March 28, 2006

Thought of the day

Pakistanis are the most religious people on earth. Don't believe me?

Let us look at two ahadith (prophetic sayings/traditions):

1. Utlub al 3ilm wa law bil Seen
Seek knowledge even if it means going to China.

Have you seen a nation that produces more doctors? A nation more zealous in their attempts to at any cost, become doctors. Even if it means going to Latvia, Poland or the Caribbean because getting into those Universities is easier. They are yet to go to China but I am sure they are working on it as well.

2. Al jannah ta7t aqdaam al ummahaat
Paradise lies below the mothers feet.

Now I know all women married to Pakistanis are nodding their head in agreement, those of you who don't follow, let me explain.

No matter if you are a praying or practicing Muslim in Pakistan, there is not a single soul that doesn't know of this hadith, and there is not a single mother who hasn't pulled this one out on her kids, let's say just before her son (we will call him Omar) brings home a girl he wishes to marry.

Son (Omar): Ammi (mom), I want to marry Nadia, she is from the same city as Grandma. Her father is a DaaaaakTarrrr (Doctor), and her mother... (who am I kidding, they never care what the mother does).

Mother: Beta (son), does she understand our ways? Will she take care of me when I'm old, hah? Beta, where is jannat (paradise)?

Son: Under your feet ammi.

Mother: Shabash beta, shabash (Well done, son, well done).
In other words, Drop it!

And so the Nadia story ends. Naturally nothing was really wrong with Nadia, and she would probably take care of his mom and massage her feet and make her lassi (a drink made of yoghurt), it is just so that his mom didn't choose her and therefore, well, need I say more?

So then in case number two, where the son actually has gotten married to a girl, we will call her Shazia, next scenario takes place. Shazia who is a fairly "modern" girl in terms of being educated and all that, and coming from a home where her mother had to live with her in-laws, Shazia knows of the drama that follows with such a family set up and is keen to have a place of her own with her new husband:

Shazia (on the honey moon): Omar jaan (dear Omar), when we come back from Singapore (everyone goes to Singapore), we will have a separate living, right?

Now the answer will be one of the following possible two:

1. No, paradise lies under mom's feet.

2. Yes, you will have a separate living.

The outcome of both answers however is quite startling.

Let's say Omar replies with a "No". Shazia will of course be disheartened and with heavy steps return back to Pakistan, enter her new home with her mother in law standing by the door greeting her son with open arms. They will have every single meal together, every single day spent together.

Now what if Omar had said "Yes". Shazia would have been thrilled, and relieved, wouldn't she? With lighter steps returning back home, sitting in the car with her husband, smiling, excited about the new house they are moving into. They drive and drive, and finally stop in a neighbourhood that looks very much like that of her in-laws. "They all look the same", she thinks to herself reassuringly.

They step out of the car, Shazia eyes her new house, it looks exactly like her in-laws house, number on the door is slightly different. As they are about to enter, from across the street, a huge crowd is now gathered in the house opposite theirs.

Picture it, mother in law in her shalwaar kameez (Pakistani dress) with a plate of methai (Pakistani sweets) in her hands, smiling exaltedly, father in law just standing there, poor thing has no say anyway, children and grandchildren all over the place, all waving, and welcoming the arrival of the new neighbours Shazia and Omar.

The beauty of this house is, besides the fact that it's across the street from his mother, both kitchen windows stare each other straight in the eye so one can simply stand in it and look into the other house and wave.

Shazia: Omar?? yeh kya hai? (what is this). You promised me separate living?!

Omar: Arre Shazia, yeh to separate hai? Hum aiki ghar mai nahi rehte hai? (Shazia, this is separate? We aren't living in the same house are we?)

Shazia: Kya bakwas hai! (what a load of crap)

Omar: Shazia jaan, jannat kahaan hai? (Shazia dear, where is paradise?)


Note: Oh and by the way, these stories took place outside of Pakistan...

14 comments:

Destitute Rebel said...

True About the Doctors. Pakistani's have started going to china for medical school. I'm from a small city and a couple of people I know are stdying in china so there.

About Jannat also very true everyone is aware of this in Pakistan and the separate living is a major issue in Pakistan.

khanana said...

Ha ha ha

very true .. I see this every day here…
But DR is right things are changing slowly… you may call it improving or something else… one can see change in big cities atleast…
all of my sisters and brothers got married with their own choices and nun of them is living with their in laws, and separate is not just as that typical one…
perhaps its because of expensive real estates in big cities where not everyone can make exact same houses side by side :)

khanana said...

Ha ha ha

very true .. I see this every day here…
But DR is right things are changing slowly… you may call it improving or something else… one can see change in big cities atleast…
all of my sisters and brothers got married with their own choices and nun of them is living with their in laws, and separate is not just as that typical one…
perhaps its because of expensive real estates in big cities where not everyone can make exact same houses side by side :)

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

D Rebel, really? So China is on the map? well that just supports my theory even more. What a religious bunch.

I would call that improving, khanana.

khanana said...

sorry...
im new at this blog thingy..
no idea how it took two comment publishing requests..
it went blank...n i just tried to refresh with F5?

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

No problem, it happens. The more the merrier!

TwinTopaz said...

i hope u will find atleast one postive thing about Pakistan soon and will care to post it.

:(

opinionatedinjerzee said...

haha!! this is hillarious and sooooo true!! Pakistanis are all the same!! my mom is so dishearted that my brother bought a house 20 miles away because his wife can be closer to her job.. and yeah, my bro is a doctor and so is his wife!! hehehe!

BuJ said...

very true shaira.. very true...

mind you where do u find the time to blog? bas hada kteer bida7ek..

it's sad about the mothers though.. thank god i'm not that pakistani :P

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Twin topaz, there are many positive thinsg about Pakistan, buut they don't make one laugh, do they?

Jerzee, lol! two doctors mashallah, your mom must be so proud :) lol

Buj, wallah bida7ek kteer, where do I get the time? Well 5 days went without a single post sho ya3ni time? lol

Elizabeth said...

Does this happen because traditional, older women never were allowed to develop their own identities, and therefore invested too much into their sons, and therefore don't want to let them go?

Boo! said...

*sob*

*sniff*

you just hit a few chords here Shaira.

@elizabeth... interesting thought!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Elizabeth, that is definately an interesting question and perhaps to an extent what you say is the case. One pakistani woman, well educated, well off, living in sweden for almost 30 years told me: When we marry we say goodbye to ourselves, and in order to maintain our husband and family (including of course his family), we slowly have to "kill" our personality and wishes.

I am not saying this is the case for all pakistani women. But it still is the case for some. So from that perspective, perhaps mothers do live through their sons.

Boo, tissue? take two while you're at it. I can imagine it strikes many cords in many people. When I write I do wish to display the humour in the situation but I am aware that this story is the story of many if not most coming from our cultures. Anyways, courage! my friend.

zee said...

LOLLLLL it is soooo true yaar! Bilkul true!