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..”
“aaaand..how’s Marrried Liiife?”
“its great- thanks.” polite smile.
“hmmm, wel you know, the usual. busy with work and things”
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.