Marriage; The Ultimate Goal?

To answer the question we first need to understand what a goal is. A ‘goal‘ is defined as an aim or a desired result. It is also known as the destination of a journey and a point marking the end of a race. And ‘ultimate‘ refers to the eventual or final happening.

Talking about marriage, then according to our society YES it happens to be the ultimate goal that also makes you ‘GOL‘ (fat) as one of my friend says, where mothers start seeing ‘sehray k phool‘ veiling their sons faces and ‘ye peela jora aur hari hari chooriyan‘ on their paraaya dhans (daughters) as soon as they are welcomed into this world. To add to the satire, the same society that once believed in getting married as the eventual consequence of your purpose of existence then starts demanding the cultivation of not acres of lands or crops but a bunch of closely-gapped, all sized and substantial amount children for your own living.

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Glancing back at the unmarried me, marriage itself to me never occurred as a goal or an ambition I was very fond of. For me it was rather a moral obligation (all hail to our cultural system) I had somewhere at the back of my mind that I needed to fulfil at the right time with the right person. For me it was like a phase I couldn’t stop from advancing me though tried my best to keep it from coming by locking myself up in the washroom while the proposal party (now my in-laws :D) sat outside waiting to meet me. And what brought me out was none of the threats my mother warned me with or the international call my father made to have a few words with me. It was neither my maamu banging the door to not cry a river and behave sanely nor my sister’s requests to not put up a show. It was just this very sentence, “He is qualified and well-educated.”

Also read: Secrets To Happiness

This was one of the goals I had regarding being married. An educated person to spend my life with who can help me in pursuing my dreams and ambitions. Because life doesn’t stops after marriage. It is meant to go on which is not possible without setting some aims, planning some targets and then putting in efforts to meet them. You achieve one milestone and then you strive for another. It is a continuous process crucial for our progression and development.

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Reason behind getting married:

We humans crave for companionship and procreation because we are designed that way and this is the whole crux behind getting married. To do it all legally under complete ethical boundaries. Thus, finding the right person is a goal. Should be for all. Rational approach towards marriage demands us all to think of it as a bridge between partnership assisting the couple to walk through their journey together and reach their individual set of goals, the roots of which underlie in a successful marriage. Because marriage itself is like a tender and fragile little baby that nurtures and grows stronger with time on daily basis. It cannot be seen as the final stop to your journey of evolution and moving forward in life and hence cannot be the ultimate goal.

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But then what is the ultimate goal or goals?

They are the ones that are independent of the mandatory requirement of marriage and those that can be attained by you as an individual. Lets list down some.

1. Finding mental peace and happiness.
2. Carrying out a healthy lifestyle
3. Discovering all your potentials and showing the world what you are capable of
4. Achieving milestones and successes through rightful means
5. Striving to improve yourself and thus becoming a better version of you
6. Carrying out deeds for a decent living in this world and the hereafter
7. Stabilizing yourself physically, financially, emotionally and thus being independent
8. Setting up an example for others to follow
9. Leaving behind your mark so that the legacy continues
10. If considering to get married then finding the right person and if already chosen, then testing him/her by all means before jumping to the final decision because it’s a matter of the lifetime.

And in-case this post reached you while being already married, then your ultimate goals should still continue being the above ones but with a slight addition and that is continuing your marriage and leading it in the most decent, ideal and honorable way by setting up examples for your next generation to follow.

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Also read: After-Effects Of Marriage

Feel free to add some points to the above list via comments.

Let’s Protect Our Boys Too

Since this is an awareness post and I want to stick to reality of the struggles raising a boy, so let’s keep it all natural and stop ourselves from doing “Haws and hayyes” instead\n of spreading awareness among our kids.

Watching this week’s episodes of drama serial ‘Haiwan‘ airing on ARY Digital starring Faisal Qureshi, Savera Nadeem, Sanam Chaudhry and others has left me totally startled, paralysing my brain as a mother!

Where are we heading to? Our children are being deprived of their security and safety rights. The society we live in has shaped into an undomesticated ferocious beast with enormous claws ready to gulp down the most vulnerable, innocent beings.

The only way to fight this beast is to grill our children’s brains with awareness. No matter how small they are. Once they start their school, they are now the smarty pants, picking and grasping things with the speed of light.

To all the mothers of boys, don’t think they aren’t prone to any kind of abuse specially a sexual one. Because there is a visible increase in cases like those which are still unable to gather some media lights and continue to go unreported. And since the masculine sex is claimed to be powerful, their problems are often ignored and overlooked without much of a support from the ill-equipped legal system.

If girls are the delicate flowers of our society then boys too are our sunshine. We cannot and should not overlook their security aspects by merely saying “Larka hai!

Larka hai apna acha bura janta hai!

Larka hai sab kuch kar sakta hai!

Larka hai apne aap ko bacha sakta hai!

Larka hai, Maghrib pe bahar nikal sakta hai!

Larka hai, raat ko chat (roof) pe ja sakta hai!

Larka hai barish mein bahar khel sakta hai!

These notions need to be revised now. Because “wo tou larka hai lekin zamana ab kharab hai

Lately, my boy has been fascinated by small things around him including his body parts. Small toy cars, cute little books, tiny crayons, mini legos, little babies and even the tiniest nail of his pinky finger to be precise and of course his boyhood thing that amazed him being discovered during the struggling potty training session.

He always exclaims seeing anything smaller in size by joining his thumb and index finger, closing his fist, shutting his eyes saying “chota munna, isko pappi karte hain.” (little baby, let’s kiss it)

This may sound cute but the first time he said “isko pappi karte hain”, I got alarmed right then.

Because not everything needs a pappi from you!

The next day he got back from school and while mentioning the names of his newly made friends, he takes the name of a girl class fellow saying “Sara is so cute. She is my friend. Usko pappi karte hain?”

Not kidding, I was on the verge of a heart attack when a sudden realization shook me all over. And that was, he wasn’t telling me about kissing the girl. He was rather asking and confirming if he should pappify her?

Clearing the sweat from my forehead, I sat pulling my son into my arms, made him sit on my lap, raised my index finger, spoke in a final word tone and said,

Friends ko pappi nahi karte hain!”

The very next second he asked, “Handshake?”

I replied “Only with boys! You should not shake hand with any girl.

He again asked “and with miss Amber?

To which I again had to say “only boys!

Though teachers no doubt are your soul parents but again, they aren’t your real parent. Because the terms “maa jesi, baap jesa” have lost their essence and trust in the current socioeconomic situation.

Anyways, I kept on repeating this time and again and now whenever anyone asks him about the names of his friends he goes like:

Akbar is my friend. Usko handshake karte hain”

“Sara is my friend. Usko pappi ni karte, handshake bhi ni karte

People used to laugh it off at first saying: “abhi se admi bana dia hai bache ko

But I stayed determined. Because there is nothing like “abhi se” when bringing up a kid. It needs to be started from the initial years so that they can stick to it in their teens and afterwards. Whatever they learn from childhood is what they ace at after growing up. Their thinking, concepts, approach, emotions, habits have their roots spreading and gaining strength right after being able to utter their first word.

The next task was something that whenever I thought to give it a try, I found myself drenched in sweats of shyness and worries of explaining it to him because I am a mother to a boy! It was an awareness about his private areas. But I had to stand up, brace myself and take the lead preparing myself to answer all the ifs and buts.

And this one is the most crucial part of upbringing when raising your kids. Please, I repeat please sit down and think, devise your formulas and ways to make your child aware about it. This shouldn’t be ignored. Neither it is a topic to be Haww-ed! It’s merely the need of this hour. And only a mother can do this in the most polite and detailed way leaving no room for further interrogations and quenching her child’s inquisitive thirst if she is willing!

Anyhow, while the on going potty training sessions he discovered it and was startled to see the wonders it was able to perform by summoning to nature’s call. It left me thinking deeply how to satisfy his inquisitions in a polite yet contented manner so that he has nothing left to keep wondering about.

I started inculcating in his mind that you should not allow anyone to touch you. While washing him up and bathing him, I accidentally came in contact with it and said:

I am so sorry. Mamma shouldn’t touch it.

Since kids these days require an answer to every thing you forbid them to do, not only an answer but a rational one, He asked “why?”

I said “because we shouldn’t touch anyone here”.

He asked “Is it dirty?

I said “yes it is. That’s why you wash it every time in washroom.

The next time while playing, his father patted him right on the bums and my son came running to me saying: “Mammaa, baba touched me!

I said go and say “you shouldn’t touch me here.

And he obeyed.

The bad part about it is we don’t enjoy the full freedom to hug and kiss him now because he has become conscious!

But, this was the whole crux behind my all efforts.

The good part?

He has started taking confidence in sharing whatever he finds wrong. He has started establishing his trust in me. He has realized that he can come to me for whatever problem he jumps in deliberately or unintentionally.

And the best part?

He has learnt to raise his voice instead of finding it shameful to speak up for himself from a tender age of 2.8 years only!

Also read :Breaking the stereotype

Have you indulged this concept of self awareness and safeguard already in your child?

What has been your take on this? Do let me know via comments!

Silent Girls Struggles

There are majorly two types of girls according to my findings,

1. The bubbly and chatty ones
2. The sober and silent ones

I belong to the latter category since childhood and was most famous as ‘The Sober one‘ among my friends and family who always weighed her words and then spoke. I cannot speak random or speak a lot though my laughters have the capability to echo through the entire building, but it only happens when I have a bunch of “My People” around.

Since girls of a talkative and friendly nature have a visible dominance, the silent and sober ones always feel left out in the social circle. They ought to be very less of noticeable among people, that too comes with no surprise. I used to see girls having endless talks, chirping, laughing, giggling, gossiping and thought to myself, why can’t I be like that? Why I cannot initiate talks? Why I can’t jump into a random group talk and make myself comfortable? Why I can’t pass a smile to everyone and act like we have been friends forever?

I just couldn’t do any of above.
Sending a Facebook friend request, or hitting the follow button on IG was a complete no-no for me!

I was assumed as self centered, proud and egotistical.

These were the very first impressions I had on people right after the exchange of names. A very dear friend of mine revealed her opinion about me as soon as we got friendzoned, that too after alot of struggle from both our sides and that was “I always saw you as the angry one before

The silent ones do give a tough time to everyone, don’t they?
Maybe because they are afraid to engage in idle talks having no appropriate matter.
Or maybe because they hold a firm belief on

A shut mouth gathers no flies“.

Anyway, then came the age when our desi society finds a girl all ready to be adorned with the best of clothes and shoes for that one special day, showing up with trays or trolleys carrying a plate of circularly alligned biscuits overlapping each other (most commonly), a dish containing kebabs (shami kebabs to be precise) and a fork, a crystal bowl of polychromatic nimco (not very common but still practiced), the famous yellow bakery wala cake cut in slices sitting lengthwise in the middle of a plate overlapping each other, and lastly a tea set reserved in every home for special guests containing the most ehtimaam se banai gai Chae because she is now eligible for the mandatory match-making and being examined from the first hair strand on her head to her last toe nail. (I went through none of the above but witness it happening alot)

My family was actually worried and concerned about me because of the mere fact that I wouldn’t talk, A LOT!

That’s when I started to build an inferiority complex inside myself. I used to invent topics in my head so that I can have something to talk about. Something to say.

But how could I talk?

How could I just blabber things in order to gain few welcomes in the rishta culture?

Couldn’t I just be a good listener?

Is the action of ‘talking’ that much of an obligatory part for a girl’s identity?

Since we lived abroad back then, my grandmother (may her soul rest in peace) used to call my mother saying time and again k “Taskeen se kaho sab se baat kiya karey agey barh barh k.

Because I know there are girls out there who don’t need a push to engage in conversations.

There are girls who have the ability to pass a smile or greeting as a result of a mere eye contact.

There are girls who can have endless talks over a cell phone and need to be reminded about their pending chores.

There are girls who can easily match their chemistry with others befriending mostly everyone on their way.

There are many of them.

Plenty of them!

And I wasn’t one of them. (Read am instead of wasn’t)

My mother used to force me to have an ear to ear smile and get myself engaged in talks. Sometimes scolding,

Sometimes piyar se

In a taunting voice,

And then dara k

But since it wasn’t in my nature, I had to fight myself to obey. I got rebellious back in those days. Confronting people and meeting them was the last thing I wanted to do. I disliked welcoming guests at home because that called for continuous blabbering without hardly a minute or two of silence. Ammi while randomly talking to her friends used to say “She is all sober. I am so worried about her“.

And then 2, 3 aunties breaking the typical aunty-ism came to my rescue saying

Sober aur suljhi hui larkian aqalmand hoti hain, humein tou aesi he pasand hain

Not that I got married to any of those aunties sons yet happily married to the man of my dreams Alhamdolillah, but this one compliment boosted me up.

It made me realize a few things.

1. You should be comfortable in your own skin.

2. It’s not obnoxious to be all sober and serious.

3. Do not, I repeat DO NOT compare yourself with any of your sibling, friend, cousin, or any other xyz.

4. Whatever nature you possess, you should be able to carry it in the best possible and dignified manner.

Just love yourself the way you are and others will start loving you. Show your hidden potentials to the world without any comparison to others. And one day you surely will be acknowledged for who you are.

The true you.

The honest you.

The real you.

Concluding this with a self invented thought,
The beauty of silent ones lies in their quietness same as the charm of chatty ones lies in their talks


Do let me know about any of the struggles you faced being not very talkative…

Let’s talk ‘Post Marriage Happiness’

The word ‘happiness’ holds within an ocean of meanings and factors contributing to the state of just being happy. It’s not just a word. It’s an entire sea of emotions motioning with waves of contentment, pleasure, well-being, energy, liveliness, self satisfaction, high spirits and good relationships to name a few. It happens when your heart and mind are in uniformity with each other.

Our society however fails to understand this. It overlooks the depth of feelings and attributes a “zaati ghar, gaari, bangla, nokar chaakar” as the ultimate sources of happiness. When objected, people say things like “Allah ka dia sab kuch tou hai. Aur kia chaiye?

What they don’t seem to realize is that it’s totally absurd to link happiness with material things. A ghar gaari bangla cannot ever be standards measuring it. Yes, these may be vital for your good living but just them alone cannot necessarily make you entirely happy. There is a chain of factors linked with the state of being contented through your heart and soul.

In the society we live in, a girl after hardly a week to her marriage is asked “Khush tou ho na?” Though no one has dictated this before to her but she herself comes to the realization that saying a NO will absolutely mess up things for her. A woman’s level of happiness cannot be calculated in a day or a week. Though having good inlaws and a very supportive husband does matter alot. But it takes time. Years maybe. Adjusting in the new phase of life and seeking happiness in little things around you is not easy. You have to fight your inner self and mould yourself to adapt to new changes. Your hormones in the entire journey never leave you and keep adjusting themselves in this new phase of life with you taking a toll on your mood, nature and personality whenever they feel like.

The magical period of honeymoon too doesn’t last long. You have to get over with it someday because practicality and real life problems await you with open arms ready to hug you tight nearly squeezing your ribs and sometimes suffocating you. The fairytale period has to end one day with a pat on your shoulder saying “Adios! A whole new life welcomes you

That’s when the bubble bursts and you are hit hard with a thud on ground.

Because yes, you were flying before.

Flying in the fairyland.

Dreaming.

Hoping that life pauses.

Wishing for the time to stop.

But it doesn’t. It is meant to go on. There is no way back. You may look back and cherish those moments but you cannot entirely bring the time back.

Saying for myself, I got married and shifted to Karachi while my parents still stayed abroad. There was no such thing like my maika here. No weekend plans of visiting my parent’s house and staying overnight. No gossip sessions with my sisters. It was all over my face. The longing of snuggling in my mom’s arms and having a heart to heart conversation with my dad. Mobile phones and video calls cannot replace the warmth attached with the human touch. People with the mentality “ab tou Skype, Whatsapp, Imo hai. Ab konsi doori ka ehsaas” either have no feelings or they are very hard at their hearts. Because none of this can ever replace your bond with family.

Once back from my loveliest honeymoon, my dark days started. That was the time I had sudden outbursts of crying. Mood swings at its peak. Anger management issues. Nothing made me happy. I was trying hard to accomodate myself in new lifestyle. Socializing with people was so difficult. I forgot what does laughing from inside mean. I had stomach upsets every other day. And then there were countless questions like

Ammi abbu yaad atey hain?“, “Karachi mein set hogai ho?“.

How can people be so cruel to know what you are going through and still asking the same to satisfy their inquisitions.

Yes, I wasn’t happy back then. Disappointed with myself for failing to cope up with my new relationships. Complaining to god as to why only me without my parents staying at the same place. Why I don’t get to visit them every week like other girls. Why I don’t have no one here to vent my heart out.

I remember seeing off my family at the airport when for the first time they were leaving after my marriage and I cried a river. From seeing them off till getting back home all I did was just crying. The security officials stopped my husband on the way back at a place or two and inquired as who am I to him. He had to show our wedding pictures as a proof of our relation and then he begged me to stop crying.

The newly married me was in a state of utter dejection.

I was covered with gloom from head to toe. A genuine laugh from me was forgone.Yeah it was that bad.

I then tried hard to embrace my new life and sought my support system in my mil and fil. I had my husband’s back throughout. My sil used to cheer me up as much as she could. She being a recently married girl understood me so well when at times my husband failed to do so. Because after all it was a new journey for him too. And some how, with time it started getting better.

I started owning my house. Started getting possessive about it. One day I walked through every room of my home, touched every nook and corner and whispered “yes it is mine. I belong here“. The mango tree in front yard was mine. The fruit it bore the next summer, I proudly called it mine and bragged to everyone about those desi ghar k aam. Mere ghar k aaam!

It took time. A year for me.

This journey of ownership and control took alot of patience, courage and strength from me. It took 12 months to get used to all this. 12 months to cook what I liked and to express my likings and dislikes. 12 months to share my opinions in the house. 12 months to open up regarding my feelings and expressions.

All this taught me how to be expressive. How to be happy with things and relationships I have around me. And slowly the void in my life started filling. Though I had that typical ghar gaari bangla but happiness was what was missing. I started getting excited to eat a thailey wali chaat and gandey wale french fries. Aalu k samosey and kachoris. Mirchili ki samosa chaat and Gappa gotala and 50 rupees wale bun kabab. Started memorising the roads of Karachi because it was now my home. Gradually, I got in love with this city of lights and recommended people about the newly opened restaurants here. Started going shopping to Ashiyana, Gulf, Tariq road with my mil and sil not out of formality but because I was willing. Willing to explore the unseen.

Yes all this took time. But I am happy I aced it. I finally found happiness. No one sold it ever. It was within me. I just had to discover it and I am glad I did. I brought back my lost smiles. My endless laughters. And now I am fully contented, satisfied, happy and thankful.

Initially, it’s hard for every girl getting married. Specially a girl moving to another country. Leaving behind her best friends and family. Because marriage itself is a roller coster ride in a topsy turvy land at start. Acceptability and realization are the keys to enjoy it. The sooner, the better.

Did you go through a hard time seeking happiness after marriage?

Do let me know how did you cope with it.

Breaking the stereotype

We desi people living in the 21st century when get to know about someone expecting a child, the first thing we observe as our duty is to pass our greetings by saying:

Ye beta beti kuch ni hota, aaj kal dono barabar hain. Bus aulad naik aur sehatmand ho.

This particular thought of ours is absolutely positive and the need of this hour except for some typical aunties of the uninviting mindset beta burhapey ka sahara“, “beta baap ka baazuand some vain stuff like that. Speaking of myself, we are 3 sisters only but lets leave its pros and cons for some other time.

Anyways, soon after the baby is born, this notion diminishes somewhere when we start associating the term “boyish” with babyboys and “girlishwith babygirls. May it be about colors, toys, activities and xyz other things except clothes. There is no rule of thumb like this but just in our minds as I too am very much peculiar about the color blue for my son. But I guess it is absolutely okay for him to wear some unisex shades of pinks as well. So, I hope my point now justifies.

Now, let me share a small incident about gender inequality with you all that forced me to highlight this topic.

My son being a youtube geek, apart from watching the famous Baby shark doo doo doo”, loves to watch cute baby videos of them playing, singing or engaging in other activities. One day I peeped into what he was watching because there’s something known as parental control.

What caught my attention was a little girl cutting some sort of detachable wooden veges and Arsal was so keenly watching her do that. The sound those veges made being slaughtered (as forcefully she was cutting them) was so real that I couldn’t help myself thinking about the mechanism they followed.

The other day while window shopping in Miniso (luckyone mall), I saw a box of those same cute little veges. With my mind already made up for buying it if not for Arsal then for myself because dil tou bacha hai jeee, I still found the courtesy in asking him if he wants it.

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With just a brief “yes” he excitedly grabbed it from the shelf and ran off to show it to his baba. We bought it and got home. When I told a few people about these interesting little pieces, I got to hear things like,

Isse boys thori khelte hain

And

Ye tou girls ki cheezain hain

These were said by the same people who brag about their open mindedness by saying the very same thing “ye beta beti kuch ni hota……”. If such was the case, there wouldn’t have been a single male chef in the entire world or a ladies tailor who is a male either.

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Instead of nourishing such thoughts, please stand against them. Encourage your sons if they show interest in various kitchen tasks because the word “kitchen” is linked to the female gender since forever which is absolutely mistaken. And secondly because there is no harm in learning a bit more than just chae banana and anda ubaalna.

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After all, a good son today will be a better husband tomorrow. And I will be more than happy and proud to embrace this reality because it is a mother who shapes good husbands for future.

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Pride in one’s mother tongue

Today, when I see my kid burbling some of the famous urdu poems like “Aalu Miyan” and “Hathi mera sathi”, I have a feeling of pride and joy because having studied outside Pakistan myself and specially going to a pre-school where the only medium of study was English and no other language not even Arabic, I was unaware of such cute poems that bring you real close to your mother tongue.

Back in those days there was no vast reach of internet either. So, when we used to travel to Pakistan for vacations and I used to see my cousins singing these poems, it looked so awkward to me and I used to think “poems in urdu for real??”

But now when I see my kid humming these famous poems among many others, I do feel proud because I didn’t get to learn these in the first place. And the first time he came to me and said “Mamma, Aalu miyan”, I literally opened youtube and learnt it myself so that Arsal may realize it’s fun to learn things in Urdu as well and that his mamma knows them too.

There is absolutely no shame if a Pakistani child is grasping Urdu a little ahead of English because at the end of the day, Twinkle twinkle little star, Johny Johny and Baa baa black sheep tou har bachey ko he ajati hai! These 3 poems are like the first day lessons when he/she is born!!

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P.s Not the first Jummah in school but Arsal’s first Jummah wearing Kurta Shalwar to school Mashallah. ❤

Introduction

Hey there everyone, welcome to my blog.

My name is Syeda Taskeen Fatima. I am a post teenage adult who moved from Middle East to Karachi after marriage and is still in the exploring phase.

Soon after stepping into motherhood, I have been taking note of tiny little things that have a greater impact on your life in a positive way and thus, decided to start a blog where I shall be sharing my views, opinions and experiences about many big and small matters that are a part of a daughter, sister, wife and a mother’s life.

Hoping this new venture of mine will benefit many of you. And yeahhh, I won’t mind suggestions and feedback. Feel free to leave comments under the comment section.

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Hope you guys have a good time reading through.

Follow me on instagram at http://instagram.com/taskeen.stf