Stories about relationships

Why marriage is not for everyone

There are more routes to happiness than those identified by the social majority. It is time we acknowledge that not all of these routes transit through the terminal of marriage. Any discussion on whether a certain custom is right for you, must begin with an honest recognition of your primary goal. The goal is your happiness and prosperity, and nothing that any parent, uncle, aunty, friend has to say about it has any agency over your own awareness of what brings you contentment. Their counsel may be wise and worthy, but they have the disadvantage of not knowing you the way you might ...

Read Full Post

Has Prime Minister Malala Yousafzai done what her predecessor Nawaz Sharif could not?

It is said that in darkness, there’s light, and in every challenge, an opportunity. And who knows it better than us who once made the headline as “Pakistan: The Most Dangerous?” in a provocative cover story of Newsweek a decade ago. The same news magazine has now called Pakistan “A Country with Hope and a Future” in its recent issue citing that the country has much to offer as a potential model for Islamic renaissance and praised the leadership of its newly elected Prime Minister, Malala Yousafzai, who, according to its editorial “has been repairing the sinking ship with correct tools”. From bullets ...

Read Full Post

Light lunchboxes

His daughter knocked on his door; only once. It was time for work and her school. He got up, stretching here and there, listening as individual muscles came out of slumber. After he was ready, he headed to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Each item appeared to be dripping. The electricity had been out throughout the night. He reached for the night’s leftovers and packed their lunch, first for her, and then for himself. She came to the kitchen shortly after. She was well-aware of her father’s strategies and how she ended up getting more of the leftovers. However she used to silently weigh ...

Read Full Post

We lack the wisdom to raise our sons the way we raise our daughters

Before our son Kareem was born, my wife Priya, my daughter Madina and I were on a flight and we ended up sitting next to a woman who was expecting her first child. I sat in the middle seat between Priya and the expecting woman while the two of them discussed things only an expecting mother could discuss with another mother. At one point we asked if she knew the gender of her baby and she said, “A boy thankfully. I am so relieved.” As she went on to explain why she’s relieved, she said having a girl would be a lot more ...

Read Full Post

What if our valentine doesn’t buy us flowers for Valentine’s Day?

Many of my friends have been complaining that I am writing on way too serious issues and should take the ice bucket challenge (in my head). Since Valentine’s Day is close and all, why not? Before I begin, I do wish to offer a pre-emptive apology (similar to the kind America offered Saddam’s Iraq – no bombs here though) to all the female readers of this blog. The views contained herein may present only a limited set of emotions, for which I apologise. I am a man after all and was born with a limited set of emotions. Expecting more ...

Read Full Post

Sex and the Saudi

One winter day a few years ago, I met a girl I really liked. I saw her at a park in Qatif. We were looking at each other, so I went up to her and said, ‘‘Hi, you look beautiful.’’ She thanked me, and I handed her a piece of paper with my number on it. ‘‘We should talk more,’’ I told her. ‘‘I’m interested in you.’’ Then I left immediately. We started talking on the phone for hours every day. Her name was Samar. She was 18, pretty and slender, with long black hair and light brown skin. About a week later, when ...

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

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

Will legalising homosexuality encourage incest?

(Authors note: Before forming judgment, I urge readers to read this article to the end.) After the United States Supreme Court legalised homosexual marriage across America, those in favour of equal LGBT rights showed their support across the world. Here in Pakistan, Facebook users had their profile pictures covered with a rainbow filter to show solidarity with the ruling. This upset many Pakistanis who are against homosexuality, including actor/intellectual Hamza Ali Abbasi, who feared mankind was now rolling down a slippery slope and that the backdoor to sexual deviations had been opened. For this article, I accepted questions from Pakistani Facebook users ...

Read Full Post

“Love the way you lie” – The recipe of truth and deception

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air. But think again; is this day really about celebrating love and truth? In relationships, honesty and truth matters less than we think. Relationships do not work if we are brutally honest; they only last if we use a secret ingredient called ‘healthy white lies’ – if used correctly and in appropriate amounts. Relationships are about deceit – tons and tons of deceit Every once in a while we need to disguise our feelings. We smile while actually screaming in our head and we tell lies all the time, particularly when it comes ...

Read Full Post