23 Apr

Read this piece on on Pakistani parents!

Rants from Karachi

There are several boys and girls; men and women out there who simply don’t have the courage to speak up to their parents. Mummy and Daddy hold such a traditionally inevitable and crippling power over their children that it eventually ‘tames’ them to enslaving submission. *Chuckles*, I make it sound like some sort of child labour camp, but it’s all because I strongly believe that this topic should be brought into limelight before we end up driving these kids crazy or turn them into automated robots.

Are you the offspring of a desi? Well then, you’re in for it, get ready for perpetual taunts which pop up from time to time. In case you’re wondering that you’ll be able to get away from it during your undergraduate studies or after you get married off to the love of your life? I applaud at your wishful thinking, sadly this…

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Women and Asexuality in Pakistan!

16 Apr

Several women all across the globe have experienced the peaceful trance of asexuality, some of us take homosexual turns before reaching that point whilst others embrace the lack of heterosexual interference in their lives for a good span of time. All the physical energy and mental effort required in pleasing a man gets overwhelming even in the ‘holding hands’ relationships, where there is no chance of a sexual encounter until the knot is tied. This form of asexuality merely carries the characteristics of an amoeba, but rather it’s a sense of being one is enlightened towards after a bumpy romantic speed break.

There comes a time when you’re so tired of men that you just let go, in the process you discover yourself in ways you had never imagined before and learn to trust the world again. Whether it’s a failing relationship, a recent break up or divorce, all women owe themselves due respect and self-centered love where they stand as the epicentre whilst situations, people and emotions revolve around them for a short period of time.

Men will be men, whether it’s any corner of the world.

Generalization? Yes.

Similarly men in this part of the world are exactly the same which should push women to be even more determined to enjoy their ‘phases pf asexuality’. Many of us carry the weight of broken promises, lies, slander and cheating in our backpack of memories, after such heartache we grow distant, indifferent and wait for it…asexual! There is no shame in it, as far as I have known it’s a temporary state of mind which manages to diminish the urge of sexual attraction or togetherness with a man.

To all those romantics out there who might be sighing at my hopeless and rather pessimistic sense of writing: Reminder: every woman was once a romantic until a man named ‘reality’ knocked really hard on the door. Once that door breaks down, some women gather the courage to put it back in its hinges, others like throwing the fucking door out for good. When there’s no metaphorical door to enter through, you’re left standing at its hinges and staring down the hallway to make sure that ‘reality’ never strikes again. Just make sure you don’t stand there too long cause it might scare off any potentially genuine people from coming in and helping you out of the emotional havoc.

As long as we choose to be asexual until emotional and mental recovery, it’s healthy and a form of catharsis, but holding onto the intentional notion of being alone to protect ourselves from any future ‘heartache’ is unwise. Life doesn’t alway pave a cemented and flawless path to contentment, sometimes we need to jump over rocks, walk over gravel and float through quick sand. The literal point being that sometimes we experience pain and misery in life, but those moments don’t define the rest of our lives, something better is always out there. Until then, enjoy the perks of asexuality! 😉

Ladies, it’s time to lather up in the foams of desire for the worldly things, friends and NOT men. Clad up in your fancy dresses without the purpose of impressing ‘him’, and excite everyone but yourself. Don’t hesitate in rolling your eyes to the sickening advertisements of bridal showers and pathetic swooning of newly wed couples. Invite that beautiful tub of ice cream into your room at late nights of the hour for unholy bondage, slurp sweet chunks of ice till you feel you might pass out to the incredibly action packed movie on television. Embrace your asexual self, but don’t let it rub off on others, let it be a unique trait.

Memories, as I recall!

15 Apr

 

 

Memories, all of us are burdened with their existence in our lives. At times it’s a soothing and pleasurable package, but on occasions certain memories leave us scarred and hurt.

Just a few days back I was cleaning my closet, which threw me into a whirlwind of past memories, some were ancient whilst others were brewing in a contemporary sense. When I found old clothes from when I was a kid, I literally fell like I was re-living my childhood in a blink of the eye. My failed friendships, school bullies and outlook on life at that time whizzed before me in the form of distorted schemas.

Have you ever gone through your old stuff and felt like you’ve been sucked into a time-machine where you’re transported from one place to another? It’s an overwhelming sensation cause it strikes you from one reality into another. Memories are like treasured video clips that we can play again repetitively, sometimes they leave us with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Even though many memories may leave us with a sense of reminiscing joy, others can haunt us for the rest of our lives.

 

Do any of you carry painful memories that pester your well-being within a matter of seconds? Those sort of painfully registered moments can cause us distress and leave us with the bitter truth that we have an inevitable past that delivers a sense of regret, shame, guilt or grief.

Like several others out there, I also have memories that instill a negative vibe for a short period of time, but luckily God has also blessed me with memories to remind me of the liveliness and vibrant energy of the present day.

So let’s all go ahead and make beautiful memories for days to come! 🙂

Here’s a song called “Memories”, enjoy!!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHtU4VnTiTc

Men who break hearts: Whether it’s Karachi, Lahore or Islamabad.

10 Apr

 

Cities. So many cities to leap through in Pakistan, so many hearts to break, yet so little time!

Hold your horses boys, cause the girls know about your dreadful hobby of hopping from one city to another and pulling their fragile hearts apart! This article in no way leans towards partiality towards cities, rather it will highlight the repulsive migration of men from one place to another where they find a feminine aura to meddle with and disrupt. Each city lingers with the scent of a woman for them, it reminds them of their conquered territory where they prepared their flirtatious ammunition in anticipation for the ‘next lady’ on their hit list in another land far from there. Yes, my precious readers there are men in this world who move from city to city enjoying the company of a ‘attached and expectant’ girl in each city, some of these girls don’t realize their heart are in jeopardy until the ‘migrant’ flees away!

How does this intricate system work? *Sigh*

A man’s sexual and emotional urge to be in the presence of a woman instigates his ‘bonding’ with a female figure, which in turn transforms into temporary romance and companionship. The only flaw with this equation is that the woman tends to develop into a ‘attached and expectant’ being, whilst the man skips the melodrama and proceeds with goodbyes.

I’d personally justify this if the woman was informed prior to the ‘romantic expedition’ that their relationship was meant to be short-lived, most of the time she isn’t aware or even slightly doubtful of the man’s intentions which eventually leads to a sinking sense of emotional turmoil.

After effects of this situation? The man is left with sweet memories of that woman and some men are stubborn enough to dive into the polygamous train of romance in pursuit of the ‘next lady’. On the opposite, the woman is left heart-broken, cheated and is surrounded by a mound of tissue papers at 2 A.M in the morning. For the first time it dawns upon her that she was a mere toy that was meant to be played with and broken, it portrays the lack of sentimental value she held in the relationship.

Some of us recover from these wounds and even gather the insane courage to forgive and forget. Others dwell in the misery for sometime, later on they pick up their emotional baggage and lock it in the closet, so as to remind them that life shares bitter realities with us and we must always be ‘on guard’. Either of these tactics to deal with the pain primarily depends on the individual’s perspective on life and personal philosophies.

As mentioned in the former paragraphs, some of these ‘migrant’ men lean towards adventurous romances and risk emotional damage to women in each ‘city’. This doesn’t imply a literal meaning where a man travels from one city to another, but rather it refers to the symbolic and disgusting endeavours of men who are completely detached to all those significant women in their lives. Obviously, women who pursue such heartless relations should also be condemned, but at the moment I am writing with the raw desire to reach out to myself and all those women who feel they’ve been destroyed at some point in their lives.

I’ve been told many times in life that there will come a time when you’ll look back at this and laugh, surprisingly none of it holds comical value in the present time, will all of us truly be laughing from the depths of our heart later on or will it be a jubilant mask of concealed history? Time will tell.

Wake up, it smells like ‘Misery’: Pakistani households and attitudes.

9 Apr

Misery comes in different packages, they are so creatively diverse throughout the world that there is no single recipe with the precise ingredients to tackle with the ruins of this ‘state of mind’. The world consists of misery which is caused by famine, hunger, lack of education and financial strain; even if these situational components don’t exist in certain Pakistani households; misery seems to linger on with a more than vibrant presence. It appears to have been conditioned within people and their environments at times. We as people need to understand that there are certain elements in life which we are in complete control of, whilst there are other things which are beyond our physical or situational authority.

*Sigh* If only someone could explain that to the fretting ladies of the East!

True, our political instability and financially inflated reputation doesn’t make it easy to put on a happy face, but if things at home seem comfortable for the time being why do we insist on wearing the ‘sad clown face’? I suppose it’s because we’re too afraid of appearing content when things are meant to fall apart. When in reality ‘things falling apart’ relates to all those petty yet weighing issues which many of us face in everyday life. Instead of obsessing over strained relations between relatives and cousins, why can’t we just learn to let time take its course? If a divorce or breakup is in the process, why do the rest of the people around have to act miserable and pitiful about it?

This surely doesn’t happen everywhere, but the plague of misery has been known to infect many households. When things aren’t going the way we desire them to be, why does misery have to dictate our moods and attitudes? It could be because we’re conditioned to be miserable when emotional or situational calamities befall us (which does not include natural disasters, crimes and abuse or physical or financial distress). At some point in life it almost becomes an innate instinct to remain miserable.

To make it more clear I’ll elaborate on this a little bit more, if something happens in our lives the healthy and productive thing to do during that period is to process and express it which helps format it into a memory or incident rather than a burden. But in my side of the world we take our obsessions very seriously, I am no exclusion to that! It works something like this, we take a problem and blow it completely out of proportion till it expands into a web of continuous dissection. This means that incessant bickering and dwelling over the ‘potential problem’ persists for days and weeks to come, in turn this gives an unnatural yet existent sense of relief and peace. Has this been carved as a feminine trait in many of our women? Can’t we just let go of things, I’m not here to pass judgements but rather to figure out through my own confusion why we use ‘misery’ as a form of catharsis.

Some issues require our dire attention and emotional venting, but I suppose other issues could be dealt with in a comparatively detached manner where there is no misery involved! Let’s not underestimate our ability to squash negativity around us, we can conquer daily occurrences and learn to rise above them.

Arranged Marriage: For all the Pakistani Men and Women out there.

31 Mar

The traditional outlook of ‘arranged marriage’ in our society is full of ‘surprises’! The notion of surprise exists primarily because the man/woman may not know each other on a romantic stance. Dating someone for a while and being aware of each other’s likes and dislikes creates common ground which helps in forming a sacred relationship that exists between a husband and wife, but ‘dating and falling in love’ aren’t necessarily the only ingredients or paths of success in a marriage. There are so many arranged marriages that take place everyday across South Asia, I might be leaving a few other regions out where it’s a common practice for a man and woman to enter into a relationship without prior sexual, emotional and sometimes even verbal exchange. Some people prefer taking the massive plunge and swimming in the dangerous depths of ‘love’ oceans, whilst some of us take a liking to the traditional ‘arranged marriage’ perspective. Except the good old arranged marriage has been tweaked, and there’s a comparatively adventurous touch to it in the 21st century. Stay tuned.

Arranged marriages come in all different sorts of forms, meaning that the proposal for a man or woman could be through a close source (mostly female relatives) or it could be after the potential husband has spotted his ‘bride to be’ at a party and then the mother and family approach the woman’s family. There’s no single tracked way of these things happening, they can come from any and every direction, but the primary element of significance is that there is no previous ‘intimate or romantic’ history between the man or woman. Hence it is termed as an arranged or fixed up marriage. This is the way a typical arranged marriage works out in our part of the world, many years ago the ‘no communication’ rule was followed strictly by many, where the future bride and groom were meant to hold their horses and not interact with each other until the official wedding takes place. That sounds like a pre-historical tradition nowadays, even though there are those avid traditionalists who stay loyal to the old boundaries, most of the population has taken a ‘modern’ turn and accepted the average interaction between the man and woman. This in turn has opened glorified gates of technology and pre-marital romance even for those who have submitted to the notion of arranged marriage.

After the deal is sealed, where an engagement or talk amongst elders has taken place regarding the issue of marriage, many men don’t hesitate in getting the lady’s number. That’s right, they jump into the cellular world of ‘flirting‘ and ‘intimate conversations’, this allows both prospective parties to understand and appreciate each other without taking things too far. The duration before the official wedding permits the couple to exchange thoughts and ideas which might have an effect on their completely ‘arranged’ setup, this communication has the power to morph this traditional institution into a romantic one.

Since society has loosened up to the idea of a man and woman ‘getting to know’ each other before marriage it has created a calmer environment for the couple to open up. Just because the marriage has been arranged through external sources doesn’t mean that it can’t be full of love and joy. Someone very wise once emphasized that ‘love grows with time’, I couldn’t agree more. Just because the couple didn’t bump into each other in the most spontaneous ‘hollywood‘ styles or fall in love whilst completing their Bachelor’s degree at university doesn’t mean that their “future” couldn’t be as exciting as that of a typical ‘head over heels’ couple.

There are countless married couples that encountered each other through purely ‘arranged’ intentions, but live in a rather happy, loving and comfortable marriage. I suppose two people eventually form that connection where love and emotions become the fuel power to thrive. Let’s cut to the chase here, in essence the soon to be ‘wedded’ couple manifest their rather fetal and developing emotions into a technological medium of communication. Does midnight texting sound familiar to some of you out there? Does the 10 minute meetup with the future life partner when you’re supposed to be out with ‘friends only’ ring any bells? That awkward sense of uneasiness caused by aunties and uncles when your fiance/fiancée tries to speak to you at a social event, the intense glances make one feel like the horrors of pre-marital sex are going to take place right then and there!

The bottom line is arranged marriages work out just as successfully as ‘love marriages’, the only difference is the presence or absence of a romantic history. A word of advice to all of those who might be thinking of tying the knot and are still in the limbo of ‘yet to be married to him/her’, utilize this time in getting to know each other. In order to make a wise and conclusive decision about whether or not to marry your potential partner, it is essential to channel this ‘limbo’ period so as to understand and realize the mental compatibility between both parties. It is true that living with someone in the same residential perimeters makes you more personally aware of the other person, but that doesn’t undermine the significance of the duration before marriage where both persons are not living with each other (engaged to be married couples or even dating couples normally live in their own separate houses before marriage), the anticipation of marriage shouldn’t prevent us from assessing the risk factor in an arranged marriage.

During the ‘limbo‘ period, the man and woman should share their likes, dislikes and future visions with each other, more importantly it allows both persons to be skeptical about the pragmatic dimension of the future relationship. Even within such a traditional and patriarchal framework, both genders have the secret luxury of assessing their personal opinion about the relationship whilst they interact through the mobile, internet or social events. Occasionally when people fall in love, they determine their mental and emotional meshing by themselves and aren’t drawn into a union by third parties. In the case of ‘arranged marriages’ the couple don’t have the opportunity to comprehend each other’s stance on numerous subjects, so these days many of them take advantage of the ‘limbo’ period. For all my friends who are about to enter the joyous union of life-time partnership, don’t hesitate to understand your other ‘half’ and if something strikes you as odd then be vocal about it. When I refer to something appearing ‘odd’ or ‘strange’, I mean if you might think that your ‘future’ pick has intentions of diminishing your individuality or might not hold a similar perspective as you towards things that are close and dear to your existence.

Our present generation is lucky to have this altered version of ‘arranged marriage’ where communication is easier and more reliable than the treasured yet old-fashioned exchange of ‘love letters’. How about morphing ‘arranged commitments’ into technologically thrilling modes of communication and understanding, additionally why not determine whether your future life partner is someone who you actually want to be with? Just because our elders have made level-headed choices in matters of marriage for us, doesn’t mean we seal our hearts and minds too, never stop thinking for yourself. In such a society I maybe categorized as those lucky people to have parents who value thought process and opinions on such debatable matters. At the end of the day it is our responsibility to speak up and think for ourselves whether it concerns topics of ‘arranged’ or as termed in Pakistan, ‘love marriages’.

Women in Pakistan: And our vow to silence?

29 Mar

Remain quiet and the world will be silent, speak up and the whole world will sceam with you.

Invisible sweat of fury forms on her fingertips, whilst she feels a nerve throb against her forehead, an univiting scream makes its way to the throat but it dies down as soon as the girl feels her expressive protest is completely useless. This is what happens to several girls throughout this nation and most likely in many parts of the world, they are rendered speechless. Why, you ask? Simply because their protest will go unnoticed and will most probably play the cards against rather than in their favour. Hence the sole solution seems to be silence, which in turn creates an ignorant counter effective process of undermining the significance of the female voice in many matters. Is this a general happening within this country? Not really, along with time, perceptions have started to alter and as a result many parents and relatives have formulated a sense of awareness and appreciation for a woman’s/girl’s vocal authority. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, but just sometimes it can suffocate you into bitter misery where you either kill everyone around yourself or take your own life.

Silence prevails throughout. Shhhh someone might hear.

Have you ever heard the standard sentence ‘Just bear a little more and things will gradually sort out, he needs you to be understanding’, well I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it several times. That’s what many women in our society are preached, continuous reminders of her ‘submissive’ role are embedded within the mind frame. It is instilled in them since they are little girls, when they see their aunts or elder sisters unhappy and going through a rough time during their marriage, they are conditioned to think that there must be something that those women are doing wrong. Maybe she should be “more” compromising, or she should put in more “effort” in her relationship, no matter how unreasonable the man is being. Let me remind all the readers that this is not a general opinion but rather it is a reductionist approach aimed at those women I have seen and heard of. No doubt, both the male and female party need to invest a lot into marriage which requires a few compromises and sacrifices, but surprisingly enough there are many cases where the woman seems to be the only component of the marriage formula that keeps on trying to level the equation.

When our women express their disappointment and unhappiness in a marriage, we jump to conclusions that it might be the initial ‘hardship’ of the relationship where two people learn to adjust with each other. For quite a few women, it’s not the weighing intricacy of the new bond formed that is causing strain, but it’s things that go on inside those four walls when no one’s around. As mentioned before, some women prefer to use the silent treatment with everyone even their loved ones despite the fact that they are having a brutally awful time with their new husband. Are women a piece of cake to live with? Hell, no! Women can be ‘equally’ difficult, erm let’s be honest, women can be harder to tackle than men. Keeping this point aside, let’s focus on women being maltreated. After women say ‘I do’, some men switch into superiority mode and gracefully accept that the wife is now their property. Beat the living shit out her, stop her from meeting her family members, stop her from watching her favourite tv shows, sounds like a fairytale? I think I’ve exaggerated this a bit too much, in case ladies reading this start processing that this blogger has ‘some issues of her own’, stop right there! I never said that ‘all’ men were like this, but come on I know people who have been through such marital atrocities.

Some of us Pakistani women have this disgusting habit of keeping secrets, which should clearly be revealed rather than hidden under a burden of emotions and trauma. After years of beatings, one fine day the family members or siblings realize their ‘loved one’ is taking hits for petty reasons. By that time the majority of people think it’s too late, they believe that sufficient sexual, emotional and timely investment has been made and tearing the wife away from her husband would be an ‘inconsiderate’ move. What happens in this case? Nothing much really, the siblings and parents make regular calls and visits in order to check that the woman hasn’t dropped dead after a sumptuous beating from her better half. In many cases I’ve heard that the siblings gather the courage to get the husband beaten up to keep him in his place and prevent him from turning into a serial wife killer. One of my really good friends has some strong and rather reasonable opinions on such cases, she says the best option is to castrate the man, but that may lead to an enjoyable imprisonment. Hypocrisy? Yes, we all lather ourselves in double standards where the man can get away with a good old regular beating but no one can get away with getting rid of a man’s essential anatomy. Sighs*.

This is not the end of my complaints ladies, don’t worry there’s more to come. What about the crazy idea where wives are ‘forbidden’ or ‘restrained’ from meeting their own siblings and parents. Those women must not have been aware that they were going to be fortified into isolation, reasons you ask for this imprisonment? Here are a few, ‘Who’s going to tend to my house when you’re not at home?‘. I know what many of you are thinking, is the house a new-born baby that needs to be breast-fed from a lactating source? A few other reasons include ‘What about my mother, she’s going to be home alone while you’re gone?’, this being said while the mother in law comfortably lies on the sofa watching an intensely dramatic soap on the television. Let me add this my loves, that no one is ill or in a position of assistance within that household but somehow the wife needs to stay put and must not make that visit to her parent’s place. Gradually some men invade the woman’s whole life, where she has to submit to his likes and dislikes on the television as well, which leads to her watching her favourite tv shows when he’s out at work. I must say that many of our mothers are lucky cause they can watch their dragging soaps on television without any complaining from our fathers 🙂

The key question is why women keep their mouths shut? Why do they believe lifelong silence is preferable to an expression of pain and suffering?

So many of our sisters, aunts, daughters don’t exclaim their tedious lives to us because they simply don’t want others to be part of the ongoing misery. Their love and concern for us keeps them from reflecting their own life stories because it will ignite a chain of events which will not affect them in a singular sense, but will encircle the entire family. The society will devour the parents with taunts and inquisitive expressions of their daughter’s unstable domestic environment. Sometimes all a woman thinks is, why should I take everyone down with me when I’m already facing it alone? That’s where there are completely and utterly wrong! All women owe it to themselves to speak up when they feel something is wrong, neither can we blame the whole society nor can we point fingers at our families. How are our ‘loved ones’ supposed to alleviate our hardships and problems if we don’t give them a chance?

For once let’s think about ourselves ladies, and stop fretting about external factors, all men and women deserve their share of happiness.

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