appeasing those voices

random social occasion.
“so how are YOU doing?”
“im good Allah ka shukar- how are things with you?”
“oh amazing. soo…how’s k?”
“oh he’s good- busy with his new job-really like..”
“’s Marrried Liiife?”


“its great- thanks.” polite smile.
“hmmm, wel you know, the usual. busy with work and things”
“soooo whenareyouhavingkids?”

forced smile. no getaway in sight.
“soon, soon- inshallah- lets see”
“how long have you been married now?” ugh
“a year and couple of months” please go away.

“oho-bass ab tau youll want to have kids”
intrigued. “i will?? why?”
“common sense, bahee- ho gaya bass alone shalone time-
bass quickly have kids before you get bored.”
you mean before YOU get bored.

These conversations to me (note how I don’t say WITH me) or variants thereof, these days are a dime a dozen. Everywhere I go, every tenth person I meet is looking at me with an inquiring smile, as though I’m about to burst with some news any moment. After all it’s been a while since my wedding and I haven’t provided people with something to talk about.
We are such a entertainment-starved people. We thrive on happenings. Births, deaths, pregnancies, miscarriages, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings- just give us a reason to get talking, visting, moving and we are all for it- with boundless enthusiasm. We need to know what is up in everyone’s lives and once someone hits an even plateau (read: happy, consistent, even if slightly boring life), we go and shake them up a bit, hinting at trouble ahead if they don’t rise out of the rut they find themselves “trapped” in.
Even when answering such people, I momentarily find myself scrambling in my head for something to report- a recent trip, a big project, any tidbit in hopes of calming them down, holding the fort till I do produce news worthy of headlines. The trap is so easy. It’s so a part of our lives. Who gets married first? Who has a kid first? Who has the three kids first? Who got which job and how? Why haven’t you bought a car yet? When will you bhuy a house? Why is he still single? Why is she still single? And as you slowly start giving into the questions and trying to fulfill the voracious needs of the social voices around you, you are slowly giving up on your own life and timings, sliding without realziing into the race of rats, to run aimlessly and blindly towards these “goals” without remembering whether you even wanted to part of the run or not.


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11 thoughts on “appeasing those voices”

  1. thats a depressing conversation.
    what does she mean by “hogaya alone shalone time…”

    that depressed me even more…
    its like are you only getting married to have babies and wh does everyone have to confirm to the steriotypical concept of marraige.
    not that i have anything against that either…nothing wrong WATSOEVER with settling down and having kids.
    but sab ki apni marzi hai…why must you impose ur opinions on otheres…
    what if you havent had enough ‘alone shalone’ time…and want another year…
    i’ll stop now.

  2. jam welcome to my world….i have such stories to tell…and they r endless…its like a fight everyday to keep on goin with ure life…struggle against these social voices…every freakin day!!

  3. I LOVE this post! This reminds me of the millions of conversations I’ve had with random, unrelated desi people since the time I turned 16. What is this obsession in our culture? Why can’t people mind their own business? What is it with getting married? When I moved to the US, I talked to a few of my non-desi friends about this (this whole obsession with marriage, hey, even your friends will ask)and they gave me blank looks in response….and then finally, they’re like…woman, your culture is lame!

    Why is marriage the be all and end all in our society? Its just ridiculous. Why doesn’t any other achievement account for anything?

  4. I love reading your blog……it always makes me smile……Giggles… know that is the one plus side of getting older….we get more sure of ourselves and learn not to comply with social graces. I have actually gone from the silent “not dignifying your question with an answer” stance to more “humoring these questions with the silliest response” stance. I usually use them on people who are close to my age because you have to preserve our desi respect thing with elders. Q: Why am I not married yet? A: My hair is too short, when it grows longer I will. Q: When do I plan to have kids? A: Kids? What kids? I really don’t like kids but maybe I will Jolie up one or two if I feel like it. Q: Haiii, don’t become one of those old laddy with 4 cats okay! A: 4 cats! I was planning on 7 at least. Q: Achah na tell quickly when will you get married, you are going to be 30 soon, I married at 22 u know. A: I will make you a deal you lose 100 pounds (she is like 215 lbs and a 25 yr old cousin) and the day you lose all of them, I will announce my wedding date. Gigglez…these are all real and not fictitious. Lol….I am glad we are all in this together…

  5. buss jammie, now you’ve got people talking- dekho dairr saal hogaya hai and no bacha ooooo

    lol…it’s such a shame that shaadi bachay seem to be the be-all end-all, supreme recipe for happiness and fulfillment of everyone’s life hereabouts…even the men get sucked into it sooner or later. i’m all for getting married and having babies but like everyone else has said- aur bhi dukh hain zamaney main. pssh.

    karvakarela- great poem 😀

  6. It’s the question on everyone’s mind, since the day after you were married.

    Kids are a great part of marriage. I’m saying this because I have seen Omair and myself evolve into parenthood. We’ve had good days and bad days. But I can assure you that you can NEVER be “ready”. Just wise enough to know that parenting means you can’t be selfish. Career, home and simple pleasures in life have to take a back seat when there is a little person around, for who, you are his entire world.

    But these social conversations are fun to have. We waited 3 years, and by the near end of it, I had people slipping me cards of a good OB/GYN telling me that there is always “hope”.

  7. you always handle stupidity with such charm….hahaa…until YOU get bored…love it!
    seriously is it abnormal that A and i aren’t bored with each other yet? i think college, dating, marriage, babies are all wonderful things to experience but none of those will mean anything if you’re pushed into them…it takes a certain level of stability and maturity to have babies…don’t we know enough stupid mothers already? 🙂

  8. ugh!
    i think i’ll run away from Pakistan after graduation coz everyone will start having those OTHER conversations with me
    “acha bhai ab to chohtee bhee barriii ho gayeeee- ab iss kay bhee haath peelay karr dooooo”


  9. ha ha ha! hi! read this post on your blog (very randomly)and just thot that this is the funniest take on the living single/married or even alive in paki world i have heard so far!
    just cant stop smiling at reliving every thing through your words about “appeasing THOSE voices” 🙂
    nice blog!

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