Do you have the ‘Naik Perveen Syndrome’?

Published: April 14, 2014
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My list of friends on Facebook has increased quite dramatically since I got married. I am ‘added as a friend’ on a constant basis by most of the married women I have ever interacted with in my ‘youth’ or pre-marital days. But sadly or gladly, this drama isn’t one with a happy ending.

It is sweet of them to count me in as a new member of the ‘married club’; all of them believe to be a part of the ‘my-married-life-fan-club’.

My timeline has also dramatically shifted from ‘political’ posts to random quotes shared by the ‘Islamic Wife Club’, ‘I Love My Husband’, ‘Best Honeymoon Ever’ and the like. I have to admit that my new friends did seem interesting in the beginning as the stalker side of my personality enjoyed scrolling down the wedding pictures of these ‘hubby-loving’ damsels. It was amusing to see their display pictures being updated on a weekly basis as their yellow gota-covered dupattas and henna-dyed hands made way for ruby red ghararas (bridal dress) and maatha pattis (bridal head adornments).

But as time passed, the pictures, posts and statuses began to appear stale and overdone. The ‘happy pages’ made it seem like these newly wedded wives only found happiness in washing their beloved hubby’s socks and cooking his meals. It’s as if they could not be publically acknowledged to be ‘happily married’ otherwise. Their habit of sharing silly jokes quoting their dumb miyan (husbands) every now and then made my eyes water – sometimes with joy but more often in anguish.

So, today I finally decided not to keep my mouth shut.

Here I stand at my dressing table (imagining it to be a rostrum) to bring to you how miserably many of these women ‘honoured’ to be married actually suffer from a ghastly disease which I call the ‘Delusional Wife Syndrome’.

For better understanding, I have divided the symptoms of this god-forsaken illness into categories or clusters:

1. Cluster A: The social media sati savitri

You know that a newly wedded wife belongs to this category if you see any of the following symptoms:

a. Immediate change of marital status from ‘single’ to ‘married’. If it were up to her, she’d start a petition to get an official ‘Happily married: OMG Best Hubby Evah’ status.

b. Instant name change. She takes on the husband’s name even before her khala had the chance to give her the rib-breaking congratulatory hug.

c. Changing the cover photo on Facebook. Have you seen a bride’s mehndi-laden hands ‘oh-so-seductively’ touching hairy hands… wait, it gets better (or worse) … with a sunset in the middle?

You have? Definite delusional wife syndrome.

d. Self-obsessed selfies. I sometimes have to scroll down really fast to avoid looking at these awkward and unawkward selfies of these newly wedded wives who tag ‘hubby dear’ in each one.

e. The ‘mashallah’ profile picture. As if the wife’s caption of ‘mashallah’ was not unoriginal enough, everyone who comments says the same too. Are people at a loss for adjectives?

f. Sharing/liking and posting sickly sweet groups and images. You know what I mean – groups like ‘I love my husband’, ‘Happy housewives’ and so forth, and images with captions such as ‘Like if you love your husband’. As if this will increase the amount of oestrogen you dedicate to his armpit hair.

g. Regular check-ins. At the beach, the hotel, the bedroom and the midnight birthday surprise with a heart-shaped cupcake. I mean, do these people pay as much attention to their surroundings as they do to their check-ins?

2. Cluster B: The judge

And then, there are some wives who will judge you for everything. Everything that goes wrong in your marriage is your fault; the husband is never to blame. If he does something bad, you asked for it. It’s as simple as that. Some symptoms of this cluster include:

a. She judges anyone who doesn’t have the picture perfect marriage that she thinks she has, no matter how delusional it may be.

b. She thinks any wife who shares her marital problems has something wrong with her and that the said wife needs to work harder to sustain her marriage. The husband is obviously perfect.

c. She thinks any wife who talks about how her husband is cheating on her has done something to force him to do so and hence, must act immediately to correct the situation. Every single divorce in the world happened because of the wife’s inability to compromise. This lack of compromise could be over something as trivial as the salt content in an aloo ka paratha.

3. Cluster C: The rationaliser

Wives in this cluster are perhaps, the most nauseatingly annoying ones. Some of their symptoms include:

a. The husband is always right… always. After all, he is the mijazi khuda. If he sulks in front of the wife’s family, she will invariably berate her own mom and ask her to be nicer to him next time.

b. When he comes home, she will drop everything and fetch him piping hot tea (even if she has just entered the house herself after a hard day’s work).

d. She finds her husband to be the funniest man in the world above and below the ground. How many times have you heard the exaggerated,

“Pata hai, itney mazayyyyy ki baatain karte hain!”

(You know… he is soooooo funny!)

f. She can even break up with her best friend only because she seemed jealous of her seemingly happy life.

4. Cluster C: The Maasi à la wife

a. She forgets her first name and even gets herself registered in the cooking class as Mrs Miyan (Mrs Husband).

b. When he goes to work, she spends twenty minutes pining over the pajamas he’s left on the floor.

c. When he says he has a headache, she immediately forgets she’s been working like a dog all day and starts massaging his stubby feet.

d. When he criticises the food she painstakingly cooked, she chastises and reminds herself that he only wants the best for her.

After you have identified the cluster you fall in, do check the risk factors. Aah… not interested? Why am I not surprised? Singing Om Shanti Om while swaying in his arms in the woods might seem like a fruitier option than gobbling these horrific risks down. But do you have another option?

No!

Although it is true that this world needs more laughter than sorrows but are you willing to be the source of that laughter by being the laughing stock in your group of friends?

I know what your next argument will be. Firstly, you don’t care what other people think (contrary to your regularly updated Facebook statuses) secondly, you are happy to be a ‘role model’ for those who are not so accomplished at being the ‘perfect wives’. And thirdly, you’d rather have people laugh at your antics and gain some happiness in this sad world since you know what you’re doing is right.

But I would urge you to think otherwise. Your symptoms provide a good laugh to the one who do not have the ‘Best Hubbies Evah’ and while scolding every beautiful damsel who doesn’t dust her husband’s palace ‘properly’ may give you a sense of pride, it will all blow up in your face one day (as all bubbles do).

I write this only as your friend and advisor. Kindly take heed or else, don’t mind pages like ‘Naik Parveen Syndrome’ posting your wedding photos on Facebook, giving all the ‘sad’ members of humanity a good reason to laugh!

Saadia Ahmed

Saadia Ahmed

An architect by qualification and a jack of all trades by practice. Saadia is based in Dubai and holds no obvious interest in space travel. She tweets as @khwamkhwah (twitter.com/khwamkhwah)

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

  • Javeria

    Such a time waste blog…Recommend

  • Malik Abdul Rehman

    ewww! those images are disgusting, overtime “anti-marriage” people have been told not to bother but still for an unknown reason they doRecommend

  • MHZ

    What. No feminists?Recommend

  • http://insidedisillusion.wordpress.com Mahwash Badar

    Brilliant!! Love it. :)Recommend

  • Pakistani Odyssey

    oh boy, that was painful to read.Recommend

  • Juveria

    Very well written…readers must appreciate writers rather than discouraging themRecommend

  • Usama.

    Was this supposed to be funny? Duh -_-Recommend

  • Anon gong

    Nice thought. But I was expecting more. The psyche needed to be explored behind this kind of behavior.
    Recommend

  • Shariq

    first world problemsRecommend

  • Hafsa J

    i am a big fan of the above mentioned page but i think sometimes it over criticises naik parveens, anyways a good blog!Recommend

  • Happy Singh

    very nicely written …Recommend

  • Human

    worst articleRecommend

  • Gappi

    Boooooring!!Recommend

  • Lourdess Eir

    I agree with this. A bit more detail was needed.Recommend

  • -SHAGY-

    the article was fine till you started categorizing and explaining the types…Only ridiculing would have been enough :-)….as honestly you haven’t been able to justify the naik perveens (why was this the title anyways?).

    In a nutshell the reason women act that way in Pakistan is because that is how they were brought up; believing that their ultimate goal is “Mian ki khidmet kerna” so Mian is always right and Mian is “majazi Khudda” so thats pretty much it!Recommend

  • Sara

    If a wife is living a happy life doing all the things mentioned above, if she’s content with working for her husband and acting a perfect housewife, why should that bug anyone else? It’s HER Facebook profile, she can share whatever the heck she likes. Delete such people, if you find them so incredibly annoying. And everyone’s marriage is their own personal affair. If the wife is fine with washing her husband’s laundry, it honestly shouldn’t bug a third party. Do whatever you like in your own marriage, let others do their thing. Such articles are so cliched. -_- Feminism has gotten to a point where it has actually started to seem a tad irritating. Who are you to dictate what the wife ought to do? :/ It’s her business, and it might VARY from yours, but that doesn’t make it less important. Some women don’t wish to earn. They like to stay in and do their chores. It doesn’t make them any less significant or less precious for their families than those women who go out and pursue careers. Stop commenting on how a wife should behave in her marriage, because it’s not something you – an outsider – need to be worried about.Recommend

  • Mirror

    A. This topic has been covered in better ways on other blogs.
    B. In an attempt to sound tongue-in-cheek and spunky, you only come off as a woman who confuses compassion and kindness with weakness. (Obviously, that is probably not true, but generally this is what incredibly judgmental people seem to have in common).
    C. I find that kind of status updates annoying too, plus posts about kids, or mundane haandi recipes, or laments about lost love, or people who pride themselves on substandard ‘Dear Diary’ type blog posts and call it ‘writing’, but realize that is only because I cannot relate to it, not that others necessarily have a disease.

    Recommend

  • jsana

    So what cluster do you belong to? And FYI your article implies that neither do you spend time in cooking for your husband, nor do you attend to his stressful times, it also implies that any woman who expresses her joy to be ‘happy’ or ”lucky’ to be with her husband means they are doing no good to the world and those are worthless expressions. On the contrary, if you dislike their posts why have you still kept them friends? why the hypocrisy? if you have the nerve to publicly humiliate their true feelings of joy or contentment just because you don’t agree with their reasons to share, then you must also have the guts to delete them from your friends list as well. The point is, I feel sorry for those women who welcomed you to their ‘trust zone’, which you completely ridiculed at as low a level as one can hit. My suggestion: please do yourself a favor and delete them so that you can live a happy, complex free life and find the peace you lost somewhere while peeking into other people’s lives just to judge them because your own wasn’t as rosy…Recommend

  • Sk

    This blog gave me cancer!Recommend

  • Afia

    Mean but the writer cleverly addresses the issues with the women which they don’t even realize exists. Yes very few amongst us realize that we are ridiculed in the name of watever norms. I don’t believe it when I see women just behaving like a doormat to their Majazi Khudas. No self respect! More details could have been given to highlight the actual issue behind this ‘sorry state of mind’. Recommend

  • Usman Sadiq

    I hate how our society expects ppl to live how they want to live as well. But I give in most of the time, cuz meh.Recommend

  • yusra

    i wasted my time reading this … come on its one sided yarRecommend

  • Zara

    AWESOME EXPRESSION!!Recommend

  • Emran

    I dont know how people are so obsessed about showing the wrong side of the stories. I am sure the writer is a big fan of “laws of modern women” fb page. For people marriage has now become a hot piece of criticism, we all agree differences arise because everyone has their priorities but there is something called understanding and compromise on both sides.Recommend

  • mano

    Marriage is the only relationship that exists only on the basis of love. People are free to show their love :). I don’t like the married guys whose FB profiles don’t have any mention of their wives or family. Girls being submissive to their husbands and in-laws is another story.Recommend

  • Inam

    You have spoken my heart out and responded very well. ThanksRecommend

  • rafia noor

    asian men need perfect katrinas with perfect maasi sakina wife attitude, and yes it is the very same thing that is happening in our society as women HAPPILY comply to such behaviors expected from their majazi khudas or else they have to face another dreaded situation of staying unmarried for being a TOO PROFESSIONAL AND STUBBORN AURAT . BICHARI KI SHADI NAHI HUI, such is a behavior of men in asian cultures mostly or eastern cultures. CHIT BHI MARDOn KI PAT BHI MARDON KI here i wil say MEN THINK THEY ARE ALWAYS RIGHT AND GET ALWAYS WHAT THEY WANT IN MOST CASES ( exceptions are always there)Recommend

  • TJ

    loved reading it :)Recommend

  • Parvez

    Since I just could not fathom what you were on about……..I jumped to the bottom and read the blurb alongside your name which said : based in Lahore and holds no obvious interest in space travel………and I found that funny .Recommend

  • Ahmed

    so all this was to promote a facebook page ?
    the blog is completely illogical and boring.Recommend

  • Fauziah Mahmood Ahmed Siddiqui

    To all those super intelligent people who are saying “just don’t like the page, block or un friend” , shows you have no concept of how journalism works. It is simply an attention to the fact that if anyone thinks by making an online profile or sharing posts from pages like “i love my husband” is going to prove to the world that you are enjoying marital bliss. Then thats not the case. If you have so much time as to express your love on facebook via idiotic expressions of love, Then may be you dont have any time to experience it in real life. Also its not that easy to unfriend a friend, let alone block them because tell me?, you like many bad habits of many of your friends and family? do u delete them? no you dont. you go to the weddings, tea parties and committee parties of all such aunties , friends , family because you cant just block them. and to such people unfriending them on facebook might lead to them considering it a big offense. Also why do u post things on your facebook? because you want your friends to know whats going on in your life? you dont post a cheesy message to your hubby and set the privacy to “only me” do you? so what this article is saying that many of your so called friends on facebook might not say it to your face, but all of them dont think you are very happy by the posts you shareRecommend

  • gp65

    Ummm…Sati Savitri was hardly the saccharine sweet, soppy woman that you think she was. She was a confident woman who married the man of her choice – even though she was a princess and he a wood cutter despite the prediction that her husband would die within a year. She was spunky and quick enough to outwit the God of death and won a long life for her husband.Recommend

  • afnan gul

    well saidRecommend

  • Javeria Jalal

    I thought it was pretty good :)Recommend

  • Waleed

    Bibi you are spending too much time on FB! This is your second blog on how and what people do on FB! Recommend

  • Shahroz Punjwani

    Was expecting more from the blog but It includes very obvious and cliche things…I have no right to criticize the blogger but I dun’t know if she is married or from where all these thoughts are coming from…

    I think that there is no need to belittle the women on this issue…instead what you should try to understand here is that instigating the wives of Pakistan against there husbands will not work here… I think instead of a Ghandi like movement of non-cooperation which the blogger might like to provoke, the importance of mutual understanding, care and mutual decision making must be emphasized… that will be more good and less revolutionary :p next time write a blog on how women can work with their husbands to develop a relation of mutual consent and take responsibility and ownership to share in decision making :))Recommend

  • Walia

    so true. love all the obeservations…I have a feeling a lot of your facebook ‘friends’ will not unfriend you.Recommend

  • baig

    Wow! i don’t know why you wrote this. why being good house wife is a source of being delusional for some part of the society. why they are being label as good for nothing. also wives always talk about their huqooq. where is the poor husband’s article about their huqooq? :). well believe or not i have seen in some instances that the house wife refuses to cook :). do the husband ought to cook for himself if he can’t afford a cook.It’s about 10,000 rs money every month plus 10,000 for other maasis . ‘woh kaha apna gham roee’ :) . In some instances the wife doesn’t even try to improve her cooking in this age of media.

    i really don’t think so culture wise or anything naturally it is the husband’s job to ask the wife if she is hungry. as it is not the wife job to go and earn a living for the family. how can a man said this ‘ begum aap ka saar dabado’. :). but having said that at the end of the day offcourse the wife should never be treated as a maasi. she deserves utmost importance by the husband.Recommend

  • Ghostrider

    Satire is certainly not your forte, lady.Recommend

  • hafsa

    written with a biased ming.massaging ur hubby s foot cooking for him n doing his laundry is a women s job.u keep him happy n he keeps u happy in return.she should hav instead written about men mistreating their wives wich they shud nt.Recommend

  • sara

    The article was not that bad, until you mentioneed “naik parveen syndrome” , I used to like the page a lot , but it stepped down from ethics and started making fun of Islamic teachings based on marriage , just want to say out there these women are annoying but right now the author seems the most judgemental and vague person…Recommend

  • XiPHeR100

    Dear Ms. Writer, please stick unto Architecture. I like how you design compositions but the matter makes no sense. Anyway, Better luck next time.Recommend

  • SQ

    So biased.
    The problem with people here in our society is that anyone with an ability to play with words think they can broadcast whatever they want.
    And this worst part is that they would find some maniac audience.Recommend

  • Amna Imran Shah

    really nice.. i don’t though understand why people comment about you judging other people when actually they are doing the same here :) and also a lot of them have not understand the fact you are trying to highlight. There’s a difference in doing and showing. No one says DONT do it… its just that… its not necessary to show it on facebook and other social places. and not because other people feel jealous… its because all they will do seeing such things is laugh or feel pity or judge you whatsoever… everyone has personal opinion (including the writer) i always assume that people post their best things on facebook, best memories, best pictures, best of quotes. if all i see is pics with husband and some lame ass fake hadith shared… then i certainly have nothing in common with you and i can’t delete you because you are my chachi’s sister niece’s friend aunt… and deleting you will stir a cold family problem.. !!!Recommend

  • Aly Sher Khan

    Why is it that women feel the urge to “man-bash” under the banner of feminism?! This article started off with annoying habits of married women but ended up with a serious undertone of women being selfishly treated by men!Recommend

  • Aly Sher Khan

    Why is it that women feel the urge to “man-bash” under the banner of feminism?! This article started off with annoying habits of married women but ended up with a serious undertone of women being selfishly treated by men!Recommend

  • Mash

    exactly …. why is everyone so judging all of a sudden!Recommend

  • Saad

    You talk about the judgmental type, but aren’t you also judging all these women?Recommend

  • Saad

    You talk about the judgmental type, but aren’t you also judging all these women?Recommend

  • Man

    LOL funny, brilliantly written. But I dont think all the pictures are true anymore. Well may be for couple of months. What I have experienced and seen around me Pakistani women are more susraal savvy now.

    But star plus dramas have changed Pakistani women, now they think that their saas is against her regardless and in turn saas thinks my new bahu will snatch my son away from me, which is cause many issues.Recommend

  • Man

    LOL funny, brilliantly written. But I dont think all the pictures are true anymore. Well may be for couple of months. What I have experienced and seen around me Pakistani women are more susraal savvy now.

    But star plus dramas have changed Pakistani women, now they think that their saas is against her regardless and in turn saas thinks my new bahu will snatch my son away from me, which is cause many issues.Recommend

  • SamarYz

    Uh oh…All the Naik Perweens are upset now :/Recommend

  • Naila

    OMG I follow you on twitter! Just saying :)Recommend

  • Sanwal Karim

    Being judge, writing structure is fascinating and deserve 4 stars, concept is engaging so again 4 stars but conclusion rest with big five noughts :@Recommend

  • fahad

    hey..aunti dun misguide new married women plz….Recommend

  • MHZ

    That idea would have been far better ma’am..
    Far better..Recommend

  • Sonny

    So what’s wrong with “mian ki khidmat kerna”? I wish my wife would be something like this! :( LOLRecommend

  • Happily Married

    This was literally amazing!! Every thing was so on point!!! I read something very true that day and it said “The best sign of a happy marriage is no sign of it on facebook.”
    Oh and lets not forget the hashtags #BestHubby #ilovemyhubby #husbabe #Lovehim also, uploading 300+ pictures every single weekend of literally every time they go out to do something fun. If you’re spending so much time taking pictures, when are you enjoying and reflecting on your marriage together?Recommend

  • strayangel

    Which century do you live in? It’s certainly not the 21st!Recommend

  • Someone_Anyone_Everyone

    was it even worth ur time to write abt this ???Recommend

  • tauseef kayani

    the article was not funny at all if it was meant to be…2ndly if it was meant to b a serious one then it was not either… dont be judgemental on anyone relations they may feel pride in watever they do…Recommend

  • maz3tt

    ok so i am typical good for nothing backward loser sort of a husband who want good food from wife? :) :) is that wrong to except good food from your wife?Recommend

  • Zoms

    BravoRecommend

  • Zoms

    Here i am writing again, such pieces should not be published as its waste of web space which eventually means harm to nature.Recommend

  • Harry

    This blog could describe the wife of 70’s 80’s or even 90’s but not the wife of 2014. In the quest of following western women 21st century Pakistani women has taken feminism to a level of insanity. At least a western lady respect their husband and are not gold diggers but the approach of Pakistani ladies has become materialistic.Recommend

  • Madni Imtiaz

    I cant believe I wasted my time on this…. Recommend

  • Pasha

    You are judging women, whom i wouldn’t say are naik perveens but are caring & loving at most and such women are not just caring about their “miyan”, they generally love & care about everyone in the family starting from her own parents & siblings to the husband’s parents & siblings and so on and so forth.
    Its a shame that you actually want someone to re-think and change the course of their genuine & honest love & feelings towards not just their husband but towards EVERY SINGLE RELATIONSHIP THAT THEY HAVE because once this sets in in their mind then they will start evaluating all the nice things that they do in EVERY OTHER RELATIONSHIP that they have.Recommend

  • Mukhtaran

    Wasted few minutes again. Anyone can see that these pictures do not show our culture.Recommend

  • Visibly

    Interesting. Gives an impression about how important marriage is for self realization for women in Pakistan. But are women only wives and mothers?
    Perhaps time to focus on women who contribute to life beyond the traditional roles.
    I am sure many of them exist!Recommend

  • Sehrish

    I get your point… But somehow this blog just falls so flat. You were trying so hard to be funny and add in satire. And the Irony… You’re making fun of judgmental married women. By judging them yourself. Recommend

  • Amna Imran Shah

    i want to correct you respectable lady… “uploading 300+ pictures every single weekend of literally every time they go out to do something fun”
    actually its 300+ pictures of just going out (not necessarily fun) it can be grocery shopping, picking up munna medicines, selfies at petrol pump while filling, just sitting and eating at restaurant (hardees, mcdonalds, kfc etc.) sorry but i got really emotional on your mention of “something fun”Recommend

  • Nobody

    If you’re willing to be more than an ATM and take care of her the same way (make tea, massage her achy feet, help her clean up, etc etc) then there’s nothing wrong with it. :) Cheers.Recommend

  • Saadia Suleman Ali

    Its more fun reading the comments than reading the blog itself. Naik parveen-ness spilling everywhereRecommend

  • Fatima Ahmad

    well personally i appreciate your observation on FB. because most of simply scroll down without noticing the captions and senerio of pictures and status. but one thing u didn’t justify the title of your column” naik perveen”. everyone has its own way of living. we are nothing to criticize someone only on uploading hubby love status or pix. Pakistani women are brought up in a way to respect and obey their hubbies in every conditions.Recommend

  • Drsaher

    I will be happily the wife you NOT want anyone to be and so will be you. Because bottom line is thats how homes are built and children are raised, love is sustained and life is contained.Recommend

  • Marium

    Terrible article. Simply Terrible. Catchy title though and that’s what made me read at least most of it. Can I say it again? TERRIBLE.Recommend

  • Marium

    and because the comments to your other article (also on how you got unfriended on Facebook by people who were oh-so-below your time) are closed…i feel its very appropriate to mention here that article was again, truly TERRIBLE. Stop for Gods sake! STOP writing and try having a life of your own. Tolerance…something that the Pakistani wanna-bes and extremists (non-islamic ones I’m talking about here since they seem to be plaguing our society too) need to desperately learn.
    One last time. TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Noor

    As a woman, I agree 100%Recommend