Two Roads Diverged In a Wood, And I

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Hello, world.

I am in Savannah, Georgia. Starting my postgrad- Masters in Writing at SCAD (short for Savannah College of Art & Design).

I feel like I’m on a really fast roller coaster (even though I terribly fear them), and things seem to be flying like a rocket for me ever since I left Pakistan.

I honestly have no words, because this is a big change in my life. When most girls my age are forced to marry and start a family, I have been given the choice of living abroad, in the good old US of A, and take my future in my hands.

I had given up, truly. When I got the acceptance at SCAD and expressed my excitement to go there, my parents and family did not agree. In their eyes, I was 26 and unmarried, getting old and nearing my expiration date. However, one day in November, my parents just came up to me and told me that they will support my decision to go to SCAD despite what everyone says or thinks.

And so, I applied for and got my student visa, and here I am. I’ll march my band out.
I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out,
Your turn at bat, sir,

I can sing this whole damn song, and I have realized that I am a theater nerd as well.

To new beginnings!

xoxo

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.