Are We Not Perfect In Our Own Skin?

Sitting in the salon waiting for my name call today, I was conceiving ways to kill time because I couldn’t just sit there twiddling my thumbs.

Since there comes a time when you feel like puking at the sight of your mobile already having enough from scrolling between Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and WordPress and me having that time of the day, I therefore decided to rather kick my heels. Crossing my legs and lying aback on the seat, I had a full view of the mainroom that was full of women belonging to every age group availing the services they asked for.

Image source: Pixabay

Listening to scissors trimming hairs,

The zzz sound of ongoing threads,

Putting on wax and pulling it off

Applying masks and highlighting strands,

I had a thought occuring to myself, “Why do we women have so much to go through to get it done with ourselves? Are we not perfect the way God has created us?

Isn’t the distressing monthly cycle, the painful labor, the excruciating delivery process enough for us to go through? But then we are designed to function that way, aren’t we?

We women are apparently a weaker species of homosapiens not having those muscular arms or perfectly shaped abs yet can endure a 57 del (unit) of pain during childbirth, which the human body is capable of only 45 del. Amazing isn’t it?

What occured next to me was that this gender of human race is very fragile. Fragile like a flower. And a flower needs to be taken care of and groomed. It needs to be watered at regular intervals so that it can blossom and spread its beauty and fragrance around. It needs a gardener that examines it every month and removes the dead petals providing passage for the new ones.

Similarly, these regular salon visits are to cleanse and purify a woman’s apparent self. Not that she is not beautiful in her own skin, but she needs to be groomed. Not for her husband or anyone else, but for her own self because this is not a mere custom she has to follow. Rather it’s a treat from her to her by her.

Image source: Pixabay

After spending hours in front of the stearing stove, driving while Mr.Sun is in full bloom performing the pick and drop duties, running errands at home while everyone enjoys in chilled rooms, moving to and fro between kitchen and dining room serving the entire household with piping hot food before getting to eat the non steamy meal that is then microvawed at least a minute before she can finally savor it and making sure to complete it without any interruptions, a woman does need a day or few hours to herself. Where she can just sit back and enjoy being groomed and massaged.

Today, I got an answer to what I always used to think before treating myself and that is because I am a woman. And a woman is as fragile as a flower that needs to be watered and groomed.

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.

Secrets To Happiness

Standards of happiness vary among people, groups and society. The upper (rich) class has its own definition of happiness, the medium and lower classes have their own take. And today, everyone is striving harder to acquire it. Everybody is running this marathon because the bars have been elevated to the extent that true happiness has become rare and lost its charm. It is now directly proportional to luxury. Greater the expense to meet your comforts, higher the happiness levels.

Who to blame for this inflation of happiness? It is solely us. Me and you. We have set prices and standards for the attainment of a genuine human emotion. The society we live in has pushed us all into a deep well of comparisons and complexes. Once falling prey to it, you are unable to enjoy the natural occurrences of things, events and emotions.

Image source: google

Specially after embracing parenthood, our sole duty as parents becomes to provide the best of everything for our children. The best of shoes, clothes, food, toys, bags. We plan to enroll them in the best of schools, colleges and universities. This ‘best’ guarantees our happiness. We are the ones instilling in their innocent minds that happiness too comes with a price tag. That it lies in the best of material possessions. We teach them to overlook free sources of contentment and satisfaction and rather lookout for the branded and overpriced ones. It is us, as a society who has monetized the sources of happiness and we are now inculcating the same in the next generation’s minds.

Image source: google

In the complex, exorbitant world of today where everything comes with a price for us, even the simplest and genuine of human emotions, there are people who live by the moment and make it perfect and a happy one. They are the ones who just search for the things within their reach and try to utilize it in the best possible way claiming a lot of happy moments in return.

One such incident left me baffled and amazed. It left me surprised as an individual and a mother. It taught me a great deal of things.
Little Happy Incident:
There’s a park in my neighborhood where I go for a walk every morning after dropping off my kid to school. It’s more of a park built exclusively for walking and not to hurt the fragile hearts of kids accompanying their parents or grand parents for walk it also has a very less number of things to keep them busy. With a rustic see-saw, two old yet freshly colored maze slides and a muddy playground, it houses all other properties essential for walking from lush green grounds to a proper paved walking track with large trees and green plants hovering all around. I daily see a group of retired men walking, exercising and then engaging in talks on current affairs, two to three couples, a group of three middle aged women and a few men exclusively burning their calories.

While walking around one day, a Rickshaw caught my attention that stopped in the parking area. From inside I saw the driver of the rickshaw who further accompanied two children aged 1-5 years and a woman carrying a 6-8 months old baby. The kids enthusiastically ran towards the see-saw as soon as they entered the park, took a few turns and then sat on the slides chattering and exclaiming full of excitement. The father helped the youngest one to sit helping him slide down. I searched to see if their mother was capturing all these pure happy moments of her children playing carelessly and laughing lively as if there will be no tomorrow. But she had none. Rather she just stood there backing them up clapping her hands and saying,

“Shabash beta. Aur khel lo. Kal nahi aenge.”

“Welldone kids. Play as much as you can. We won’t come here tomorrow.”

It partially broke my heart yet filled it with mere realization. It taught me a number of things.

Lessons I learned:
Learn to live the moment by capturing it through your naked eyes storing them for eternity in your heart.
Happiness is scattered around free of cost. Just learn the art of grabbing it.
Be thankful for whatever you have today for you don’t know what tomorrow holds.
Precious things don’t always guarantee happiness.
Lower your standards and raise your happiness levels.

• Don’t overlook the little things in life as they cause the biggest happiness.

Concluding this with a quote of Dalai Lama,
By bringing about a change in our outlook towards things and events, all phenomena can become sources of happiness.

Right From An Ex-Expat’s Heart

The feelings of attachment, closeness and devotion are not confined to humans alone. Everyone of us has some special bond with a specific place. A place that holds remarkable euphoric memories and our blissful past in its hands. A place that carries in itself our colorful childhood and fun-filled and ugly teenage. A place that had us amalgamated with our true-hearted family and loyal friends through every thick and thin. A place that can only be experienced and not explained yet I tried my best in this. There has to be a place like that in our lives.

It might not be your birthplace neither your motherland, but the way it treated you through out the years, welcoming you in the warmth of its arms, nurturing you under its thick shades, washing away your worries through its exotic beaches and scenic beauty, spreading hospitability through out your residential stay and imparting all levels of education and other basic facilities to all its citizens leaves you in complete awe and reverence for it being an expatriate there. It’s a place that is purely cordial to all its inhabitants and showers absolute hospitability to all its countryfolk. It is a place that beautified your past, nourished your present and promised a secure future.

You can’t stop admiring it for all the years to come, passing on your experiences and your deep love for that place onto your next generation as religious customs and community traditions. Because you consider the years lived there as your heirloom. It becomes a legacy that oughts to be transferred and passed on. It becomes a heritage that you feel should never die.

Image source: Google

Muscat (Oman) is the place for me. It occupies the most special place in my heart because my family of five was intact and together. It was our happy place. Those 22 years spent there are engraved on my mind, heart and soul without any apprehensions of being washed out ever. Because my sentiments for Oman can never fade away. They become more mightier with each passing year.

I consider it as my first homeland. Though a patriotic Pakistani and without having learnt Arabic for all the years I lived there, it is still placed above Karachi in my heart. After 4.5 years of settling in Karachi, I still search for similarities with Oman here and when I find any, it takes me back to the memory lane.

And one day, one day I ought to visit it with my son to show him the love it showered upon me. To show him the unmatchable peace I am still struggling to find here. To show him my nursery, school and college. To show him the streets I walked on and smooth neat roads I drove through. To show him the famous Muttrah Corniche and crystal clear beach waters. To show him its enormous mountains and lush green gardens. To show him its beautiful mosques with lovely domes. To show him Riyam, Kalbuh and Qurm parks I visited as a carefree child playing till my hands and clothes got soiled, running around after my sister till we got exhausted and ran to our parents for some snacks and then it changed to just a stroll in these parks when I was in my teens.

I want to visit Muscat again to take my son to Lulu, Carrefour, Centrepoint and Muscat Grand Mall I myself visited countless number of times for grocery, window shopping or just to dispose away the boredom. To see with him the gigantic, beautiful, marvellous and newly built Muscat International Airport I have myself not seen and just heard about. I want to do this all one day. I want to visit that place because I am glad to remain an Expatriate yet hold some strong and vigorous feelings for Oman. I want to visit it to relive those golden memories once again, to cherish the time spent there and to witness the vast changes throughout the years. I want to visit Muscat again to lookout for the clear waters spreading calmness and peace and to see the spots again I have our pictures clicked at.

I want to tell my son about his Majesty Sultan Qaboos the way he will learn about Quaid-e-Azam. I want to tell him about one of the most peaceful countries of the MiddleEast, my beloved Oman.

Image source: https://www.thebusinessyear.com/oman-2016/strides-toward-tomorrow/inside-perspective

Brief Info:

1. The Sultanate of Oman is in the Middle East, located on the south eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula.

2. It shares it borders with Yemen, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

3. Currency is Omani Riyal.

4. The largest city and oldest capital of the country is Muscat.

5. Form of Governance: Absolute Monarchy

6. Reigning Monarch: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said

7. National Day: 18th November (A day to mark independance from the Portugal control in 1650)

On Oman’s 48th National Day today, I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings towards his Majesty Sultan Qaboos who pushed the country towards modernization and evolution. I wish the best of prosperity, peace, welfare, success and development for Oman.

Image source: google

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.