Unforgettable 1st Love

A 22-yr old asked me that question. Like seriously.

She asked: “Hey is it true that you never forget your 1st love?”

Tbh, my first thought was “Exactly HOW OLD does she think I AM?”

But instead I said, “Says who? The 90’s Bollywood movies? I mean no offence to SRK fans, but he single-handedly ruined the perspective of Love of our entire generation and maybe the next.”

“But that’s what they all say…”

I cut her off. “Okay think of it this way. Do you remember your first cellphone? Remember how you were sooooo eager to get one? and you were so happppy and it was the best thing you had bought/your parents had gifted you?”

“Yes but that is a THING. Not feelings towards a HUMAN BEING.”

“Hear me out. You absolutely adore your new 1st phone. And it is the best. Guess what after a few years it starts wearing off.. and then you get a new phone. But you are not quite ready… you are not ready to let go of it yet. So you safely put it away in your dresser’s top drawer…maybe even in a nice pouch. ….and maybe time to time you look at it.

Few years down the road, you may even take it out, show your friends and laugh about how pathetic it was and how your new updated Touch screen phone is so-much-better… with the larger screen and the better OS.

Eventually, you need space in that drawer. For new things. More permanent things. Things that make you happier than that dead body of a phone does. So what do you do?

You

Throw

It

Out

Trust me. You do.

And to have time on your side, after you are DONE living the clueless 20’s…I can ASSURE YOU, that the only reason it may seems impossible is cause you are in the midst of it. Eventually you will be OUT OF IT. And it won’t be such an end of the world.

And being in a desi culture, of course she replied with

“It’s okay I was just WONDERING. I wasn’t asking for myself”.

Of course honey. I was just saying.

 

 

 

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Lost hope, Lost Love

My mamma used to tell me “Beta har cheez jannay ki zaroorat nahi” in short that translates to “Ignorance is a bliss”. And boy was she right; in some cases.

When you are starting to freshly experience life as a young adult everything is about the NEW and EXCITEMENT. Things are either Black or White. There is rarely any grey area. I meet girls who are desperate to get married or very much against marriage. When asked about the reason why they feel a certain way they mostly point to instances that have taken place in their personal life, or in their circle (family or friends). They are missing the spark of hope. Hope for happiness, hope for feeling deserving of attention and love.

What I have been noticing in “early to  mid 20s” lot lately is that their idea of life and love and reality is very obscure. Is it the fact that too much knowledge is at hand now for these young women? Are they finding out unnecessary information that really is no business to a girl in her 20’s? all the instagramming and facebooking screwing up perspectives of life. Life doesn’t come with Filters honey, you have to create what you can with what you have available.

They have initially set super high expectations of the way life SHOULD be, and then they feel its too ideal and unrealistic. Something that, the chances of which are very minimal.

I used to feel the same way, and eventually I discovered something. At the turn of ‘adulthood’ I was finally starting to realize the difference. I knew that falling in love (crush) came with a thrill; an unknown…short term relationships were experimental and involved late night chats and shallow promises.

but LOVING continuously was a chore.. (in a good way). In order to love your partner the same amount as yesterday or more you had to struggle every day. every. day.

It is human nature; we tend to start taking things for granted after a while. In a long term relationship …in marriage you have to constantly remind your self of the first few moments of feelings that brought you here in the first place. You have to remind yourself day and night. When you feel down, when you feel like something is not right…

it is like you are planting a seed… and your hands are muddy… and you are sweating… and it is so!much! work! But you have ultimate hope in your heart that it will, in the end, bloom into a beautiful flower… 🙂

So what I am saying is that, happiness in a relationship is not attained in isolation. The daily aspects of “planting a seed of love and effort” are necessary for your input to grow and flourish.

At this point so many girls have said to me “IT is not a one-way traffic. There should be some sort of response from the other party as well”. Yes, you are right, but don’t you think the other person is thinking the same thing? At least start doing something nice, and you will see results…and have hope girls. Have hope. The Universe provides.

Henna, Dancing & Social Indigestion

It is said that where there is a Wedding, there is family drama. No occasion is considered complete without some social mishaps.

At least that is what I hear. This past weekend I attended a Wedding reception from my in-laws side. It was a small cozy event with only close relatives and 1 or 2 friends of the groom. I assumed was hoping that since it is such a close knit group of people nothing Bad could happen. Deep down I think we all were just waiting for the bubble to burst.

The weekend kicked off with the Mehndi (Henna ceremony). It included amazing Henna artists putting Henna on girls, with fast paced Bollywood music & dancing and a lot of jokes and laughter; let’s not forget the amazing food! This event was followed by another fun (The Reception) event with tasty food, family photos and an emotional/unexpected speech from the Groom’s mom.

As I sit here now, I think back on all the different types of people who make or break the Event! People who add to the drama, people who add to the fun. And regardless of the size of the wedding, you see all or most of these people lurking around the Desi Wedding.

HERE IS A LIST OF 9 TYPES OF PEOPLE YOU ENCOUNTER AT A DESI WEDDING

  1. The Overly EnthusiasticYou see them even before you enter the premises. They are the ones running around frantically trying to be a part of all the activities and/or selfies taking place around the house/Hall. They are mostly super coordinated with matching shoes and clothes with the perfect hair (you can tell they spent a lot of time planning this). Also, don’t be surprised if they break into a synchronized Bollywood routine. They have been practicing for a while now.
  2. The Food HunterThese are the people who are only in it for the FOOD*ahem*hubby. These people try to be as late as they can possibly be to be event in order to avoid any awkwards Hellos and Salams …encounters with the “Over enthusiastic” Aunties. Their attention is reserved for the waiters who are busy setting up the buffet. As soon as the Dinner is announced, these type of people submerge in the long line, fill up their plates and are GONE. You are lucky if you get to say Bye to them after the meal is done.
  3. The NonchalantThese are the most annoying kind. I mean it is one thing if its a distant wedding. But I have been noticing lately, that being nonchalant at a close family wedding has become a TREND now. I mean the EXTENT is that I met a nonchalant GROOM for God’s Sakes! These are people who want nothing to do with anything! They are uncomfortable under the limelight, they don’t like the crowd… They do not cooperate in the Rasam-o-Riwaaj (Traditions/Customs). They just want the event to be over so they can go home, wear their PJ’s and do absolutely nothing.
  4. The NitpickerOh these people are sO common. I feel like its a cultural thing. The Nitpickers are people who always …somehow or the other… find flaws in an otherwise perfect wedding. They will go to any extent for that. For eg. The Biryani may not have enough Aaloo (Potato). Or like the Food/Decor won’t be as good as their so-and-so relative’s wedding… and something horrible I heard was that the BRIDE’s Makeup “was just ugly” and made her look “fat”.True Story. it is HER BIG DAY. Let her enjoy and look how ever the hell she wants to look. YOU HAD YOU TIME AUNTY! ZIP IT AND Enjoy or GET OUT.
  5. The Jahayz (Dowry) Hawk(Very closely related to The Nitpicker above)
    These Ooh these people. Okay so in the Desi Culture it is a custom for the Girl’s parents to give her gifts for herself and gifts for the new in-laws. I feel it is just a way for parents to show their love and ensure that their daughter is comfortable, with everything she needs in her new home. Although it is a fading custom, in some family’s (well not like entire families but few people in the families) people make a huge deal out of it. They are greedy and not co-operative at all. They don’t understand that whatever the Bride is bringing is for HER OWN USE not YOURS. Yet who can stop the aunties. They keep a sharp eye out for all the gifts in order to make an estimate of the millions spent on the wedding. Their focus may range from the Gold jewelry to the clothes to the electric appliances & furniture in the new Bridal Room.
  6. The Taaroo Maroo (Gawker)This is not so common any more.. but I have experienced incidents where there would be guys just lurking around in the background gawkinnnng at the pretty decked out girls… also… some would sneak in a picture or two !! :@ The list is not limited to guys though…it may involve aunties looking for prospective Bahu’s (Daughter in Laws). They may gawk at your dressing from afar.. or if they are bold enough, may come up to you to ask your name and/or parents’ information (yup happened to me).
  7. The Unleashed KidsSomething gets into the kids! A perfectly calm child would start running around the Halls and jumping up and down the stage stairs…spilling drinks every where…I think it is the fact that the Mommies are decked up and in heels so they know it would be hard to chase them. But yea, I have yet to go to a wedding where the kids are really as calm as I KNOW they are at home.
  8. The Free LoaderOkay so these type of people are also very common in Pakistan. Now as I understand, in the west, the events are organized down to where each person is going to sit and exactly what they are going to eat. You get invites… and you RSVP to events accordingly. BUT! here it is not the same way. It is not uncommon for people to bring other “uninvited” guests to the wedding and reply “oh they were visiting and wanted to see the bride. I am not gonna lie, I my self have attended weddings of my Cousin’s friends that I was never invited to. The good thing is that people are very generous with seating arrangements and the buffet. So there is always plenty of food to go around. Although a lot of my friends have this view that “if I don’t know them please don’t bring them to my wedding”. Which is completely understandable. People spend a lot of money on these things and even 1 person seating can throw off the whole system. 🙂 supposedly.
    So this is people bringing unwanted Plus 1s. There are events, as witnessed by many of my friends and hubby as well… that people sometimes just dress up and walk in to RANDOM weddings!! for the food mostly… Wedding Crashers come to life!!
  9. The Persistent PhotographerI personally Love taking pictures. I like to look through old photos …make memories…and re-live some moments. Some people, on the other hand, find it absolutely embarrassing to do the Bridal Photo shoot. Which may or may not involve quirky poses and awkward staring into each others eyes. And to top it all off… some people close to faint when faced with a seriously “challenging” photographer who has set his mind to ensuring that he goes out with AT LEAST 100 different poses. He will  continuously try to make the bride twirl to take the perfect shot.. or nag the Groom to look at his new bride with puppy eyes… He will call all the girls SISTER do this do that… and he is happiest when aunties tell him to take portraits of Single Girls who are ready to be betrothed off to the next guy that walks into the wedding!

So that’s it folks. Let me know if you have something to add to this list …through your experiences.

P.S. This post is based on Real Life Events.
P.P.S. Disclaimer

Having Friends who tell their mom everything

There is nothing wrong with that. Being friends with your mom is a blessing (I believe). I personally was never that close to my mom to tell her ALL about what was on my mind, but I surely have had a fair share of friends who do.

Their attachment was alien to me. I never understood it. For me, Mothers were just that; Mothers. Mothers were authoritarians and Compliance Officers. Friends were the people you shared your crushes with, or experimented shiny makeup with, or laughed-till-you-cried  with…

In fact one of my cousins was like that. It was the 3 of us; born the same year. We lived apart, but used to have a blast every time we got together. Eventually I started noticing how 1 of them was telling my aunt EVERY thing. And then … I sort of drifted apart. I just was not comfortable. If I wanted my Aunt ( and as a result my mom) knowing everything I would have told her myself, thank you very much.

In light of recent events I realized, a friend of mine has been discussing “ME stories” with her Mother. And I don’t understand how that is OKAY. If I am entrusting you with my feelings and secrets, they should go to your grave. And that is how I am. I never let my mom … or my husband… go through my Facebook inbox or my mails or Whatsapp messages. They are places where my friends share their thoughts and deepest concerns with me. And they are for me. ME only. Not for me to discuss and gossip with around my family when I am bored.

Some people really need to understand the concept of Trust. It is embarrassing for me to even point it out because it is not something you can not teach any one. The best possible way is to avoid such scenarios.

slightly annoyed.

The Talk

We all know that “Talk”right? The one our moms have with us right before we are married. (In some cases you hear it all through your teenage life.) You know the one I’m talking about;

Here is a roundup of the Top 4 offensive things that are often said to Desi Bride-to-Be’s

  1. “My daughter, you are getting married into a nice family, be thankful of that.”

    (jee mom you say that as if I don’t deserve them) .

  2. “Take care of them. Behave. Always stay quiet. If they say something just ignore it. Do not reply back. Respect the in-laws.”

    (What does respect have to do with staying quiet? why are we teaching our daughters that? speaking up for your self in a manner that is not offensive to any body is also do-able you know)

  3. “Don’t work if your husband does not allow it.”

    (well is he promising to spoil you like your dad did and to take care of all your expenses and demands? oh puhlease… educate the girls! Teach them to be independent so they have the opportunity to explore who they are and what they desire to become…& not just a shadow. if she personally wants to stay at home? that is her choice. Luckily that’s the one good thing about being a girl 🙂 you can choose).

  4. Learn how to cook perfectly! Serve their guests when they come over other wise they will question your mother’s upbringing.

    (WHO THE HECK put the meter to measure a woman’s upbringing INSIDE a CUP OF TEA made by her DAUGHTER?)

As per my experience, 85% of the “Talk” has been conducted with the young ladies and not the gentlemen. As a mother of a little boy, I feel it is just as important to have that TALK with a boy as with girls. For more honest take on that please watch this space!

Please read a post I have previously wrote to the Parents of Daughters.

xox

Why are you stuck in this career? You should be somewhere else…

Has anyone ever asked you that? or told you that you would be so much better at XYZ. I think this question is triggered because of the clash/contrast between personality and the job that you do.

I was asked once.. and then again many times..by different people;

Why are you stuck in this field?

In normal circumstances I just avoid or ignore the question. If I scratch through the surface and go deeper into the question I ask myself:

Why is ANYONE stuck in a job they don’t like/enjoy/admire/are-passionate-about?

It is because people are too afraid. They feel obligated to follow a decision that was made FOR them maybe 10 years ago. I don’t get it. What is up with the system? Why are 18 year old children forced to make a decision on what they want to do for the NEXT 40 YEARS of their lives? I mean who knows what they want to do at 18? very few. And more often than not (after graduation) people immediately start to regret their decisions.

sdf

Very few are lucky enough to know exactly what they want.

Even fewer are bold enough to accept it and go for it.

…and EVEN fewer are willing to go against the current for it.

It is much much easier to do the norm. To adopt a cookie-cutter career choice.

Any one from the Desi community would relate to this:

“Son, you can either be an Engineer or Lawyer.” yea no other options.

“Daughter, you will be a doctor.” Period. No more discussion. Any other occupation and you don’t qualify to be on the Goody List of the Khaandan (extended family).

As a mother, I pray that one day I can be as supportive of my son’s dreams and passions as I wish someone would have done for me. I pray that he finds what he is passionate about and does it with honesty and integrity. And I wish all the success to him in all endeavors of life.

 

 

Disclaimer.

Be your own Happily Ever After

Majority of people spend half their lives depending on others. They go day by day confused as to why they are never truly happy or satisfied.

At this stage of my life, when I’m about to exit the 20s era, I am finally beginning to realize that the true happiness comes from within. And not everyone is lucky enough to have an innate mentality that supports this chore. You have to make a conscious effort in order to not compare your self to others and not to submit to the standards that are set my society.

We, as girls in a Desi (South Asian) culture, are taught so many things, irrelevant things.

How to be a Lady;
How to behave;
How to dress;
How to cook & clean;
How to constantly struggle to land a Potential husband (without which you are incomplete and a loser);
How to win in-laws hearts,
How to how to how to…

To name a few. All this  and not ONE of them teaches you that you are important too. You are the only person who can LOVE you 100%. If you are not going to set your own standards for yourself, then someone else will. And trust me when someone else does it, you will never be up to the mark hence making you feel like you are never good enough.

be-youHappiness can’t depend on an external source. It needs to come from within. You can only be truly at peace if YOU are your true love.

Love your self first.

Give EVERYTHING to yourself. Work hard for your self.

 

Remind your self regularly;

You are a whole person.

You are not incomplete.

You do not need another human to complete you.

It is nice to have someone in your life that you love truly and who loves you back. All I need …as a reminder to myself.. and for every girl out there, love truly and deeply but love yourself first. Put yourself first. No one (except for maybe your mommy) will love you the way you are capable of loving your self.

xo

Proposal Disaster

So, I went to a close relatives funeral last month. It was a loss for the whole family. What I did not realize was that through this hard time I will manage to laugh out loud. Yes, what I am about to disclose is a shocking insight into the Rishta (Proposal)/Aunty Culture in Pakistan.

One of the deadly places where the desi aunties hunt for girls for their sons is… Funerals. I know, SHOCKING, but apparently any gathering in our community calls for an instant quest of Rishta Hunt. Some lady apparently approached my Aunt and inquired  about some girl she saw at the funeral (to send a proposal) . Turns out, that “girl”  was me 😀 So my Aunt laughed it off and told her that not only was I married, I had a kid. So, much to her dismay, she continued on her hunt for the Perfect Bahu (Daughter-in-law).

My question to the society is where have you guys been?

Really. When my mom was actually looking for me to get married, it seemed like an endless battle! Seriously.  I think some girls are just lucky if they do get approached in a regular (well..) setting. I know people who have gotten married literally by being approached by some random aunty at a wedding.  The whole coming to the house, meeting the whole family individually, serving Tea & Samosas is just too demeaning.

For additional gossip please read Coffee, Tea or Samosa