We girls face a lot of stress as soon as we come of age. We see friends, cousins, peers getting engaged /married one by one, and that’s just even more pressure. To top it all off, we have to hear our parents banter about their “farz/responsibility” and how much “bhoj” our marriage is on them.

I am sure we all desi girls can relate to these dialogues:

” 24 ke baad tu larki ki shadi mushkil ho jaty ha, budhay he miltay hain”
“20 saal ki thi tb rishta dhaikna kyo nae shuru kia! Mae na khti thi abhi sae dhaikna shuru kr dai rishtay magr mairi koye sunta kha hae”
“Haye iski sb dosto ki shaadia ho rahe hai sirf yae he ghr bhaiti hae. Anum k jurwa bachay b ho gae. Sari zindagi jaga jaga mo maarti rahe aur ab kitnay aish mae rh rahe hae”
“Pakki omar ki ho gaye hae”

Married off for a better future

Our parents see youth fading fast in front of their eyes instead of acknowledging our many talents in makeup, dressing up, gossips, sarcasm, our intelligence and our eyes that shine with hopes to one day conquer the world and spread beauty and peace and some much-needed intelligence by merely existing. To protect us from imminent doom of living our lives alone and being a burden to the whole society they marry us off for our better future to a man which simply put is plain ugly.

And that is what happened to my friend, despite her constant protest of his chocolate complexion, bamboo physique, smug face (worthy of an ultay hath ki chupair to the face to wipe it) and squint eyes. The reply my friend got was:

“Beta chehray Allah ne banae hain, Shaklon main kiya rakha ha, Insaan ka inner dekhna chahiyay”

The foreseen inner

What I understood from this was that that “inner” was his Canadian Nationality as from what my friend told me after she ended up shackled to him. He was as beautiful from the inside as he was on the outside. So my sweet, pretty and innocent friend was married off to this guy because of his “inner self.” Her parents saw their daughter’s bright future abroad while she only saw that her parents need this, as they are now old and are not financially stable enough and she is a “bhoj”.

The all high and mighty guy demanded he wants to marry a doctor and ended up with my friend. His clever reasoning was he doesn’t want to have a spouse who is a typical gossiping stay at home housewife.

Typical Pakistani aurtain

Initially, he said all those things that a girl wants to hear, the lines every girl like you and I loves to hear.

“Tumne jaise krna ha krna mujhe job se koi issue nahi ha, mujhe wese hi typical Pakistani aurtain nahi pasand”

There were no sparks, no like minds colliding, no attraction, no same goals or passions. The cherry on top when she expressed her true feelings about marrying the guy chosen by her parents. They told her that looks do not matter. She was superficial. They were giving her a better and secure future. She cried a few tears in front of her friends, showed some reluctance to her parents and in the end, ended up nikah-fided to him instead of being engaged first because of the prolong visa process. Let’s fast forward to three months later.

Suffering in the name of love

My friend like most girls are in such situations became sentimental and was now blindly in love with her husband. They talked day and night on WhatsApp. He expressed he wants to be her best friend. They shared their deepest secrets and desires. On the one hand, they planned a lovely future together in which there were only feelings along with a backdrop of romantic songs such as “tum he ho” while on the other hand, she went through mental and verbal abuse by the same beloved husband. She thought she would be his savior. He would be molded into a better person by her but alas, winded up ruined herself.

Her self-respect, her pride, her confidence in everything went down the drain in the gutter(where her husband’s mind belonged). Just because she was society’s “typical girl” in whom are engraved our values from childhood that our husband is our everything, divorce is unacceptable, a second marriage is out of the question, even if she was a doctor being a divorcee she would have no value on the marriage market. She would have no love, no husband to give her companionship, no kids. She swallowed all the misery, all the hurt and went for the rukhsati.

The aftermath

Fast forward to seven months from the nikah and a month after the rukhsati she was now a crying mess, was putting fake smiles on her face. Pretending in front of the same society and friends that she was a happily married woman and her visa application was in the process, but in reality, she is expecting a child, worrying about being a single mother, her soul is in tatters and is filing for divorce.