Good visuals excite me.
The beauty of nature mesmerizes me.
Memories of Pakistan nostalgia-te me.
Position of women worries me.
Chauvinists exasperate me.
Preachers of false dogmas enrage me.
Terrorism sickens me.
Extremists frustrate me.
Moral policing infuriates me.
The lost community baffles me.
Racism saddens me.
Political bastards need to get a life!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I am an Immigrant, a Third Class Citizen (2)


The sun was going down fast. I hated winter for it winded back my curfew time. Zeenat and I were pacing fast, 2 blocks away from home. My mother had already called four times since I left school. Why did I feel so anxious about these calls? Zeenat was blabbing on about some girl in her breathless mode. Someone's sister was seen at a gynecologist by herself. Oh, alright, she was by herself - that's news!

"Emaan, tera dimaagh khraab hai!" Mother shrieked as I swiftly walked past by the kitchen up to my room, of course, not forgetting my manners of greeting her. I was in no mood for any meaningless gibberish - yeah, yeah, I'm thirty minutes late. "Janti nahi apnay baap ko!" O yes, I know my dad all too well.

All this nonsense drove me nuts. What interest we have in others' lives. How can we assume things about others, or make rules for others, when we don't know what it's like to be in their shoes. Parents know their children like the back side of their hand. That's what my mum always said. How is that possible? She is raising a couple of kids who are experiencing life and growing up in an absolutely different circumstance. How can she possibly empathize with what I feel? My other siblings are zombies, may parents have programmed them to be remote-control-responsive. My system didn't match with their software; I'm malfunctioning.

There are two kinds of people that the community must collectively ostracize: homos and flouting women. And in our community ostracism is not restricted to the word, it goes beyond and includes ridicule. Well women have it easier; homos just get thrown off a high place down to a stone floor, women get the divine opportunity to get beaten into obedience.

Islam is a religion of hierarchy. (Down with free markets!!) At the top is God, followed by the Prophets and somewhere in between them come the Books, which also come somewhere between the Prophets and mankind. Further down (in order) are the free believing men, the free believing women, the slave men, the slave women, the unbelievers, the polytheists, the adulterous men and women, and finally the homosexuals. So basically, the free believing men, the highest order of mankind, the ones who decide the life of the others, are like those kids in school who get told for the very first time that they are the day's class monitor, and almost immediately you see a change in their attitude: proper, chest-out, proud and very strict. After getting used to the post, they may learn the trick of power abuse. And this is where I get to laugh. See, I'm no apostate, still very much a believing woman. But these proud class monitors have to report to their superiors at the end of the day as well. While they go about their pompous business, with the special star on their chest, they are the ones who will face the harshest meeting with their Creator.

When people decide to migrate, especially when the decision is voluntary, they should understand the expanse of this decision. It is not a decision that simply effects the migrants, but also the recipient country and the children of these migrants. It is their selfish, non-accommodating, non-compromising , non-accepting attitude that creates problems of a larger magnitude. Their denial to acknowledge the new place, fear of losing their origins, leads to nothing but disaster.

As always, the disaster effects the women harder.

One thing that absolutely frustrates me is that religion is solely for the woman to follow. Everything good or bad she does is viewed through the minuscule lens of religion, or the working system of a patriarchal culture. Women are to wear a hijab, which is an instant giveaway of her religion, leading to religious discrimination and now public humiliation at the hands of conservative non-Muslims. What is a man's giveaway? Neither is his beard mandatory, nor a green scarf! His visual appearance is pretty secular regardless of whether he is living in Muslim state or not. Any religious get up is absolutely the man's own choice and he isn't looked down upon for a different choice. In today's world, not every woman takes a hijab, and it's quite culturally accepted. But when we sit down and talk about it, it's like a super g-force guilt attack.

As for love. Again. Easier for the Muslim man to fall in love in this non-Muslim state, since he is allowed to marry outside of religion. Love by itself is often considered an irrational state of mind. So it's alright for the man to be irrational and get away with it, but not a woman. The star on chest coming into play.

I love my Pakistani culture, I really do. And I thank my heritage to have made me a part of it. The problem is, that is not my only heritage. I have also grown up in one culture that is different than the Pakistani one. Grown up in a culture that is home to me. How can I be expected to behave different than what I see, experience, deal with every day and every minute of my life? How can I be expected to behave culturally Pakistani as a full time job when that's a country I've seen less than a handful of times? How can I be expected to act like Pakistani girls when my entire life is in a different part of the world with different worries, different feelings, different issues, different lifestyle? Why should my moral placement be thousands of miles away? Why is it wrong for me to feel more British than Pakistani when that's where I've grown up? Why is it that while still trying hard to maintain this balance, it's never good enough? Why is everybody thought of as robots that they must function the same way? Aren't we all humans? Is it not possible for at least one of them to feel different? I have my own heart, my own mind, my own eyes. Can't I create my own reasoning? Am I not solely responsible for my deeds? Why is it everybody else's duty to get me heaven? What if even they aren't doing very heaven-oriented deeds?What if they've got it all wrong? Isn't that a possibility? Or are we little totalitarian puppets and any and everybody is going around dictating what they have found right? Is my life, your life? Are you willing to go down for me in the end? If not, would you blummin' get out of my face and mind your own business, please!


  1. *sigh* I can understand how it feels. I only lived for a year in the U.S, and I get substantially frustrated when my opinion is suppressed because it's "against" the norms and the general thinking of the society. But, of course, your situation is different.
    Why don't you try talking to your parents about it? Try to explain to them your situation and how you feel about their unrealistic expectations!!
    I hope it'll get better for you. This is just...sad.

    My other siblings are zombies, may parents have programmed them to be remote-control-responsive. My system didn't match with their software; I'm malfunctioning.

    ^Woah! I can relate to some extent.

  2. well,,,even though i am not a muslim and not a pakistani, i can still understand how it feels when people dont undertand ur point of view. they see u through the prism of ur country and the image ofn ur country becomes ur image.
    in the 21st century people need to understand that islamic country and religion islam also need to modernise....the growing frustration seen in the islamic world needs to be placated.
    every person should chlange the dogmas and change it... the onus is on each and every person....go out face the world and fight for your rights hte right way..
    best of luck
    love from india

  3. awesome and brave writing. also what some women feel in some oppressive cultures in India.... but i have faith that it will/ has to get better...!

  4. AnonymousJune 04, 2010

    well i must say, these days when u hear anything , regarding anything goin on in the world, dont know y but it does inrolls everything else as well thats goin on in this godless world. some how it has started to engage all odds and evens in the same line and things are blamed for the things which are to be blamed in the first place and then again the same chain reactions starts and now everything is to be blamed for just waiting for the end and driving my jeep in the mountains till then

  5. AnonymousJune 05, 2010

    I understand it must be difficult when your parents have certain expectations of you, especially as a pakistani. I am pakistani but also french and grew up in america. I definitely saw both worlds growing up, so i can say i'm really open minded and tolerant to all religions and cultures. I really love that. But i get so frustrated at the closed minded pakistanis, that cant see outside the box, and ESPECIALLY those that immigrate and then bash their own country. For me its just living in peace with yourself and being understanding that others are different and don't believe the same way you do. I should apply that to my own life:)

  6. @Komal as of now, i am at a point of no return. there is no room for any talks anymore. can't say anything about the future. i am not 17 anymore, you can only imagine how many talks and conflicts there must have been.
    i am sure many people can, like yourself, can find elements that they can relate with. our community needs collective therapy!

    @amit hey! thanks for your lovely words. i understand where you're coming from and wont challenge any of what you wrote. except, yes, people need to challenge dogmas and change them to be [i]in their original format and persuades healthy evolution[/i]. evolution of belief in the sense that it is more of a mutilation is critical! and that's where we've landed.

    @anand definitely. story of pakistani women is no different to that of the indian. we are more similar culturally, and share a lot of (good/bad) things. and this gender oppressive cycle has to end. thank you for the appreciation :)

    @anonymous1 lol ... i kinda prayed today for the judgment day to be here soon. lol ... so i hope you dont have to drive too much and waste all that precious gas! :P ... or you driving something environment friendly?

    @anonymous2 you've stolen words out of my mouth! we really need to learn acceptance. i have more to say about your comment .. but that will be what i write next as a blog-post.

  7. Hi,

    Ali Syed of here.

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    You can contact the web desk regarding blog posts here:

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  8. I like so mucho your blog. Im going to following it.


  9. Hey dear! I am a female MBA from Karachi, Pakistan. Love ur blog outlook and ur awesome thoughts. Best of Luck for ur blogging. I hope we can be mutual followers- if u like my blog?? And don’t forget to comment please !!

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  11. Thank you CATGIRL for liking my blog. Will definitely look into your blog. Hope to see you again in my word-fields :)

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