Stories about marriage

Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 7 Is she my daughter?

When we returned home, Abbu jee was away on a business trip. It took several years for the three of us to be able to finally sit together as a family, even for meals. I had withdrawn inside myself. All the vivacity and all the questions were gone. Life had answered them all. I got into Northwestern after my senior year and graduated with honours from my high school. If Abba jee was proud, he didn’t say anything. The disappointment I had plated out to him had made all my other accomplishments unpalatable. Ammi jee was happy. She was attempting to move on and I took ...

Read Full Post

What is the older generation’s obsession with the word ‘compromise’ when it comes to marriage?

Marriage has too many complicated stereotypes attached to it. The more obvious ones include what the rishta aunties say all the time: “Apki beti khana pakati hai?” (“Does your daughter cook?”) “Apki beti lambi hai?” (“Is your daughter tall?”) “Apki beti ziyada umer mein bari tou nahi?” (“Your daughter isn’t too old, is she?”) “Apki beti zeyada tou parhi likhi nahi hai?” (“Your daughter isn’t ‘too educated’, is she?”) The aunties want their sons to be the ones who run the show — the girl shouldn’t be too smart, too educated. She has to be just the right amount of literate. Also, she should definitely know how to cook ...

Read Full Post

Medicating women’s feelings

Women are moody. By evolutionary design, we are hard-wired to be sensitive to our environments, empathic to our children’s needs and intuitive of our partners’ intentions. This is basic to our survival and that of our offspring. Some research suggests that women are often better at articulating their feelings than men because as the female brain develops, more capacity is reserved for language, memory, hearing and observing emotions in others. These are observations rooted in biology, not intended to mesh with any kind of pro- or anti-feminist ideology. But they do have social implications. Women’s emotionality is a sign of ...

Read Full Post

Why don’t men give women the rights guaranteed to them by religion?

Pakistani women are playing an active role in society and have attained success in fields that were considered to be ‘no go zones’ a few years ago. Although they are taking strides towards prosperity and financial independence, further efforts need to be made in order for them to gain their share of honour and dignity. Could you have imagined, a decade ago, that Pakistan would have scores of female fighter pilots in its Air Force? Could you have imagined a year that Pakistan’s soil would be emboldened with the memory of a female martyr, Flying Officer Marium Mukhtiar? Many of you are nodding your ...

Read Full Post

Not every frog you kiss will turn into a prince

Shaheena called her friend at 3am, crying bitterly; she was totally devastated. She told her friend that the boy she was in a relationship with for the last 15 months had gotten engaged to his cousin and was getting married. Shaheena had endured break-ups before in her life. Twice, with two different boys. This time, however, she was having a hard time coming to terms with the end of this particular relationship. She was stuck with all the memories of her relationship; the endless check-ins from their favourite eateries, the selfies, little gifts, late night chat history stored in her phone and the ...

Read Full Post

25 terms desis love to use

People of every country have their own slang, consisting of words they have either created or adopted. Here are some of ours:  1. ‘Denim ki jeans’: Well, what else would jeans be made of? Plastic? This would be as redundant as saying ‘gosht ka insaan’ or ‘lohay ki gari’. Yes, denim is the fabric used to make jeans. Thanks. 2. ‘Over smart’: Usually said on Facebook to someone perceived to be clever. Only in Pakistan is intelligence used as a slur. Imagine parents using this on their children, “Don’t try to be over smart. Stay within your limitations. You aren’t very intelligent after all.” 3. Dis/Dat/Dere: Even today, there are people who type ‘dis’ instead of ...

Read Full Post

Three lessons to learn from Imran and Reham’s marriage and divorce

I wasn’t in Pakistan when Imran Khan and Reham Khan tied the knot, but this ‘news’ was big enough to infiltrate every conversation in Boston as well. All of a sudden, every Pakistani seemed to have an opinion about their wedding. It was discussed on the streets, in classrooms, in workplaces and in drawing rooms. We lapped up the wedding event, we absorbed every public appearance, every word uttered by Reham Khan (whether personal or political), and we discussed the juicy remarks made by her former husband. And now, we will dissect their divorce.  Here are three lessons that I have learnt from Imran ...

Read Full Post

Busting the ‘late’ marriage myth: Why I didn’t marry early

We are well into the 21st century, hurtling towards a new era of science and technology, but Indian women still face a basic struggle. As soon as they step into their mid-20s, Indian women have to deal with the pressure of getting married to a ‘suitable’ man. There are many things wrong with that thought. First, it assumes that every woman is sexually interested in men. Second, it assumes that every woman wants to get married. The pressure on men to be ‘suitable’ is another story. Troubles for women don’t end with ‘choosing’ the right sexuality, or the conventional desire to get married and have children, ...

Read Full Post

Their maddening, disappointed passion and the silent love

“It is neither a story of hatred, nor of love; it is not even a fatalistic story. It is a story of sheer indifference towards oneself and those loved, one that eats away a human soul slowly, bit by bit but persistently. It is a story of spiritual paralysis caused by maddening disappointed passion.” Nadia was standing by the window of her office, which offered a spectacular view of the main boulevard, with an air of untroubled poise which was reflected in her quiet dark brown eyes outlined with a dash of kohl. Her frozen, soft face complimented the stillness of her ...

Read Full Post

From Scotland to Pakistan, my journey to solitude

An epiphany results in one deciding their goals in life. It dictates your thought-process in a way that it becomes your aim in life to achieve it. Hence, I had my epiphany while I watching a drama being shot in Scotland. We all go through the phase where we believe certain actions might be the solutions to our problems. My aim in life was to live in the beautiful territory known as Scotland. The country brings with it allure and beauty in terms of nature, the magic of the landscape weaves into the minds of all the people who’ve visited this ...

Read Full Post