Stories about husband

Husband and wife: Who pays what?

Your husband earns and so do you, but do you share financial responsibility? In Pakistan, I have seen women proactively arguing for gender equality. We have heard countless rants about how they are entitled to have careers just like their spouses. So, does this also mean that when a woman is given the liberty to work, she must contribute financially along side her husband? Is it to be understood between both partners that an equal share is to be injected towards the family’s expenditure? After all, isn’t ‘equality’ what women all around the world have been fighting for? When a husband and wife both take on the role of ...

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The story of self-made sustenance

Zeba voices her reservations with being photographed at first, rather shy and wary, but at the same time amused by the idea of it. All reservations subside once she starts talking in her native tongue, Saraiki. The narratives are interspersed with bouts of laughter, the sincerity in her words is evident through her smile. Lodhran is a far off town, but Zeba seems like someone from very close by. Maybe it’s her innocent laughter that just touches my heart. I keep looking at her face, enjoying that gleam of accomplishment. From time to time I bend over my diary so ...

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Changing times: ‘I always wanted a daughter’

Chandini is only about four feet, nine inches tall. Her body seems to have naturally bent from the strain of having carried four children, one after another, on her waist for about a decade now. She had her first child when she was 17-years-old.   She ruefully points at her first born, a boy, who was desperately trying to reattach a broken arm to a doll’s body, and says: I took one look at the child, and I couldn’t stop my tears She had wanted a daughter. Jagat, Chandini’s husband, earns his living by screening the trash and selling what is possible to the scarp ...

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The true meaning of love

She was 78 years old; fair, tall, elegant and beautiful. She had been in a relationship with her husband for 60 years, yet their love seemed fresh – an awe-inspiring bond that spoke of young love. I first saw her when her husband brought her to the hospital for a general check-up. What a sight they were; him ever-smiling, with a tinge of pride as he pushed his wife’s wheelchair. A sense of satisfaction and contentment emanated from them. She was suffering from osteoarthritis, and was0 visiting a physician under whose supervision I was doing a research project. A few weeks into ...

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Treat her like a lady, not a baby-making machine

Kaneez* has five young children with a small age difference between them. She works full-time as a domestic maid and takes short, rushed breaks in order to nurse her youngest child, a five-month-old infant. If her break becomes longer than the expected five minutes, she is severely rebuked by her employer.  Life is hard for Kaneez. Not only does her husband expect her to make ends meet, but also wants her to keep adding more children to the brood. Her children fight all the time, demand clothes and toys when she takes them grocery shopping and throw tantrums when their ...

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Durr-e-Shahwar: Television blames working women

Last Saturday night, I sat down with my mother-in-law to watch a new television drama serial named “Durr-e-Shahwar” which has come after  the much talked and blogged about “Humsafar”. She was quite eager to watch this new serial, and I decided to keep her company. However, a few minutes into the show I started feeling anger at the writer and producer. Here’s why: “Durr-e-Shahwar” portrayed a working woman who was so focused on her career that she ignored everybody around her – her family, her husband and her in-laws. While the show is well-produced and ...

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In marriage, golden jubilee anniversaries do happen

Sometimes memories of the years that have passed roll on in front of our eyes like old black and white movies. On April 8, every year since 1962, I have felt that way and am reminded each year of the day I married my beloved wife. This year is our golden jubilee anniversary, and I plan to celebrate it with my wife by my side, God willing. On this day, I intend to invite our relatives and friends, not to celebrate the day we got married, but the happy days we have spent together and how we have made an impact ...

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‘My husband is my father’s age…’

A few weeks ago, I happened to witness the unfortunate crumbling and subsequent break-up of a close friend’s marriage. After hearing both sides of the story, I arrived to a conclusion regarding the main reason behind the failure: The husband was 20 years older than his wife. Although common in an eastern society where arranged marriages are the norm, such large age-gaps (10 years and more) often have great drawbacks in a relationship as intimate as marriage. In our society, parents are in a rush to marry off their daughters before they hit the twenty-fifth birthday mark (or even earlier), ...

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Why women need to complain more

I can’t tell you how much I relied on my girlfriends for my sanity in my 20s. During our student days at the University of Virginia (UVA), we were each other’s roommates, psychiatrists, parents, and siblings. Far away from my family in Bangladesh, my friends and I became each other’s families. But something happens to our female friendships when we leave our 20s and enter our 30s. As we get older and get married, have babies, work, work more, and did I mention, work more, we also begin to talk less. Why is it that when women need their girlfriends the ...

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10 things nosy ‘Pak’ers love to ask

Do you ever get riled up by busybodies asking annoying questions to ‘place’ people in their social world? Well, here are some conveniently snappy answers we wish we could respond with (you might even get away with some of them if you did; sarcasm is often lost on the unwitting). 1. Have you found anyone eligible yet? Yes (enter Mashallah), I have won the marriage lottery! She/he is, Mashallah, loaded and divorced only thrice. 2. Who is your father?  He is Mian/Chaudhry (enter name) and owns (enter name of mill/bank). 3. What does your husband do? See answer number 2 please. 4. What village are you from? It doesn’t matter if you have never seen ...

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