Today, I had an omelette which had coriander leaves in it after a long time. It reminded me of simpler times, when I was a kid. Mum had gotten posted to Jhelum and we had just arrived at our new house that she rented for us. There was no gas so we had to manage with a cylinder. My aunt or mum, can’t remember who because it was over 20 years or more ago, made one such omelette. Supplies were meagre and all our stuff was still packed but the days and nights were cold so we used to huddle together under one blanket. Those were the good times for life didn’t get me down so often then. Can’t say the same thing about now. The taste, the smell and the weather, are the same but life has been bringing more troubles than happiness.
For someone like me, just a few months shy of 30, single female, things don’t get any better when there is no desire for marriage and yet a lot of pressure. The worst thing is, the hands that nurture us as children are the same ones that itch to give us away because tradition dictates or because it’s Sunnah. For my society, the distinction between sunnah(the prophetic way) and obligation is so confused and mixed up when it comes to marriage. Marriage is made to be the only purpose of a girl’s life here. No dreams, hopes or aspirations matter unless they are regarding marriage. Because our girls are taught to be submissive and lacking their own voice. They are taught that their own dreams and aspirations don’t matter and all that matters is that she is a good wife (translation:maid) or a baby producing machine. This royally pisses me off.
We enter the marriage contracts for all the wrong reasons. People keep telling me that a girl needs support, companionship, monetary stability and such. But they also tell me that if I don’t get married, nobody except my mother and perhaps father would support my decision. And then there is the matter of “What would people say/think?” Who cares what they think or say behind our backs? They aren’t the ones paying my bills so who cares what their opinions are?!
Why should I enter a relationship where I lose my comfort and myself for people who don’t matter anyway? Those who marry for all the wrong reasons destroy their lives and the lives of so many others. Why should I be one of those people? I wish there wasn’t such a huge communication gap between our generation and our elders.
Standing up for myself sometimes seems as if I’m being selfish, for it worries my folks. But I can’t imagine a life filled with unhappiness just because I didn’t listen to my own gut and spared the feelings of the ones around me. I don’t know how to end this one on a positive note. I just know I have to hang in there, even if just barely, until I find the one person with whom the idea of marriage brings comfort and delight instead of a deep set anxiety and a lot of apprehension.