A pakistani girl.

Sometimes I think I was made just to get married. At least that’s what my family believes, and wants me to believe.

Born a daughter, a first child to my parents, in a typical Pakistani family, my “life” is a big deal for everybody in our family. Ever since I hit puberty, I am constantly being reminded that all I can ever accomplish in my “meaningless” life is getting married.

Pakistani families are very close-knit by nature. Cousins usually grow up together; aunts, uncles and grandparents mostly live under the same roof, and hence, everyone is in everyone’s business. Since I am the eldest girl in my family, I have been experimented upon one too many times, and was bound with restrictions all the time when I was growing up. It was always: “what will people think?”, and “girls can’t do this, girls can’t do that”
nonsense.

But now, almost a decade later, this is not the case with my younger girl cousins nor it is with my own sister. They can be whoever they want to be. However, whatever and whenever. Be it businesswomen or astronauts, accountants or psychologists, highschool dropouts or doctors. There is nothing that will stop them from being their own person, and no-one will stand in their way.

But what about Mahrukh? Can she do what makes her happy? Something that she likes?

No.” 

She can only be a wife. Have kids. Cook. Clean. Manage the house. Have some more kids. And repeat.
 

At least that’s what I’ve always been led to believe. According to my family, the best thing I can do with my life is to get married. And as soon as possible, too. Before I reach my “expiration date.” Attract a nice rich man to marry, become a full-time Masterchef and a housemaid, provide my parents lots of grandbabies to play with, and basically, just kiss my own personal life goodbye.

This is what girls living in Pakistan go through everyday. I’m not saying that every girl goes through this, just most of us do. And there’s nothing really we can say about it, or complain. Because we’re told that our family members always know best. As if.

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