“Ami please, don’t speak to me in front of my friends”

Published: May 13, 2015
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In my early teens, I was super embarrassed to introduce my family to my friends

Coming from a 19-year old college student, perhaps what I am writing is completely irrelevant and maybe even stupid, but I’m a person and I have experienced life as it came to me, as it comes to me.

All of us have our own beliefs based on the circumstances that we face, and it is these very beliefs that shape our reactions to the obstacles that we encounter. There is no right and wrong in such situations, there are only regrets and lessons that we learn or we don’t, depending upon each person.

In my early teens, I was super embarrassed to introduce my family to my friends. My family has a habit of voicing everything that comes to their minds. I used to worry about it a lot.

“What if they said something unnecessary to my friends?” I thought.

Hence, I never called any of my friends over and avoided social gatherings.

I remember how during my O’Level exam, my mother came to drop me off at the centre and I forced her to leave before anyone saw me, without realising that I might have hurt her feelings. It wasn’t that I was embarrassed of her but the fact that I couldn’t bear others making fun of her.

My name and identity are irrelevant but I’m a socially awkward college student. My life still doesn’t revolve around a lot of people. I grew up in a household with slightly different family dynamics – a widowed mother, a brother and my grandparents. However, now the difference is that I am not ashamed of who I am or where I come from. We are five people who are completely different from one another and yet we complement each other perfectly.

I’m the misfit in the family. I grew up thinking,

“What I am even doing here?”

I had dreams and aspirations that this family could not fulfil and I hated that, I wanted an escape. However, it was earlier this year when I took the wrong bus home and found myself stranded somewhere in Lahore that I realised that there is no substitute to family.

On that horrible day, when I wandered about Lahore, the atmosphere was dense with pollution; cars and motorcycles rushed passed me as I tried to maintain my balance. I had just gotten off the bus to find myself in the wrong place. At first, I was too confused to realise that the gourmet across the road was not the one on Girja Chowk but the one in Faisal town.

I crossed the road and stood near the front door of the bakery. I called my mother who initially did not pick up. As I waited, every bystander there stared at me, trying to analyse my vulnerability. Soon my mother called me and started shouting on the phone as she realised that I wasn’t on the bus that I was supposed to take home.

To avoid the creepy pedestrians, I stepped inside the bakery and waited, only to find that the staff there was looking at me with more hostility than my worst enemy. They realised that I wasn’t going to buy anything, since I was out of money, so one of them came up to me and asked me why I was standing there?

I told him the reason and all of them started looking at me. Without further delay, I stepped out of the bakery and found myself  standing on the side of a road, alone when a car started to come near me. I started to walk away but the car kept following me and then I started to run. The car kept honking and when it caught up with me, my grandfather called out my name and I stood there, shocked.

I was saved. My family had come for me.

One of the most important things I have learnt is that we need to accept who we are, take pride in where we come from. There is always room for improvement and there should be; no one is perfect nor does everyone come in complete packages. The moment we realise this, everything becomes easier, no more complexes, no more fake friends, and no more endless efforts in trying to impress people.

Take your family as they are.

Anam Fatima Khan

Anam Fatima Khan

Freshmen at the Lahore School of Economics, going to pursue a degree in political science and economics. Aspiring a career in print media. She tweets as @anam666 (twitter.com/anam666)

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

  • common

    Well I had the same problem too. But much later I realized that my mother is my greatest ally. Every advice I got from her in every situation was without any selfish motives and that’s something you can never find anywhere else. I am ashamed of how I treated her sometimes. But like you i have the rest of my life to make up for it. Good article.Recommend

  • Fimza Fab

    Just a waste of time…Recommend

  • Muhammad Akbar

    I think our education system doesnt teach us morality and manners. Our students lack morality. I am happy that life experience changed your prospect. We can learn a lot from our religion Islam.

    Our families/relatives are our power and force. Everyone has shortcommings, we can try for improvement through our own personality and dealings but we have to live with our families.

    I have learnt that Islamic teachings (Quran and sunnah) can be relied upon to make up our minds about different matters. Although time and age definitely confirms the universalness of our islamic teachings.

    Paywasta reh shajar sy umeed-e-bahaar rakh.Recommend

  • anon0912

    I wont say anything about the article but if this happens again just take a cab to your house even if you don’t have any money.Ring the doorbell and pay the guy or just borrow some from your neighbors.Pretty simple,right ?Recommend

  • tungi

    ok.. dont know what your age is but you sound very young. lahore is generally a safe place and faisal town isnt a far away place. next time instead of sounding an alarm you could have just asked for a rickshaw instead of being afraid!
    people stare and that is the part of life in this country especially women in distress. learn to ignore. even men get stared in such a situation because it is exceptional! they are just inquisitive!
    be brave young woman, you have a life ahead of you!Recommend

  • RKM

    I remember that once I kept shouting at my family cause I was kept busy with household chores and couldn’t meet my friends. I wanted to meet them at 2 a.m. to ensure some calmness. Sometime later, we all got busy and do not meet each other anymore and everyone have different friends. That day I realised that come what may, no shouting or anything, when its family, even I will subside myself. And thanks to God, I am satisfied with the way I treat my family now.Recommend

  • Omar Ahmed

    I am hardly moved to write a comment on ET blogs. Some bloggers seem to be living in an alternate universe and some topics really disgust me. However, you have delivered such a key message that I had to commend for it. Indeed its a very common issue facing youth today (and I am sure not alien to past generations as well). I myself struggled with it once and to this day continue to do to some extent. Well done!Recommend

  • Anon1234

    This is written so well for someone who is a freshman. I personally think every teenager should read this article.
    As sad as this sounds we’ve all at one point in life have been embarrassed of someone or the other in our family. And we don’t realize what they really are and what we mean to them unless we are in trouble and they are the only ones who put forth their hand to help pull us out.
    Keep it up. Recommend

  • Faryal

    I can so closely relate to this! But one thing I realized while reading this blog is that what we are today is because of the same family members we think who might make us feel embarrass.Recommend

  • Sane

    Many of us want to see things in our perspective. We want to listen what we are fond of. No opinion of sentence which we do not like. No questions, to which we do not want to answer or have mood to answer. No suggestions; no advices. No, otherwise arguments. We want to live in the shell we built ourselves. Feeling unsafe. Want to live in utopia.Recommend

  • Daniii

    Really liked the article!! Especially the whole message behind the story.
    Keep it up ❤️❤️Recommend

  • liberal-lubna-fromLahore

    such a sweet blog. u go girl!Recommend