Stories about arranged marriage

The final goodbye

My biggest secret was the letter written by my former husband, that now sat in my nightstand’s bottom drawer. The letter that had come along with my divorce papers. The letter that was my guilt, my regret. Even if I tried, I couldn’t ignore the fact that we had been dishonest. Salaar had always been a good person – kind and considerate. The biggest proof of this was probably the fact that despite my many shortcomings and mistakes, my husband had chosen to divorce cordially. But he had also chosen to lie to our parents about what happened rather than ...

Read Full Post

Based on real-life story of Muslim immigrants, Ali’s Wedding hits too close to home

Based on the real-life experiences of its star and screenwriter Osamah Sami, Ali’s Wedding follows the story of its neurotic titular character Ali (Sami), an Iraqi immigrant living with his family in a Muslim community in Melbourne, Australia, where his father Mahdi (Don Hany) also happens to be a cleric. Ali’s life is burdened by many of the same expectations that people even in our society can relate to, particularly the young people: his parents want him to become a doctor. But after he fails the medical school entrance exam, he is caught in a web of lies regarding his grades. He ...

Read Full Post

Irfan Bhai and his solar eclipse

“I really need to beat Amir’s high score,” I said to myself as I played another round of Temple Run, not realising my battery had drained down to 5%. My phone got warmer and the LED light on my screen began to blink red. I turned on the battery saving mode and slid my phone in my pocket. I looked out my car window only to realise that the car had not moved an inch. I guess I’m just not used to Karachi’s traffic anymore, and a 20-day visit is not even minutely enough to adjust to it. After being thoroughly engrossed in ...

Read Full Post

Are unrealistic expectations ruining the institution of marriage in Pakistan?

It’s wedding season in Pakistan. We all know what that means – our tables are strewn with intricately designed wedding invitations, making us wonder how long each wedding will last. Unfortunately, the time lapse between a wedding and a divorce has shortened, and the number of broken marriages is increasing. Talking about breakups is never easy. Recently, I came across certain figures that stated that from 2015 to 2016, there were record divorce or khula cases in Pakistan. In 2015, in Punjab, 5,000 divorce cases were filed, and thus, 4,500 parted. In 2016, the number had grown to 18,901. Although divorce is allowed in Islam, it ...

Read Full Post

“Her wedding ring is way too big; it’s probably fake” – Women, their own worst enemy

“OMG she’s so fat” “She works full-time, I’m sure she has no time for her kids” “Did you know she has a boyfriend? She’s so characterless” I am sure that like me, everyone has heard or even made such comments at one time or another. That is the hard, unfortunate reality. What is harder to accept is that these are mostly being directed at women BY other women! While it is inexcusable and downright wrong for either gender to be commenting like that, shouldn’t we, of all people, be more empathetic towards fellow women? Coming from a patriarchal society, most men are infused with a false sense ...

Read Full Post

Being a Syed-zaadi wasn’t a matter of pride for me, it was a curse!

I was born into a Syed family. Since childhood, I’ve been told that this is a blessing as we are the direct descendants of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, all Syed girls had a status equivalent to that of mothers of Ummah. Thus, it was forbidden for us to even consider marrying a non-Syed man. Everyone called the girls of our family bibi jee and, while growing up, this was a matter of pride for me. I was in my early teens when I first realised that there were a number of unmarried women in our family, belonging to all age groups. Due to family ...

Read Full Post

Don’t settle for a foreign passport if it means taking a gamble on the man, girls!

Twenty is an age that comes slow and fast, all at the same time. It is a young age but you’re expected to know so much more as a person and act like a grown up even, though you were a teenager just the year before. When you are young, a lot of things seem like a good idea; when in reality they are the complete opposite. Eventually one does come to terms with the mindless choices they make but, if these choices are looked at as life lessons, they don’t seem so bad anymore. After all, being young usually ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

Using Tinder is not very different from having an arranged marriage

Growing up in a city as beautiful as Islamabad, can sometimes be a challenge. You run to the store to buy a bottle of milk, with your hair tied up in a bun, wearing flip flops and you bump into the cutest guy from your class. You get me? The struggle to find privacy is real. Introduce the multi-million dollar dating app Tinder to this scenario and imagine the consequences. Here you were looking for the love of your life swiping away that you suddenly saw your Phupi ka beta! (Aunt’s son) Imagine the horror! But what’s more horrific is when certain ...

Read Full Post

Why people should NOT get married in Pakistan

Before you wrinkle your eyebrows in a ‘holier-than-thou’ frown and judge my very existence, let me assure you that this blog is not a preaching of what you should or should not do. This blog is based on mere observations of human relationships and a concept that defines our lives in so many ways – shaadi (marriage). I was familiar with this word at a very young age. But it was at the age of six when my brother (eight-years-old then) told me something that freaked me out. In sheer exasperation, that only an older brother can have, he said, “I can’t ...

Read Full Post