Stories about marriage

Series 5 Finding salvation Part 1 ‘Love allergy’

The old rickshaw came to a skidding halt in front of the station. He poked his head out and looked at the busy station in distress. Saleem hated noisy places. Paying the driver in change, he got off. He threw his backpack on his shoulder and hesitantly waded through the crowd squinting for the ticket booth. “This has to be oldest train station in this province!” He thought irritably wrinkling his nose at the touch and smell of other human beings. The stench was unbearably strong. What to say of the germs this crowd must be carrying around. After struggling for ...

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Dear Mom, I love you, but please stop forcing marriage on me

Dear Mom, You are an inspirational woman and someday I wish I could even be a fraction of who you are. But there’s one thing I don’t want to adopt from you and that is your approach towards marriage. I know you and your sisters got married in your teens because that was the correct thing to do back then and still is for most people. But you brought me up different, you made me believe education is something I should value and you encouraged me to be more confident and outspoken. I grew up with you constantly saying, “If you receive a ‘good’ proposal, ...

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The dreaded moment: My first Eid with the in-laws!

Nothing manages to get us desis as excited (read overenthusiastic, obsessive, neurotic etc.) as Eid. It’s like Christmas, New Years, July 4th, Memorial Day and Labour Day all rolled into one shiny, glittery package. For those of us dreading the cheesy greetings, air kisses and chai making rituals which are part and parcel of practically any get-together in Pakistan, I assure you that the horror show continues and in fact becomes worse, as the first Eid after marriage looms ahead. Personally, I have a handy checklist of things that I need to do on Eid - Go out on chaand raat with friends (check) - Sleep in late as ...

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Why triple talaq needs to be abolished

Following petitions by Muslim women in the Supreme Court, there has been an on-going debate about triple talaq (divorce) and the need for its abolition. The dominant views on the issue are either by the likes of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board or the Muslim women themselves. It signifies two extreme positions; continuation of status quo versus voices for reform and gender justice. This article is an attempt to put forward our position based on the lived realities of women as a Muslim womens’ organisation that strives for justice and equality. Triple talaq should be abolished because it is un-Quranic; goes against the spirit of the ...

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Afreen Rehman case: Equality for Indian Muslim women is impossible without a Uniform Civil Code

The bizarre and unfortunate situation of Afreen Rehman, a modern, Indian Muslim woman, once again demonstrates that one of the most pressing reforms required in Indian society, namely the de jure and de facto equality of the Indian Muslim female vis-à-vis the Muslim male, can only happen via a Uniform Civil Code. The Indian State has always lacked the gumption to challenge Muslim patriarchy within the country. The subordination of the Muslim female is further reinforced by secularists, Marxists and their politics. Along with the Congress Party, they are equally complicit in this with their own double standards and vote bank politics. Occasionally, such subaltern women ...

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The rusty water

In the utmost silence of the dark room, he pulled the journal out from the drawer trying not to make a sound. The dust on the jacket of the cover forced him to scrunch up his nose as he withheld a sneeze. After recovering, he sat on his bedside with the journal in his lap. Under the dim moonlight beaming through the window, he began reading. June 9, 1946 Dear Diary, I think we will finally be able to stay permanently in Khushkot. Our dear uncle came last night with some official papers and Abbu had signed them. This is great news! ...

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Am I immoral because I’m attracted to my husband?

During a conversation with a female friend, she let me in on a strange secret. She said, “Once, my husband doubted my morality,” I remained silent, mostly out of curiosity. She continued and said, “It happened when I tried to get intimate with him; not with a stranger but with him, my own husband.” “What exactly do you mean?” I asked bewildered. “He hadn’t come home from work and I was missing him. Aroused, I approached him, thinking he’d appreciate that. In return he gave me a stern look and said, what is wrong with you? Why are you behaving so immorally?” This was expressed with ...

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The Good Pakistani Wife II: Should she have kept silent?

Ali had cursed Amina on their final night together…   It happened after a few agonising days, when she mustered the courage to confront him. Ali played with his phone on an oversized leather sofa they bought together, little pillows carelessly scattered on it.  “Ali, I know you’ve been seeing someone else. And, I know you’ve never really loved me. I don’t think you even like who I am…” “You’re imagining things. I am giving you everything you need as a husband, isn’t this love? Be grateful”. There was no guilt. Was she really ungrateful? She bit off the dry skin on her fingers ...

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How to break a girl in 10 steps

Follow these 10 steps and watch a girl shrivel in front of your eyes until she becomes a walking womb that also makes your meals. 1) Make her realise she is a burden from the moment she is born. Sigh loudly when births of girls are announced. When they are a little older, let them see how you celebrate when boys are born and how the grandmother’s face contorts if the family is burdened with another baby girl instead. Make it absolutely clear that they are no cause for celebration. 2) Be very blatant in your favouring of boys over girls. Ask ...

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Are Pakistan’s “still unmarried” women the leftovers?

The best ones get taken first. The ones that are second choice get taken next. Those who are still not taken are considered ‘left overs’ – something must be lacking. No we are not talking about the kurtas on sale at a pret store, nor the shoes on the rack of an international shoe store. We are talking about women. Talented, smart, intelligent Pakistani women, each uniquely beautiful, irrespective of whether she is poised to be a home maker or a working woman. It is shameful that this is how society perceives them if they are still unmarried. Being engaged or ‘in a relationship’ ...

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