The Matrimonial Question: A Pakistani Perspective
Well, we are almost into October and we all know what’s coming up next, the prolific wedding season, right?
Designer dresses, colorful mehndis, excessive food wastage, innumerable invites with no RSVPs of course and jewelry worth millions. The same jewelry which would be subjected to a bank locker for the rest of its life until of course, you need to show off some pearls that may or may not elevate your status in this noble society of ours.
“Welcome to Land of the Pure”
Well, one may argue, whatever expenditure is incurred on someone’s wedding his or her prerogative, fair enough. let’s exclude excessive spending for the time being.
To begin with, this dilemma of ours isn’t about a fancy wedding. It’s more like a natural obsession that has been passed onto generations. The timing does differ for this obsession to turn into a reality, for some its right from the word go, others may express themselves after puberty and like most of us out there need a degree to earn someone’s respect and eventually tie the knot for what its worth.
The question is why are we preoccupied with a conventional setting where a bride and a groom sit awkwardly in front of a crowd for three straight hours and smile. Who do they smile for?
They do it for the camera, for either of their “Susraals”, for two thousand people in front of them with Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and polaroids. Apparently, those two thousand people are there to express their happiness except for the fact that they rather seem interested in Whos the designer? What proportion of jewelry was gifted from the guy`s family and vice versa?
Most importantly, the talented Pakistani eye is capable of measuring height, weight, collar size, muscle mass, fairness, shoe size and much more in those three hours of public display, commendable, I must say.
Its all about time, isn’t it? Passport size picture circulation from one family to the other has been replaced with Facebook and Instagram stalking.
Let’s not forget the infamous screenshots which determine a couple`s fate in our country.
Although the title says. “A Pakistani Perspective”, there isn’t a single perspective to comment about. The categories are as follows:
Perspective 1: “Larke Wale” (The Groom`s family)
Perspective 2: “Larki Wale” (The bride`s family)
Perspective 3: “Log Kya Kaheinge?”, (The general population invited or uninvited, doesn’t matter to either of them)
Evolution is an ever-changing phenomenon so does a Pakistani wedding, there was a time when we had two ceremonies, primarily a Nikkah followed by a Valima. But that was so 1990`s, right?
So we came up with a dholki, surprisingly you can have this particular event whenever you want and it is no way coherent to your wedding dates, it can be a year prior to that or a year after, doesn’t matter.
A mehndi to begin the official celebration but here is the thing, this particular event is an ultimate face-off between the bride and the groom`s family, whoever wins gets to decide the official wedding hashtag probably (#AwedsB).
What happens next?
“Baraat” which can interchangeably be used as “Rukhsati”, so the bride walks down the aisle along with the groom, both are headed towards a heavily decorated car surrounded by a protocol often other cars, just to see them off. Whenever you`re driving late at night and you witness six or seven cars circling a heavily decorated 1800cc or more, congratulations you just spotted another couple.
“Valima”, so whoever was ignored in the illustrious events that took place before are invited to this auspicious occasion.
Even after these events, the matrimonial question is a mystery and could remain the same way for a long time.
If we could just do all of this in a rather constructive manner with consent and approvals from those who are actually tieing the knot for their whole life.
None of us our against the excessive spending or a lavish wedding, it’s about our approach which can be more constructive or meaningful for those who are actually getting affected by this variety show worth millions.
I know for a fact, most of us are privy to these realities but who cares, after all its Pakistan. As I said earlier.
“Welcome to Land of the Pure”
The matrimonial question or I should say the matrimonial dilemma has alienated more than ninety percent of our fellow Pakistanis who can’t afford to incur such expenditures, pay dowry and invite thousands for no reason to their child`s wedding.
Just a fun fact, we have had weddings in our country which were worth 40 times of our national income.
These perspectives may or may not exist, we can’t let them take over our lifelong decisions. The sooner we realize this, the better.