How to Shaadi 101

How to Shaadi 101

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A stream of trillion questions followed by heavy dose of uncertainty and then completely blanketed by fear and anxiety, this is a glimpse of the mental state and emotional ride you go through once “the” time comes. The time when you are considered ‘physically’ grown up enough to get married. While other things may also be considered the prime factor remains the age.

To put it simply, you either go through approach A or approach B. It seems very easy and systematic so allow me to elaborate. Approach A: You grow up, meet someone who understands you, shares your life’s philosophy/perspective, both of you fall in love and get married. Approach B: if you are conservative/ don’t tend to fall for people easily then you let your parents make it happen for you. In the latter case your parents set out on the hunt to find the perfect match. A match where only the most basic stuff is certain, such as name, color, gender, ethnicity, location, lineage, career level and basic moral values, aaand that’s pretty much it. If you’re lucky you’d get the “family dates” to figure the other person out a little more before you walk down the aisle. Hurray!

There is an Approach C as well i.e. don’t enter ‘the phase’ altogether, however it’s a road less travelled, because some of us are afraid to live alone, while the rest can’t bear the social pressure.

Here is the interesting part, whether its approach A or B, it is going to be hard work from the get go. Of course no one knows how it might turn out later but the beginning is always rough. Emotionally and mentally. If it’s not then congratulations you are the inhabitant of the wonderful ‘dream land’, you can continue riding your unicorn while tooth fairies encircle your chocolate house built over the stream of flavored cream.

Let’s start with approach A. You meet someone and become friends possibly because your frequency matches with him. Every person emanates hundreds of frequencies. Our hobbies, likes, dislikes, philosophies, passion, all of this is represented through multiple frequencies. Repeated frequency match results in friendship and trust closely followed by respect and consideration. When all these elements combine it turns into a stronger bond termed as “love”. As hilarious as it may sound it happens to the best of us.

True form of ‘love’ is like captain planet, it is created only if all the right forces combine at the right time. Otherwise it’s not love, it’s a Chinese replica of captain planet created with wrong colors and mold, which will eventually shatter making you feel miserable for the rest of your life.  

All this is truly tested over a span of years because a quick un-tested frequency match is as dangerous as running on burning hot sand in the middle of nowhere in front of a drunken bull, while wearing a shiny red jump suit.

Seems pretty logical and easy up till here. The problems start emerging when both parties realize what they truly feel for each other and soon start questioning whether it’s true or are they under each other’s influence. Once that’s cleared out which is not too often because of high and strong hesitance, depicted by both parties, to get thing out in the clear.  Hesitance is like a wave which would not let your ship of sanity sail to the shore of clarity easily. Another reason in delay of clarity is the “Guardian Rush” where parents of any of the two or both parties cannot imagine that their beloved child can go for any other approach except for B. The sheer thought of considering option A is deemed highly inappropriate and preposterous!

Once the ship is anchored on the clarity island, or near it, the next step is to awaken the people back home to let them know you have safely reached the uncharted territories. Now this process of awakening can be a long tedious process or a very quick informative one. However, latter scenario is as rare as finding a pink bunny, it’s possible but very rare.

Normally or most of the time the male agent lowers the bomb first and if no immediate explosion occurs, raises the green flag for the second agent. On getting the much awaited cue the second agent, who’s usually a female, drops the news as slowly as a turtle and as lightly as a feather. Once the news lands and is partially digested and completed accepted, the second agent sends a ‘time-for-next-step #hurryup’ sign to the first agent. Now begins the table tennis match. For the inquisitive souls reading this, the term badminton match could have been used but out of fear of misinterpreting the “bad” in badminton and associating it with the entire process would have been undermining the whole chapter! Consider it as a long match played with a grenade. Every time it bounces on any side, the pin is either taken off of it or placed in it to avoid explosion. A small mistake and the game can R.I.P. Completely. However, the game is played in good atmosphere irrespective of its nature.

A series of meeting with more participants every time, on both sides, shapes the chances of final round. The formality of atmosphere created along with the intensity and frequency of question rises with every meeting. Once both agents clear the pre-preliminary, preliminary, post-preliminary or in some cases after-the-post–preliminary stage the game gets a little easier from here. The primary agents already know each other, their platoons get things cleared up over the course of meetings and final verdict from both sides will result in either “yayy” or “naayy”. One thing that cannot be explained, no matter how good you are with words, is the excruciatingly long time period required to get to the final verdict you want. The closest picture that can be created to demonstrate the pain is that of a cow being slaughtered with a butter knife. As explained earlier, the game might end well before it reaches the final stage or right before the final verdict resulting in damaged blood pumping organs of the two individuals who initiated the game. What steps are taken after the ‘not in this life time’ verdict will not be discussed in this chapter.

One of the question that blares across every mind is that if the frequency match is so strong then why take the risk of going toward Approach B? Why not go ahead with approach A and as Rihanna puts it in one of her songs ‘live your life wohoo oho ho ho…’ Ahem, coming to the answer: Let’s get one thing clear: your frequency matches with this other person who makes you swoon.

Unfortunately, the “swooner” or the “swooner’s family” might not have the same frequency match with your mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather and few other important relatives. Same applies from the other side too or to put it simple apply the rule of vice versa here.  

Few of the other reasons behind a negative verdict may include but are not limited to financial condition of the guy, gori rangat, uncha qad and ghar daari of the girl and most importantly the “zaat difference”. The zaat difference will defy every logic, every formula of life and every philosophy of existence. It’s a solid black weapon of mass destruction created straight from the fire of hell. Only few have known to survive this weapon that should not be named.

Approach A is not as widdly-dee happy as it sounds, the circuit created sparks every now and then. The sparks can be triggered by anything as insignificant as an afterthought or as significant as parental blackmailing. Few make it alive and happy out of Approach A with a positive verdict, the rest either give up on life or their dreams and agree to get dragged through approach B.

Coming to much awaited approach B.

It’s not as bad as the myth holds it, the reality is that it is worse than anything you have heard. The ones who experienced it can relate to the trauma you have to go through once the process starts. To give the readers a general idea about the process, consider yourself walking barefoot in lego-land. Where all the legos are topsy turvy and you have no clue about the exit. You have to keep moving forward in excruciating pain while praying with all your heart for any kind of help or guidance.

So this is how it starts, one fine day your parents decide to have a little chit chat with you in your room, at first the atmosphere of the ‘casual’ chit chat is kept light and easy….then the smiles slowly turn into stern expressions of concern, the laughs become a meaningful ‘ahem’ and then it begins.

They let you know about the aunty they met over the previous shaadi/da’wat/khatam/janaaza they attended and, God knows how, but the aunty knew of someone who might be perfect for you. Before you could digest this and question the motives of this aunty your parents conclude the conversation with “we are meeting them over the weekend”. That’s it. No matter which part of your body you decide to rip after that you cannot back out of it.

The first round is always short and a quick-interview type. The girls are asked the basic question of hobbies, what they do, job and the most famous and highly weighted question of khana pakana atta hai beti ko? Accompanied with a Hehehe…the guys on the other hand are asked about their current job, prior job, new job to be considered, father’s/mother’s/brother’s job, job salary and so on and so forth. The basic stuff is covered in this round and sets the ground for round 2 or no round.

After clearing the first round, both parties agree to meet for the second round where the brother/sister/khala (no not phuppo) of the potential candidate sets on a mission to bombard their siblings to-be with as many behavioral questions as possible in a rapid fire round. These assessors will ask you questions from your astrological star to your favorite place for hanging out, nothing will stop them to test your patience.

The third round is the one in which the candidates usually get to see each other for the first time, amidst their families who keep on staring, without a single blink, at both candidates. Whenever you lift your head up in a strategic position for a super quick look-and-judge at “the” person, there is always someone staring and beaming at you, from the other side, forcing you to abandon your look-and-judge mission. Occasionally after the third meeting families gather in a round table conference and consult the wise ones in their family. These wise ones usually end the meeting and your hopes with “Bismillah Kro g”….Please note during all these rounds the candidate is on an emotional roller coaster ride, with a loose safety belt.

If after reading all the options you wish to opt for Approach C, i.e. where you choose not to get married at all or for as long as necessary, then you need to remember what J.R.R Tolkein said “It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to”. Who knew of all the people Mr. Tolkein knew best about the third approach!

Despite the twist and turns in this rollercoaster ride, that make you think ten hundred times before heading towards it, it’s all worth it. When you meet and get to live with the person who was severely scrutinized to become your partner, you not only get to ponder about the wisdom of the wise ones in your family but also decide to avenge the generations of the wise ones by becoming their “concerned aunty” *wink wink*. All of you who have already gone through this, two second of silence for recalling all the memories. Those of you who are in the process or planning to go through it, well two second of silent laughter and good luck to you guys or girls! All fun and jokes aside, marriage is a fun process, and I wish you all the very best in your journeys.

This post was contributed by Sobia Nasreen, an MBA from NUST, currently working in a telco in Islamabad, and happily married (hence this post). She is passionate about organizing things, yoga, indoor plants, traveling and her family.

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