Stories about in-laws

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 ...

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“How much do you earn? What car do you drive?” – Money has never talked this loud

In earlier times, women, generally, did not take to working nine to five and were happy to employ their talents at home. Maintaining the house, taking care of the children and cooking meals pretty much occupied their time and yes, it was not an eight-hour workload. Living with the in-laws, in extended family setups called a joint family, had its fair share of responsibilities but the arrangement also came with some liberties. Then evolutionary forces introduced the concept of independent lifestyles. This helped subside the usual ‘saas bahu’ rifts and the distances helped reduce the tension in this relationship. However, it was the children ...

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Ali Baba, the chaalis in-laws and you

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou We have the wonderful tale of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves from the book Arabian Nights where Ali Baba steals from the thieves and does not distribute to the poor. And after all is said and done and the thieves and the chief are dead, Ali Baba – who is the only one alive and privy to the secret cave code of  “Open Sesame” – does not bring the loot to the village and distribute ...

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Rishta aunties and the girls who submit

“You’ve completed your O and A’ Levels. You got amazing grades and A’ Level is a great accomplishment. It’s time you get married now,” said my mother, on several occasions. When asked anxiously, “But what about my admission into IBA?” She would calmly reply, “Yes, yes. You’ve proved your mettle. Everyone knows you’re smart and clever. That’s why there are so many proposals.” Yes, that time was here. I was being badgered into getting married. The sad part about being educated is that you can tell when a person is annoyingly dim-witted. On the one hand, the aunties gushed about my intelligence, which according to my mother ...

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50 shades of a red lehnga

It came as no surprise. It had to happen. Years of pent up anticipation and apprehension had gradually built up momentum and all of it led to this – a nerve wracking walk, downstairs. With adrenaline rush turning my ears into an alien shade of crimson and my heart skipping a beat, rolling in my stomach and jumping to touch my parched palate, I carried my wobbling feet into our drawing room. Crap, that darned rebellious carpet always defying to be straightened out; I tripped but quickly steadied myself before I could fall flat on my face. My mother led a slow ...

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20 and about to get married? Say goodbye to your dreams and careers

“I can’t wait to pursue my bachelor’s degree abroad,” I beamed with delight. With disdain, as if I had said something extremely outrageous, I was asked,  “Wait, are you not going to get married?” Recently, my Facebook newsfeed was flooded with pictures of bridal and baby showers of girls whom I went to school with. I am 20-years-old and some of my friends are already married and have children. While I was taken aback by this at first, soon realisation began to hit me. This was it. This was the end of these young girls’ carefree lives and that too at the ripe ...

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Do you have a Sarah in your house?

Whenever I see her, her eyes haunt me. The sadness in them is unspeakable and the horrors of her life, incomprehensible. She is young and beautiful yet her heart yearns for a minute of peace and happiness. She is Sarah*, a married girl who lives with her in-laws. Sarah married into a family of four sisters where her husband was the only son. The torture began almost immediately. Her three unmarried sisters-in-law cannot stand the very sight of her. They never speak a kind word to her, and always address her with stern and blank expressions on their faces. The very faces that smile ...

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Want to own a Lamborghini? Here is how it’s done!

I am not really big on cars; the previous cars I have had – a white Mehran (aka the Sex Mobile), a whiter Mehran (aka the Sugar Mama) and a maroon Mehran (aka the Kinky Dinky) – were all funded by a non-refundable loan from my dad (he is the best bank ever). Not that I don’t like my Mehrans, but yesterday I saw the latest Transformers movie, and I have to say, I would love to buy a Lamborghini for myself. I mean, it’s about time I buy a car that has its own name, you know, like Gallardo or Aventador. I don’t think ...

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She took my advice to get her husband treated so why do I feel guilty?

I was rewarding myself with a fat free yogurt in the gym cafeteria when someone called out my name. I turned to find an old neighbour from yester years standing behind me. The last time we had met was in Islamabad, 14 years ago. After the preliminaries, I had to remark on how well she looked. Smiling, she replied, “Yes, I am happy and life is good.” She looked fit and confident; a 360 degrees change from the miserable girl I remembered. Genuinely pleased for her, I said, “Seems like your husband finally turned over a new leaf.” Although it was a personal ...

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Matchmaking businesses: Wolves disguised in sheep clothing?

They say that ‘relationships are made in heaven’. But finding that ‘assigned better half’ on this earth is quite a daunting task. This chore becomes even more overwhelming when mothers of daughters approaching their twenties become apprehensive at being unable to find a good spouse for their daughters. And sometimes in their desperation, they eventually seek the help of matchmakers. Matchmaking in Pakistan is gradually gaining ground and turning into a money-making business. Getting their daughters married into a decent family is undeniably a glad tiding for any family. But the plethora of events and proceedings that precede the event are quite ...

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