Stories about Pakistani Wedding

Series 2: “Checkmate” Part 4 Dark or bright, the past stays with us

The plane landed a few minutes after we arrived. We were both elated to see Ryna and Omer. Ryna was sporting a new layered hairdo. “Annie baji took me to her hairdresser friend,” Ryna told her Daddy. Noorul Ain, also known as Annie baji by Ryna, was her role model. She was the 24-year-old daughter of one of ammi ji’s neighbours in Los Angeles (LA). “Well it does suit you,” I told her, looking at her admiringly. Ryna loved compliments. Ali got busy quizzing Omer about whether he had finished the book report due the following week. Ryna was bursting with excitement over Annie’s upcoming wedding in June at dinner later that ...

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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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36 hours in Lahore

Lahore is the heart of Pakistan.  It is a city impossible to ignore with all its festivities, rich culture, and scrumptious food. Even when the subcontinent’s partition was underway, both Indians and Pakistanis yearned for Lahore’s inclusion in their respective homelands. According to an old, famous Punjabi quote, “Jinnay Lahore nai whekhya, o jammia nai!” (If you haven’t seen Lahore, you have not been born) Such is the affiliation and regard held for a city that has a profound historic charm, evergreen gardens, and food-loving people as some of its primary assets. With the emergence of new shopping malls, fashion boutiques and endless restaurants, the metropolis ...

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The Baloch tribal system isn’t all that bad

Bijjar is a Balochi word which means cooperation or help. We have all heard our esteemed intellectuals on national television talk about how the tribal system has multiple drawbacks. The primary reason these intellectuals like to rail against the tribal system is because they themselves have minimal knowledge about this structure. Their knowledge about the tribal system is restricted merely to its problems, which encompass things like the Sardari system, a hierarchy where the head is a sardar (chief), the exploitation by feudal lords, the culture of ammunition and strict ideologies against women education. Unquestionably, some aspects of the tribal system do more harm than good to a ...

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The Muslim wedding flight

In-flight announcement: “Good afternoon to our two lovely passengers! I’m delighted to welcome you aboard the Muslim Wedding Flight from parental to in-laws abode. My name is Fayaz Pasha and I’m your in-flight Service Director. Your cabin crew (parents, relatives and friends) is here to ensure that you have an enjoyable flight. We are currently second in line for take-off and are expected to be in the wedding hall in approximately 20 minutes. We ask that you please fasten your expectations at this time and secure all your emotional baggage. Please make sure that your seats and tables are in the right position for ...

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Nishana daz daz vaj da: The big bang wedding

Since months now, every second night, some fat cat decides to mark a wedding with insane amounts of aerial firing, followed by what – to my untrained ear – sounds like a small bomb blast. Insane, right? You’d think by now, people would have realised that this is a) unsafe b) uncouth  and c) something that will make people wake up at 3am in panic – any of the above realisations should easily bring an end to such behaviour. Forget about how all this might be illegal – after all, that’s never stopped us from having a bit of ‘fun’. Nope. Without fail, ...

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Your daughter’s education is as important as her marriage

The wedding season is currently in full swing in the country. There are weddings events and functions almost every other day.  This is the time when practically every household is involved in mehndis, dholkis and mayuns (musical nights) along with nikkahs, shaadis and valimas. I do not know whether it is the pleasant weather that inspires so many to get married at this time of the year or if it is the fact that winter holidays means that friends and family from abroad can attend weddings at this time, not to mention that local schools are also closed, making it easier for the parents. What I do know ...

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Jahaiz, destroying families one wedding at a time

The absurdity of the dowry norm, commonly known as jahaiz, prevalent in our society has long been debated. I did not realise the gravity of the issue until recently when my father’s cousin had to sell off his shop — the sole source of income for his family — to arrange the jahaiz for his daughter. The girl is now happily married to a financially stable guy but her family back home is finding it hard to survive. Her mother, who started sewing clothes to earn a living, has developed an eye illness that cannot be treated due to the treatment’s high ...

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My winter pet peeves

In Karachi, we await the arrival of the winter time with immense anticipation. It frees us from the scorching heat of the bright sun and provides us with a welcoming cool breeze. However, amidst the delightful weather and delicious Kashmir chai, there are some winter moments which make one rethink the joys of winter. Here is my list: The screaming neighbour: Since it gets exceptionally quiet during this lovely season, we get to know our neighbour better than we have ever wanted to. This winter, apart from knowing the basic likes and dislikes of my neighbour, I now know the seemingly soft spoken next door aunty is quite ...

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Of Pakistani weddings and vulgar mujras

“The highest happiness on earth is marriage.”  William Lyon Phelps Last week, my sister and I attended a wedding. It was beautiful, well organised and we were enjoying ourselves thoroughly to the songs being sung by the singers sitting in front of the crowd. The couple being wed was seated on the front couch and their elated faces were evidence to their happiness. When the song ended, I was taken aback by the sudden blaring of vulgar Indian item songs reverberating in my ears; looking up I was absolutely appalled to find a transgender person in a mere red bra and a mini skirt standing ...

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