Such a tragic but beautifully written blog. It speaks volumes of what girls like us have to routinely go through. I feel this story is mine. :( I wrote a blog on this too sometime back.Recommend

  • Rizwan

    Seems a tad exaggerated to me. I really don’t think this happens in educated families.Recommend

  • http://www.jaaliangrez.wordpress.com Baji Please

    Rizwan, it is not exaggerated just that the outspoken dowry demand is uncommon. For the rest, you should ask us girls who go through the rishta-rejection practice in routine.Recommend

  • Sailani

    A very true and bitter reality and very well written article!Recommend

  • Madhia

    And the show goes on and on… and those anties along with their betis continue to go homes and homes, see girls, eat well n reject… Happening to me for the past 4-6 years n now i pray k khuda unhe aisi bahoo dey ju inki aqal thikane laga dey… I dont sob now, its a common show time activity as i know i will never get their approval..Recommend

  • Natasha

    @author

    i have to agree with you. this is what exactly happens with us girls. and i m sure this guy *Natiq in the story would turn out to be a dark, fat and bald man!! this is not the guy’s fault even sometimes. i think when mums go out to find their son a wife they should keep in mind that the girl they are going to check out is a human just like them. i wish the aunties would understand that their sons are not an oscar award that every girl in the world is waiting to win.. :)Recommend

  • Benish

    This whole process of going to girl’s house for bahoo hunting is wrong. Why should they always go to girl’s house, why not girl’s family go to boy’s home. This all makes us girls non-living species, a commodity waiting for sale. Love marriages are a far better option, no tea expenses, no humiliation and time saving too :)Recommend

  • Stranger

    Overtly exagerated. Why do they always portray men and their mums as villians ? Recommend

  • http://syedaabidabokhari.wordpress.com The Only Normal Person Here.

    Kahani ghar ghar ki. Well done. And realisticRecommend

  • Parvez

    NIcely written……….you managed to keep it interesting.Recommend

  • http://www.salmanlatif.wordpress.com Salman Latif

    I understand that some people here may not be able to relate to it – there always are exceptions to a rule. But in our society, the rishta-hunting, at large, is done in exactly this manner. In fact, it is worst in some cases. The larkay wala always suffer from a severe superiority complex, manifest before and after the marriage. I’ve seen even highly educated families indulge in this.
    I’m intrigued, how many of you know of a marriage where the larkay walas somehow condemned dowry and refused to take it? Haven’t seen a single such wedding ceremony in my life.Recommend

  • THE

    Being a guy and having friends/cousins who’s parents & sister have done/still do the exact thing mentioned in the blog above it makes me mad to even call them ‘friends’ sometimes.
    I studied in the US but married my sister’s friend who studied in ‘urdu medium’ all her life even in University. It was because I liked her (wouldn’t use ‘love’ because true love takes time to develop). We have been happily married for the last 4 years and love developed overtime. I think the people mentioned in the above blog are looking to do a business transaction rather then a life long commitment.
    I also really don’t understand my cousins who only studied until 10th grade but their mothers are looking for a bahoo who has a degree, the right nose and is ‘Araain’!! It makes no sense to me at all, I often joke that they are looking for a cow for Eid instead of a girl to live all their lives with!!Recommend

  • Thetruthhurts

    I bet they all had a tash. Recommend

  • H

    @Stranger:
    Well, because they ARE villains. Recommend

  • H

    @Rizwan:
    I doubt if you would say this if you were a girl. Why go far? Ask your immediate female relatives (aunt, mother, sisters) and they might be doing the same thing. Greedy families, think marriage is their ticket to wealth. Recommend

  • realistic

    Salman Lateef, you have managed to capture the essence of reality in this “Rishta Fiasco” – a notorious cascading tradition since medieval times. Thank you for the awareness. I hope more families could understand the social and emotional pressures their young daughters come to face with… its sick, disgusting and just very wrong. It has to change. Their children deserve the right to make their own choices – we can only suggest, guide, help and support and above all HAVE FAITH :) Recommend

  • Aijaz Haider

    Well-written by a male author on a topic highlighting girls’ problem.Recommend

  • Shiza

    for once, a guy nailed it ! well written !! Recommend

  • Mazloom Larka

    It happening to boys too! let me tell you something.

    One aunty came to me looking for rishta for her daughter. she asked me couple of question and suddenly she said a sentence with a smile:

    “Beta aaj kal to laakhon mein hi guzara hota hai. hazaaron mein kuch bhi nahi hota. aur Pakistan mein to laakhon kamaana mushkil hai aaja kal”

    I said “Bilkul Aunty”

    I am 25, a software engineer and make 75 K a month.Recommend

  • ABkhan

    So the blog shows, and its reality btw that its woman who rejects other women as her daughter in law or sister in law. But still men have to be blamed for itRecommend

  • Hasan

    I sympathise deeply with the girl here, however I don’t see a solution to this problem. Though I am all for love marriages, it is not for everyone. For example me, if there was no concept of arranged marriages, I would have no hope of ever getting married. That is because I am just too shy to get to know any potential partners. So perhaps this is a necessary evil.

    PS. Just to ans the question raised above, I know at least one guy who refused to take dowry and I too will refuse it.Recommend

  • http://www.expressnews.tv Imran

    Women are women’s enemies. Did the “Villain Boy” seen the girl or said anything negative? did he comment on her nose, hair or eyes. These are aunties who forget that they are women themselves.Recommend

  • Ali kazmi

    A day to day suffering of south Asian women, put together brilliantly.
    we live in an age of hypocracy, where our own parents are the ones cultivating this evil through generations. Apologetically, but let me say! in most of the homes, we only talk to eradicate this highly insulting way finding a suitor, and not take step to find an alternative. Perhaps a legitimate dating club for mature people where intended couples could meet to chat in solitute for THIER lives and not for the hooks of abba jaans and amma jaans!

    Grow up Pakistan!Recommend

  • Zain

    @Benish: I like your proposed idea of Love Marriage with minimal costs. So, do I stand a chance here :-pRecommend

  • madiha

    ooohh…girls !!
    please stop pitying urselves, its not always u who is rejected, there would have been many times u and ur family have rejected the guy because of his age, appearence, education, salary, social standing, his status.And for u, they have to reject u many times because you are better den their sons and brothers, you have a better house and sound values, educated family and u grew with good circumstances as compare to them, they just cant tolerate you being superior to them.
    please have faith in urself, you are the best !!
    love to all girls :)Recommend

  • madiha

    girls please uplift ur thoughts and urselves, make urselves better indiviusals and better humans, its you and only who can change the mindset of the people of ur surroundings that a man should want u…not ‘u’ are desperate to find a dumb man just to change ur martial status.Recommend

  • Madhia

    @Mazloom Larka: contact me :DRecommend

  • Hanya Batool

    @Natasha:
    What is wrong with dark? seems very racist, dark can be as beautiful as white, i personally prefer dark.Recommend

  • Hanya Batool

    @Benish:
    Ohh benish you have seriously amazed me,seems like you are not from Pakistan and if you are than you live far from the reality. Considering the current social norms and the very limited social space given to women in Pakistan finding love or having a relationship is very rare. And above all this is mainly a man dominated society where survival for a single unmarried women without any male escort is almost impossible. So marriage is the necessary compromise that an average Pakistani women has to make to survive her existence. Please get out of your artificial world that you live in and look around.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    The rishta seeking process has always amused me. It’s such a farce that it’s actually funny. The girl coming in to serve tea while the interested party look at her like an animal in a zoo. The funny thing is, you need to wait for the opinion from the men’s side. Why on earth is that? Is it not the women who are being married off?

    I recall about a month ago, some people came to our house to, as my mother put it, ‘evaluate’ my sister for a rishta. In the build up to the visit, I had never ever seen my mother & sister so distressed & freaked out, so naturally I was a bit put off. When the rishta aunty and the dude’s side came, I asked a few stingy questions which the rishta termed as ‘disrespectful’. We never heard from them ago, not that I care about them.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Hanya Batool
    @Natasha:
    What is wrong with dark? seems very racist, dark can be as beautiful as white, i personally prefer dark.

    I think she ment that the dude was dark and that the family demanded a ‘white’ woman. It happens often. Baffling… Recommend

  • Maher

    Its a fact that even educated families demand dowry in same way or the other. It could be a house, car, investment in business etc. Btw why mum, sisters and khalas want a Pari as Bahu/ Bhabhi? Recommend

  • haider khan

    @Madhia: I really felt sad after reading your comment. I hope and pray that you ll get the best partner in your life. Be happy.Recommend

  • Awais

    This custom should be ended. It a pathetic way to choose a partner for your son/daughter. If children are not able to find for themselves then parents should look first in the relatives instead of going out to face humiliation. We ought to simplify the procedures which actually are unworthy. Parents usually face issues when the age of their daughter crosses 25 years so why not to tie her knot before 25. For those who are from male side must ponder that someone will soon be coming on the door to see their daughter. Delaying in marriage is among the bone of contention. Mostly boys are asked to save funds for splendid wedding which takes time and boys crosses 35. If wedding ceremony is planned with simplicity then your son at age of 26-29 will able to get marry with a girl of age 23-25. So it will save both sides.
    conclusion: Get marry at good age so that you can enjoy and your families can relax.Recommend

  • haider khan

    If those aunties are so desperate to find a white girl for their sons so why don’t they look for a caucasian “gori mame” who will be more suitable for their charming prince. Actually those aunties have faced the same dilemma during early years when they were rejected by the rishta auntie. The same aunties want to take the revenge from unmarried girls waiting to be married when choosing a would be wife for their sons. In the early years of marriage the bahu feels miseries at the hand of saas but when saas is near to the end of her life she cmplains that the bahu is rude and complaints about her.Recommend

  • Pessimist

    madiha
    ooohh…girls !!
    please stop pitying urselves, its not always u who is rejected, there would have been many times u and ur family have rejected the guy because of his age, appearence, education, salary, social standing, his status

    Flippity flappity. What a bunch of nonsense. Almost all of the things you mentioned for rejection are, ironically, valid reasons for rejection. I wont go into details but circumstances aside, would you accept an unemployed, matric educated, 35 year old man for your 20 something, empoyed and Masters education daughter? Of course not! However, if a decent proposal comes along and it is rejected because of skin tone, that’s stupid. Btw, what’s a difference between social standing and status?

    And for u, they have to reject u many times because you are better den their sons and brothers, you have a better house and sound values, educated family and u grew with good circumstances as compare to them, they just cant tolerate you being superior to them.

    Believe it or not, they wont reject. They would accept and then torment & harrass the poor girl after her marriage because they are jealous of her. I’ve seen it happen and it’s disgusting, to say the least. The rejection only happens in Disney movies!

    girls please uplift ur thoughts and urselves, make urselves better indiviusals and better humans, its you and only who can change the mindset of the people of ur surroundings that a man should want u…not ‘u’ are desperate to find a dumb man just to change ur martial status.

    Again, women should do everything. God forbid us men might actually have to put in an effort and make a compromise every once in a while! Hunh…

    I only choose to reply to your comment because it is highly reccomended. Why would anyone reccomend it!?Recommend

  • In the know…

    First of all, the upper middle-class in Pakistan, to which most of the ET readers belong, probably has a much more cultured “evaluation” process, but it always boils down to “the visit”. What should be discussed here is how girls are “evaluated for rishtas” from the lower-middle classes to those at the very bottom of the social ladder.

    Most of the upper-middle class and above end up in some form of arranged-cum-mutually-agreed marriages where the boy and the girl, if they already don’t know each other, are allowed to communicate a bit before the “final decision” is arrived at.

    Nothing of the sort is allowed in the most affected social segments. The decisions are mostly taken by the boy’s side and the burden of dowry is also the most greatest here.

    Once again, lip service to social change is extremely common. I have rarely found any guy from my group actually refusing to take dowry items. Some claim that it is not a burden on the girl’s family. Others claim family pressures. However, one way or the other, they end up receiving a decent chunk of money. Surprisingly, on many occassions, the girls’ families are also over eager to part with their hard earned incomes, simply to ensure their standing in the society they move in.

    Let’s all think about it and devise a solution for the lower-middle-class and below. How can we make sure that rishtas are done in a socially acceptable way where the girl and her family are not put through the grinder. Imagine a family of 2 or 3 sisters, where all of them are eligible for marriage, are average in all aspects of their lives and belong to a medium-income houshold. And yes, the girls don’t work outside the house. Let’s all find a solution for such a family to find good grooms for their daughters. I truly can’t think of any, other than the standard, “we’ll come look and let you know soon” visits. Recommend

  • peace

    the real picture it is
    why do all these women want a bahu under 25 years of age? whats wrong girls nearing 30 years or over 30 years for boys who are same age or older?Recommend

  • gp65

    @ABkhan: “So the blog shows, and its reality btw that its woman who rejects other women as her daughter in law or sister in law. But still men have to be blamed for it”

    It is not men per se who are blamed but the patriarchal system which leads to situations like this.Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    Well I am a Guy and I have been rejected by over 20 girls’s families. So the girls families are not as innocent as this article portrays them to be. The Larki Wale also have their minds on the 7th sky when it comes to choosing a son in law. I hate such complex filled larki walay!! Its really an insult for the guy to go to the girl’s house and be treated like a beggar. sigh :(Recommend

  • Raza

    What a waste of blog; ever so cliched; same old demonization of larkay ki amma eyes roll. How come I never read any of these unoriginal stories with the theme being the larki wala’s gold-digging ambitions and demands for larka’s obedience when the girl’s good?
    @ author, and theme aside, you need to work on your writing style; because you currently don’t have one! Recommend

  • kanwal

    I feel exasperated sometimes. Its partly the fault of girls and their families too. Not only do they repeat these mistakes over and over again when they themselves go lookimg girls for their brothers, but they should not do this degrading and humiliation of their gilrs too. In my family, my mother never ever let anyone come like this to see her girls, nether did she go to look for girls for her brother this way. The people who wanted to see us girls were invited to do a random visit at their own will and timing accompanied so ambiguously with some family friends or some relative of ours and just served the usual tea stuff or drinks and simple snacks we offered to everyone. They could nt talk to us about their purpose and you have to be paying attention to understand their scrutiny of you, partly bcoz you yourself are not paying any more attention to them than a casual guest. This kept our integrity intact and kept us sane and honorble. Marriae is just a milestone in life. Its not the end of the world and certainly should be treated as such. Today we thank our mother for being in cherished marriages and for being given chances to educate and stand on our feet too. So, for the mothers of all girls:be courageous and say no to rishta brigade.
    P.S. when will the boys, for whom the girls are being sought, are going to do somethimg abt it? I mean, if it was me at ur place guys, i would be disgusted to marry a girl who so much humiliated herself already. And i will be thoroughly ashamed of my mother and sistrs dping it. Recommend

  • http://www.salmanlatif.wordpress.com Salman Latif

    I think a hard and fast rule is unpractical for a social problem that plagues all quarters of our society. While, yes, the problem is most critical in the middle-class, it seeps beyond into lower class as well as upper class too. Idealism is not bad but giving it a social face and premising it purely on material factors is somewhat inhuman.
    The worst part is, it is unsustainable and often results in broken marriages, unhappy couples and what not. Parents in our society need to realize that their children must have equal say in their marriage choices. The young ones, on the other hand, need to prove that they are the educated lot of this nation and act accordingly – by shunning despicable customs such as dowry and what not.Recommend

  • gp65

    The issues in patriarchial society do not stop at the rishta stage. Lack of empowement and associated problems continues for a very long time.

    The solution is that the girls should be educated and economically independent. Then marriage would be a want rather than a need. If a girl is not desperate to marry, no one can treat her like a rag.
    I am not minimising the joy that happy marriage can give but being happily single is perhaps a better option than being unhappily married. If you are single and really want to experience motherhood, you could consider adopting a child from an orphanage. Your life and that of the child would be enriched. Recommend

  • Sterry

    @Maher: In my social social, Ihave never seen a family ask for a dowry – it isn’t part of Pakistani culture in KPK and I have not experienced it in Punjab either. I think this whole story is a bit of an exageration. The couple only meets after the exchange of pictures and I know my sisters simply said they didn’t want to meet the gut after they saw such ugly pictures of him. At no time did the girl serve the tea. It was the host family and not the girl who just sat and made small talk. Recommend

  • naila

    the boys family are in search for a bride for their son as they need a free slave to dance to their tunes, do their cooking, cleaning and in turn give their son HALAL CONJUGAL RIGHTS obviously to procreate aswell! However its not all doom and gloom its WAR now.

    if all they wanted was a maid for cooking and cleaning their son earns enough to support them with a cleaner. Recommend

  • naila

    From when i was kuwari and 16 onwards i had a lot of these so called boys family visit, it drove me insane my mother would go in to fight or fail mode everything had to be meticulous at home as my mum is a “perfectionist” you see. the deal breaker was living in the UK i wanted an introduction marriage not a family member, i didnt have a boyfriend either as i was a workaholic and thus it begins mum and dad would approach me the first was my cousins ex she left him for her university boyfried and aborted his child…he was from pakistan but not a professional so it was a flat NO. the second guy didnt come to our home as the proposal came from pakistan via an aunt from manchester ….my mum told them how i had made all the food (i cant cook and then on purpose refused to cook) so when i got my 15 min on the long distance call i told him i didnt want to marry him and thats that, they left saying i was a darkie which i dont care about they just wanted their nephew to come to “england”. by this time i’d turned down lots of good rishte as my mum tells me to her they were all good looking plus i was nearing 27 she thought id miss the marriage bus! ha ha. ininvited some friends to help me an english friend and asian friend the third guy arrived but it looked like his mum dressed him and in my brief chat i ascertained that was a correct assumption. my friends told him how i lived my live that was enough for him to say yes dirty man. weeks later i told my parents dont force it or else ill marry him and divorce him same day how will that look. a soni picture. Recommend

  • Syme

    And yet everyone is against Valentine day and women empowerment but they are willing for a painful scrutiny from “potential” suitors and matchmakers. Marriage websites are equally farce despite the fact medium is changed question remains the same.
    Secondly, when it comes to women every family plays a victim card but the same women do all the ignoble things which they despise for themselves. They will make swathed demand of dowry, genetic matching and financial assessments.
    Another problem is, if the girl is highly educated then it is difficult to find an equal match(?). Somehow, marriage is highly institutionalized to the point that it is often considered a life gambit. Which in real sense, it isn’t. Recommend

  • http://gujrat RAW is WAR

    excellantRecommend

  • Samar_Yz

    When I point out how awful all this rishta process feels, I’m told ‘Hamari society mein aisa hi hota hai’ It’s time we stop this jahalatRecommend

  • Zeenia

    There was a woman who called up my mom once, commented on how sad she was that my mom has so many daughters and then offered to show rishtas at the cost of around 30K per visit. And then she was like this is the norm. I dont know if it is the norm, but we found it to be just plain wrong.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/896/ayesha-pervez/ Ayesha Pervez

    Thank God Im married! : /Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/896/ayesha-pervez/ Ayesha Pervez

    Love Marriages For The Win! ;)Recommend

  • Munda Pakistani

    i agree with the writer. however, if the man – who is the main character in this episode – has the courage to take a stande, this will never happen. i had taken a stand of not taking a single thing as dowery even when i was living in a rented house, having a byke only. nothing was happened. every body in the family supported me later.

    so, we should not transfer our responsibility by just saying “women are the enemy of women”. its us who can make the change.Recommend

  • Khan

    @madiha:

    “And for u, they have to reject u many times because you are better den their sons and brothers, you have a better house and sound values, educated family and u grew with good circumstances as compare to them, they just cant tolerate you being superior to them.
    please have faith in urself, you are the best !!”

    If anything like that was written by a male, it would have been labeled as male supremacy or male dominated society. In reality we are part of a female dominated society, who loves to play the victim card all the times!!!!!!Recommend

  • Tarbooz

    @ Zeenia

    “There was a woman who called up my mom once, commented on how sad she was that my mom has so many daughters”

    I hope your mom gave her a good piece of her mind for saying that kind of crap!Recommend

  • very happy today :)

    Love Marriages are better :)Recommend

  • blue

    It’s plain sad how we all claim to be Muslims, yet we have not even the slightest idea how marriages should take place in Islam. This typical ‘drawing room session’ is a tradition created by some and blindly followed by us. We better start thinking about such things before doing them if we want to live happily :)
    There is simply no such thing as ‘Jahez’ in our religion, ‘larkay walay’ should have the courage to acknowlegde this fact and put a stop to it.Recommend

  • Larka wala

    its not larki wala or larka wala its THE TYPE OF PEOPLE WHO YOU ARE FACING. Lets also accept the fact that there r plenty of LARKI wala’s who are golden diggers and weird to the core !

    For the first time along with my parents i went to see a girl a week back (within our community). She was educated and i was completely taken even though my mother said she is not that of a beauty(to what she has be described by everyone) but she was happy that i like her and found her pyari. And maybe i was there to propose her. But her Father and Brother wont stop bragging about how wealthy they are and how big their business is. Did i really care how wealthy they are? NO !.

    The shyness, innocence and how she looked at me was a sign that she was interested too. But i feel sorry how things went down the hill. Though she must be thinking why i’m not sending my RISHTA on her but how do i tell her its all because of her self centered parents /brothers who failed to treat me right at first place. I have self respect and will not take anyones shit when I’m not of anything less.

    And regarding eating at their place, i ensured taking confectioneries from an upscale cakeshop as i don’t like taking anyones ehsaan and free loading.

    Good luck to them for their daughter with such a double standard mind set. They need to understand their business and their daughter are to separate things. And everyone out their is not their to marry their daughter for their so called “wealth.”Recommend

  • Madhia

    blah blah blah… u know wat my mom told me today ” why dont u use those fair and lovely sort of creams to make your complexion better becoz ppl always reject saying ur complexion is dark” and i swear i have a wheatish complexion, certainly not dark.. If someone else would have said it, i woudnot mind it for a second but since my mom said i really felt bad.. I love my mom and i know she is worried about my marriage but this is certainly no way of treating ur daughter, telling her that she look bad…So ok i will use that fair and lovely cream, wat will happen? i acan change my complexion for sometime just to get THE APPROVAL??? disappointed.. just VERY disappointed………from everything…Recommend

  • Ammar

    AOA,

    Do hate dowry

    We really need to change ourslves.
    Some time i feel our old uneducated ancesters were even better than us. I am very sorry to say that

    “our education beautifully failed to change us”.Recommend

  • Madhia

    And for those in the favor of love marriages, my dear for love marriages, the other person must agree to marry the girl as well.. And in our society, mostly people fallen in love but doesnot marry, simply because the boy was not sincere, or family clashes so yeah love marriages are not that easy after all.. even if u fall in love with some one, you cant guarentee other person will marry u or not, and in most cases people dont marry… They just flirt and marry the ones choosen by their familiesRecommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Madhia

    will you marry a guy with a slight disability or mis shape? I doubt it. Its a ruthless world out there. some people reject you because of complexion. You will reject someone because of mis shape, etc. ruthless world. I always ask the question. why must every guy and girl go through this painful rishta finding exercise?? Not everyone is meant to get married. Our society must change. There should be more acceptance of single men and women who never marry all their life. Recommend

  • Ameen

    This rishta process is really tough for girls. But it’s both ways. Guys don’t have an easy time. I have had my fair share of awkward questions. So I can understand what girls go through. As girls are judged on the basis of their looks, similarly guys are weighed on the basis of their salary, car and house. Every parent thinks there children deserve the best but they should understand that there is a limit to everything.Recommend

  • Stranger

    @H:
    In what way are they are all villians . Because a girl gets rejected a few times does not mean anything is wrong with her. If she feels so , its not anyone’s fault but hers alone. This article has been written out of a deep sense of insecurity and a feeling of inadequacy .Recommend

  • Stranger

    @naila sweetheart you look totally lost and depressed. unwind and loosen a bit . take it easy .Life is not that bitter.Recommend

  • waqas

    its very well written piece which depicts the true story of every almost every household in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Queen

    @Madhia:
    I agree with you 100%. Even in love marriages, guys seek girls with ‘style’ and good looks only. They don’t care whether the girl is caring or not, what her thoughts are about the world, etc. It seems that they just want someone cool to hang out with, someone to show them off to their friends. I have seen some stories where when a guy married a girl for her looks only, he felt stuck afterwards when he came to know that she does not want to respect his parents and all that. Guys need to understand that beauty is only skin deep. Its the thought that counts. Recommend

  • King

    @Queen:
    And what about Girls who even in love marriages seek a guy who is filthy rich or eventual will leave their boyfriends when a much wealthier/well established guy proposes her. Come out of fairy tails. Face the reality.Recommend

  • Baba Ji

    Why so late ? 30 !!! what happened when she was 20 ? larki walay kay nakhraay i.e he should be tall, white, solo, with good job and a car ….. the chances of being accepted for marriage are exponentially reduced due girl’s age in the third world …. naik kaam main dair nahin !!!Recommend

  • S

    Such social stigmas make me feel terrible about how our country works…… and it doesn’t change, it just keeps getting worse ……. In simple words, marriage concept in Pakistan revolves around parents selling their daughters to the best bidder…

    it is a sad thing that we march on the band wagon of religion and bashing someone if they do not pray, yet when a girl raises her voice against someone she doesn’t wanna marry or a guy doing the same, he is known to be ”disrespecting parents” …. Let me assure you one thing, both male and the female have equal right to reject anyone their parents introduce and the parents cannot forcefully marry anyone to anyone …

    I urge you all to do a simple Google search on Parents and Marriage in Islam (I am generalizing because of us majority Muslims) and educate the elders and people among you …

    I am a guy, I am a student not studying in Pakistan though….I can’t get married or engaged yet for that matter because apparently my parents say ”I am not marketable yet” (aka, don’t have a car, bangla, job) ….
    And then if I make a set of girlfriends and give in to my urges ”I am baghairat (shameless)” …The bashing never stops basically, either way helpless.. apparently believing in true commitment, and truly building from the bottoms up with your wife through thick and thin is a ”naive thought” ..tch tch …

    If only I could find families, girls, etc in our culture who’d understand this Point-of-view, people like wouldn’t have difficulty..and so many others wouldn’t either!Recommend

  • S

    @madiha:
    are you single :D?Recommend

  • S

    I pledge to the fact that if I manage to find a girl here with similar thought process and pattern in life, I’d definitely be very very interested….. imagine, as a guy as well, so hard to find a decent girl and family who are free from such absurd cultural constraints …Recommend

  • gp65

    @S: If you don’t wait until bangla gaadi and build from scratch – that is understandable. But no job? How would you support your wife? Or is it the dowry she brings you or are your parents now supposed to support 2 of you?

    You at least need a steady job before you can consider a marriage. If you are not old enough to have a job you are definitely not old enough to marry.

    Good luck though. Maybe you can find someone by yourself that shares your thoughts?Recommend

  • S

    @gp65:

    No that is not what I was intending to say, my point was that marriage is looked upon in a materialistic manner and it annoys me …… and I am strictly AGAINST dowry…

    Call me crazy, but I believe that if a woman knows how to appreciate and help me lift up during a time when i am nothing, then she sure as hell would know how to cherish when I am something …….. I am old enough to marry and soon just waiting to finish off my bachelors to start a job I already have, lol, so you understand right that I am not being a nutjob and demanding everything like as if I am a ”nawab” haha…

    If I did find someone who shared my thoughts, I wouldn’t be so helplessly expressing my frustration and trying to help people out as well!Recommend

  • Ikra

    Having my brother recently go through marriage, I can relate to the article.
    Even though I’m from the larkay waala side, I could feel the the awkwardness and the weirdness the girls felt on the two occasions i went to see the rishtas with my mom. I didn’t go after that. It made me sick to my stomach thinking i might go though the same ordeal.

    I’ve wondered since then, whats so respectful about arranged marriages? They’re supposed to keep the family’s “izzat” intact but what could be more disrespectful to the girl than having strangers come in and look at her like a product on sale?

    The lines that i got to hear after the rishta got finalized “Bus yeh hamari beti ho gae hai ajj say”, “Jee jee ab tu yeh apki hai”, “Betiyan tu parai hoti hain”, “Maa baap ki asal betiyan tu baho hoti hain” etc etc made me SICK. Can you make your daughters feel any more disgusting?
    I ask, again, where is the respect in that? How can parents feel PROUD that their daughters had an arranged marriage? Can we be any more disgusting?Recommend

  • Skype

    @S

    no wonder why your Parents arent yet ready to allow you to get married..they dont want to ruin any Girl’s life..:D

    ..Thurkees like you are found everywhere on Internet and in actual World! :DRecommend

  • gp65

    @S: I see. I think that should not be difficult to find. My brother was a 25 year old Ph. D. Student in US getting scholarship when he married my bhabhi. They obviously had a very frugal life for 18 months until he graduated and built everything from scratch. So if this is the type of thing you have in mind, it makes a lot of sense. I don’t think it is stupid at all.

    Have you tried any internet matrimonial sites instead of rishta aunties? You might be able to communicate directly with independent minded girls who feel the same way?Recommend

  • Yamna Hassan

    This needs to change now :( Recommend

  • Rakshinda

    and this is not all.. sometimes they call back to tell the girl’s parents that oh we went to see a lot of girls and we have selected 4, we liked them all.
    like what the hell.. are they out for window shopping or are they shortlisting candidates for a job interview. Crackpods!Recommend

  • S

    @gp65:
    Cheers mate! Glad someone could reckon with my points, appreciate the support and your words :)
    Let’s see..maybe a matrimonal site may help ..just maybe :)Recommend

  • Mehak Fatima

    @Rizwan: Its not at all exaggerated it does happenin educated families. So many girls have to go through this every day Recommend

  • kinza

    A little too dramatic, bordering on being unrealistic. But yea, nice effort. :)Recommend

  • areeb

    that’s a norm of this society,we criticize and we condemn this act but for our own brother, we will search a HOOR PARI but not Nazia .Recommend

  • Nwaq

    Being victim of this rishta parade for my sis I personally think mothers n sisters are real villain of piece.It is a high time men should stand up and give them shut up call and take care of these matters by them selves.I have noticed that when a boy chooses girl by himself his focus is on girl where as mother brigade is focused on full package.Recommend

  • Umair

    Toughest phase of a girl’s life is rishta hunting. Regardless of how average looking boy’s sister is but she loves to search for miss world. Recommend