Stories about marriage

The rishta ordeal: “Quick, name all of the different kinds of pulao that exist today.”

When he first sauntered into the room, his family in tow, I was spellbound. He had these beautiful eyes, the colour of milk chocolate, and a smile that could illuminate an entire block. He had just the right height, and by the way he acknowledged my mother, I could tell that he was quite a gentleman. Instantly, I was certain that this was it, that after many exasperating months of encountering families and their obnoxious sons, I had finally met “the one”. And then he went and ruined it: He opened his mouth. He could have said anything, really. He could have said that my ...

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Shades of envy: He was jealous of his wife’s success…

“Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savour, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances can be life threatening.” – Maya Angelou I am jealous of my wife, why? I ask this of myself ever so often but am left without a satisfactory answer. She is a pretty woman but I am pleasant looking too. She is educated but I am academically accomplished too. She is well-liked but I am socially popular too. She is professionally successful but I am good at my job too. Then why is it that I am ...

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Giving life to the Frankenstein within us

Frankenstein “Contrary to popular misconception, karma has nothing to do with punishment and reward. It exists as part of our holographic universe’s binary or dualistic operating system only to teach us responsibility for our creations and all things we experience are our creations.” – Sol Luckman She sat there thinking what she had done wrong. Her husband used to be a wonderful man, or was it that she only thought he was wonderful because she kept getting her way? She kept encouraging her own bad habits and his bad habits because it was easy, at the expense of others, for instant gratification, ...

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Majnu loves Layla, but Ammi doesn’t

Layla and Majnu “Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” – Bussy-Rabutin He tried really hard to convince his parents, as did She, but sometimes love just isn’t enough. He was Shia, She was Sunni, and the parents on one side were unreasonable. The wedding between them never happened. I saw them suffer silently and loudly, but sadly nothing came of it. They eventually got married to other people, He to a Shia girl 13 years younger than him and She to a rather pleasant professor, and they lived a reasonable albeit unhappy life. ...

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The bench

My crutches sank deep into the muddy grass, the result of a downpour last night. Without tumbling face first into the mud, I yanked them out— it must have rained until morning because the puddles in the garden could still be seen as the day’s sun was about to set. I managed to make my way to the rocky path. The ashen coloured trail of pebbles led me to a bench overlooking a mesmerising pond. I trotted along the trail down to the bench and sat there with a great sigh. I pulled the magazine out from under my arm and set ...

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12 and married

The small private clinic was echoing with mixed voices – those of ear-piercing shrills and loud excitement. Waiting to see my doctor, I realised the commotion in the maternity section with nurses rushing through a storm of women – aunts and grandmothers waiting on news of a baby child. Passing it on as regular routine at the clinic, I was alarmed when the doctor came out scolding the elderly woman in the group who was wailing, claiming the doctor did not do enough to save the child. The doctor told the waiting family, “The poor girl would have died in labour. She was ...

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Rishta aunties and the girls who submit

“You’ve completed your O and A’ Levels. You got amazing grades and A’ Level is a great accomplishment. It’s time you get married now,” said my mother, on several occasions. When asked anxiously, “But what about my admission into IBA?” She would calmly reply, “Yes, yes. You’ve proved your mettle. Everyone knows you’re smart and clever. That’s why there are so many proposals.” Yes, that time was here. I was being badgered into getting married. The sad part about being educated is that you can tell when a person is annoyingly dim-witted. On the one hand, the aunties gushed about my intelligence, which according to my mother ...

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Forced conversions in Pakistan: “Eeshwar kaun hai, Allah bol Allah!”

Scuffles and screams rang through the dark night. They were three and they were burly. They had her in a firm grip with her mouth gagged with a rough cloth. It was probably 11 or 12 o’clock at night. Not very late for a summer night but half the village had no electricity, so people turned in early. Her screams could have woken up the neighbours, if they had any. Theirs was a mud hut in a lone corner of the basti. She desperately tried to make as much noise as possible but it was of no use. The men had ...

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My secret admirer

The doorbell rang. It was 2pm and I was preparing food for lunch. It was almost time for my 15-year-old son, Omar, to come back from school. Wiping away sweat from my forehead with my left sleeve, I rushed towards the entrance. But there was nobody there; just a small package tied with a red ribbon-flower. I was shocked for a second. It wasn’t any special occasion that I could recall neither was it anyone’s birthday at home or any sort of anniversary. I picked it up. It had my name written on it but the box had no name of ...

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50 shades of a red lehnga

It came as no surprise. It had to happen. Years of pent up anticipation and apprehension had gradually built up momentum and all of it led to this – a nerve wracking walk, downstairs. With adrenaline rush turning my ears into an alien shade of crimson and my heart skipping a beat, rolling in my stomach and jumping to touch my parched palate, I carried my wobbling feet into our drawing room. Crap, that darned rebellious carpet always defying to be straightened out; I tripped but quickly steadied myself before I could fall flat on my face. My mother led a slow ...

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