Aunty and I


“Beta!” She exclaimed and enveloped me in a hug that smelled of talcum powder and Eternity. Her fingers dripping with diamonds and arms heavy with golden bangles, clinked familiarly as she held me at arm’s length to survey my post-America look.  I must have passed muster as her inquisitive appraisal turned into a wide, teeth-recently-whitened, smile. I was clearly looking pretty enough, decent enough and Pakistani enough to be introduced to the stern faced woman who had mother-of-eligible-son written all over her face.

“Jani! I want you to meet Shehnaz. She’s an old friend.” Smiled Aunty Mehnaz.

My freshly blow-dried hair, curled at the ends, bounced attractively as I as I turned to nod my head in oft practiced slow motion at newly discovered Aunty Shehnaz, friend of Aunty Mehnaz. Before any more words were spoken, Aunty Mehnaz had grabbed me by the elbow and was getting a hold of aunty Shehnaz too. Marshalling us both to an island of chairs away from the wedding din, she boomed in her big voice, “Jani! I am so glad you are back! You know Shehnaz, Zoya has just come back from America. She was at Brown. She’s a very smart girl and also a great cook.”  

There it was in a nutshell. Translated from auntyspeak it meant here is a smart girl, who can cook well. You would be mad not to want her as your daughter in law. The bait had been thrown. Aunty Mehnaz was being aggressive with her sales technique. This meant that she loved me, wanted to see me married, felt I was pushing the age envelope at 25 and she wanted her best friend my mother to be spared the agony of marrying off a daughter that was past her prime.

This also meant that Aunty Shehnaz’sson was some prize catch doctor-lawyer-banker type in New York or London.  Aunty Mehnaz glanced at Shehnaz to see if she was biting. But Aunty Shehnaz was keeping her cards close to her chest. Her silken dupatta perched on her perfectly coiffed hair had not budged.  She wasn’t showing any enthusiasm. As a seasoned reader of mothers-with-eligible-sons, I knew I was probably candidate two hundred and sixty five being interviewed for the post of “suitable wife.” I was not daunted. I had gone through this routine as many times as Aunty Shehnaz.

This interview requires no preparation. Part of the drill I know due to repetition and the rest through genetic predetermination.  Catching the eye of a “good family” requires every girl to have the 3 “Ks” – “Khoon, Khandaan aur (deegar) Khoobiyan” – Blood, Family and Other Assorted Qualities.

Blood – must be of noble birth, Family-must come from a lineage of distinguished men and women so she could have imbibed their values, ethics and preferably family money, and then there are the Other Qualities. These include good manners, good looks, good housekeeping skills and general goodness.

I know I score high on all three.  I was born right. Aunty Mehnaz has already conveyed this to Aunty Shehnaz otherwise I would have been rejected at the resume screening stage and never been granted an interview. The family boasts of some of Pakistan’s best known academics, poets and authors. My father’s generation has done well in their businesses and respective professions.  The young scions of our family are now dotted amongst the most fabled academic institutions in the world. The family has a history of being smart, hard working and successful. And yes we are snobby about it. A little bit of confidence (or snobbery) goes a long way in helping you keep your head high in Aunty encounters where your being is often rendered inconsequential under the stare of the mother who thinks no one is better than her Prince Charming.

The blood of the women of lucknow – fabled for their impeccable etiquette – that runs through my veins and my mother’s has ensured that I score high on Deegar Khoobiyan (other assorted qualities). I speak softly. I smile politely. I am always pleasant (to strangers). I can cook, do cross stitch, sew buttons and even knit scarves. I sit straight and walk tall. I can sing and dance but never will you see me break into either song or dance in the presence of aunties unless the situation demands. I’m also funny. I can make all the aunties laugh. I can talk jewelry and I can talk history depending on what the aunty requires.

Sometimes I feel like a fraud. The art of catching a good aunty (and eventually her son) is a skill. You need to have been born with a genetic talent for it that should have been honed through maternal instruction. I have both. As I sit face to face with Aunty Shehnaz, I feel the phantom bony fingers of Saira Chachi poking me in my spine as they did when I was a little girl telling me to sit straight. I straighten. I think of the countless stares of my mother telling me not to fidget in public. I become still. I think of Dadi’s everlasting pleasant smile masking her inner misery and curve my lips accordingly. I’m straight, still and smiling. 

I tilt my neck slightly like Nani to make my neck look longer. I cross my legs gracefully like Shameen Khala and drape my arms, crossed at my slim wrists around my knees. A lady of good breeding and high pedigree like me (I know this makes me sound like a dog) does not let her arms dangle ungainly at her sides. Neither does she clutch them or let them disappear in the folds of her voluminous clothes. She lets mother- in-law-to-be see her pretty feet, and her hands. Her well manicured hands and feet testimony to the importance she gives to good care and upkeep. Her collection of rings and bracelets proof of her taste and class. The tilt of her neck showing the expensive studs in her ears.  Nothing too long or loud is allowed. Long and loud is trashy and new money.  Small and expensive is classy and also has the added benefit of denoting singleness. The aunties with lots of new money, heavy joras made in Lahore and jewelryof gargantuan  proportions often misread the delicate jewelry for “ simple taste”. But this does no harm for a girl with “simple tastes” will not be making expensive demands on dear son’s wallet.

I know l look the part. I now have to sound it to.  And sounding it means saying what the aunty wants to hear. I already know her concerns. I already have my answers ready. She wants to gauge the degree of corruption my character has undergone in America under the unholy trinity of alcohol, men and feminism. 

“So beta, What did you study in America?”

Women and Gender Studies I want to say. “Political Science” I actually say

I don’t want to explain what women and gender studies means. I don’t think she’s interested in feminist philosophy. In fact the thought of rebellious feminist ideas being enshrined in academia and mastery of them being awarded with degrees   might cause her heart palpitations. Explaining the nuances is not worth it. And I do have the equivalent of a minor in political science so I’m not really lying.

“And where did you go to school?” She continues.

Wellesley I want to say. All these Lahori mother types and wife of a bureaucrat types want a bahoo that went to an all-girls school because apparently they lock men outside the gates there and the girls roam around in nun like habits. But I can’t lie about college. So I tell the whole truth

“I went to Brown.” I say as I preempt that her next concern is about the co-ed maahol (Atmosphere).

She nods. She doesn’t know where this is or what it is and neither does she care. She needs to ascertain my chastity. So she asks, “Were you living with relatives?”

Of course I wasn’t! This isn’t pre-partition Lahore where girls from the village are sent to live with uncles in the city for the pursuit of higher education!  I want to say. “Jee I lived in a dormitory” I actually say. I add the polite “jee” to soften the blow about my living un-chaperoned amidst foreign men with loose morals.

Aunty Shehnaz’s eyebrows jump up. So does her poofed hair and duppatta.

I am unfazed. I launch into a story about my “wonderful roommates,” “the all-girls suites” and the single sex floors.” Aunty Shehnaz’s shoulders relax and the brows, hair poof and duppatta begin their descent into normalcy. She nods in approval.

None of this is untrue. Every detail is accurate. It’s just that none of these details are the ones that matter or stand out in my mind when I think of college. But I don’t think she wants to hear about the classes I took, the books I read or the essays I wrote. She doesn’t want to hear about the quirky dining hall conversations and the 80’s dance parties. She really doesn’t want to hear about my “Zionist Hindu” friends and their utter wonderfulness. And I don’t want to tell her. I don’t want to waste my breath or loose the match.

Having found me to be chaste enough, we move onto the question of my piety and the consumption of illegal substances. “And what did you do for food, beta” she questions predictably.

I ate what I got. I was just a college kid I want to say. “I ate in the dinning hall” I actually say.

“But was it halal??” Her eyes are wide with shock and she’s holding her breath as if she waiting to fall down onto the floor to beg for forgiveness from God to save my mortal soul from hellfire and damnation due to the consumption of meat not slaughtered properly.

Ofcourse it was! I want to gush.  It’s the right thing to say but I can’t. “Every dining hall had halal options” I say instead. I don’t mention that I was not a consumer of said halal options. Aunty Shehnaz does not catch onto my verbal treachery. She is satisfied. Frightened look disappears and she sinks back into her chair.

A second later she leaps forward again. This time the fright on her face is caused by the thought of alcohol consumption. “But there must have been a lot of drinking and alcohol?” she asks. This time the dupatta has slipped forward with the sudden forward motion. I look at its silken hem as I contemplate which answer to choose from my basket.

Yes there was! And mighty fun it was too!! In fact, can I get you a drink to calm your nerves? I want to say in my practiced tones of politeness. I don’t say it. She might die. I can’t say it. I might die. My mother would kill me.

I let the practiced smile drop for a second. I lean forward. Open my eyes a little wider and with utter sincerity and seriousness tell her that I don’t drink.  “But,” I say bringing back my charming smile to ease the tension in the conversation, “I was lucky to get room mates that didn’t drink either.” This has her looking mighty pleased.  She is convinced that I was living in an oasis of pious American girls with good values.

And it’s true that I lived amidst good girls – great girls in fact. I just don’t mention that they all started drinking by our Junior year and that we threw some great parties with great drinks. I also don’t mention that whether a person drinks or not has never had any bearing on my decision to be friends with them. I don’t mention that I don’t measure character based on the levels of alcohol in a person’s blood stream. I don’t mention that honesty, loyalty and good humor are what I look for in friends. Aunty does not want to hear and I do not have to say more than she wants to hear in order to win the game.

Chastity and piety ascertained aunty now wants to explore how feminism, the third spoke of the evil troika, has influenced my outlook towards life. Really what she wants to know is how career oriented I am. It is no longer in vogue to have bahoos that do nothing. Everyone wants a “mod-run” and “professional” wife for their sons. And even though financial constraints have made wives who earn a living a necessity – the girl can’t be too modern or too professional. A careful balance needs to be struck and I know how to strike it.

“And what do you do now, betay?” she asks predictably.

I run an underground guerilla organization of women against the oppression of husbands and haughty mothers in law, I want to say. But this would be a blatant lie. I have no taste for violence or insurgency. So I don’t say it.

I stick to the truth and say, “I work for an American NGO.” Working for an NGO is good for women. It’s the kind of feel good thing that women of my type are supposed to do to qualify as good bahoos. The word American is key because this means I work for a foreign (read better) organization and get a fatter paycheck. Aunty Shehnaz is satisfied. But what good is mere satisfaction when playing with a competitor of my skill. So I give her a real run for her money and add with an extra bright smile that “I also teach.” Now she’s really smiling. As I launh into a speech about how much I love the kids I teach, her duppatta is nodding vigorously in approval. I have put out my maternal instincts and told her I’m good with kids too. She’s dreaming of her grandchildren.

I don’t tell her that my students aren’t happy toddlers but troubled teens. I don’t tell her that we talk about sex drugs and rock and roll. I don’t mention that I have them banging on desks chanting gender is a spectrum at the top of their lungs. I don’t tell her that teaching is not a job but a labor of love, my attempt at nation building. She doesn’t want to know about my dreams of nation building. I am a good girl and I’ve done a good job of convincing her. Good girls make good wives not good nation builders. The hypocrisy of it all is making my stomach churn and cringe. I feel my smile fading. Sometimes even champions get tired.

Aunty Mehnaz senses this and takes charge. She begins her familiar speech about “aaj kal kay bachay” and their desire to stay abroad. She agonizes about how the lights of London and New York dazzle many a talented Pakistani into submission and trap them into staying – leaving their parents decaying in the homeland. This makes Aunty Shehnaz afraid. I can read the fear in her eyes. Aunty Mehnaz could too. She pounced on it and launched into the “but our Zoya is so different- she came back-turned down good jobs- all for her parents and for her country” speech.  A glimmer of hope shines in Aunty Shehnaz’s eyes as Aunty Mehnaz paints me as ideal daughter in law cum savior.

Aunty Shehnaz turns to me. Fear has erased some the haughtiness of her face. She knows that girls that want to settle in Pakistan are few. She fears her son will not find such a girl. But here I am – tailor made. Aunty Mehnaz is forcefully brandishing the flag of my patriotism in the frightened woman’s face. My presence in Pakistan despite all my “bright prospects abroad” is proof that I will make her son return to his mother and motherland after accumulating sufficient cash.

Aunty Shehnaz lets down her guard. I move in to seal the deal. “I love New York!! It’s my most favorite city in the world!” I exclaim exuberantly.

“but” ….I pause for effect…I let out a small sigh for further effect  and then I say with complete heartfelt honesty, “there’s no place like home. I would never want to settle anywhere else.”

Aunty Shehnaz smiles. She likes me. It’s evident. I’ve been short-listed for the suitable- girls-that- should-be-introduced-to- eligible-son-so-he-can-take-his-pick, list. Aunty Mehnaz will work out the logistics of such meeting. For now she is beaming broadly. I have done her proud.

My mother calls. I get up and say my goodbyes. I walk away with the grace of my ancestors. My smile does not betray that I have decided that Aunty Shehnaz’s son is not the one for me. I know he isn’t the one even though nothing has been said about him. His mother’s silence, her faith in not sharing any details about her son speaks volumes about how secure she is about her son’s perceived greatness. There is no need to question his accomplishments but there is need to microscopically view mine.  She thinks I am inconsequential. I disagree but those darned manners genetically coded will not let me tell her otherwise.

Nonetheless, I walk away satisfied because I know have won this round. It gives me no pleasure that I will eventually reject Aunty Shehnaz’s Prince Charming who wants mummy to find him a nice Pakistani girl. I, too, want to find “my” Prince Charming but I know he isn’t hiding behind mummy’s  duppatta.

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31 Responses to “Aunty and I”

  1. Ayza April 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Sehar Tariq, you are a whizz with words and rhetoric and this piece is testimony to your writing skills.
    Its pitiful how smart, intelligent and exceptional single women are treated in Pakistan. To have the guts to admit that you too are one of the herd being interrogated by prospective aunties is surely not a task for the faint-hearted so kudos to you for saying it like it is. I took great pleasure in reading at the end that you did reject mummy’s little prince charming. So what if politeness and tameez is programmed in our DNA ?? as long as complacency and submissiveness isn’t, we are better off.

  2. ChaiandtheCity April 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Sehar, this is an incredible piece. I think every girl, despite how accomplished she is, has one time or another been reduced to volley for an aunty’s affections, if for no other reason, than to keep her own mother from shame in a daughter “jisko shaadi karniiiiiiii hi nahi hai”

    kudos
    xx

  3. Ashley April 6, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Fantastic. Insightful and brilliantly written. Poetry to read. Thanks so much for sharing. xo

  4. Ayesha Bashir April 7, 2010 at 12:01 am #

    well written and so true of our system. 🙂

  5. Shazia Abid April 7, 2010 at 2:04 am #

    Sehar, you always showed promise with your writing skills 🙂 Keep it up. You do me proud !

  6. sarah April 7, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Wow! Amazingly written Sehar! If feel like u are writing about me word for word and I’m sure countless girls could entirely relate to this scenario!

  7. Sahar April 7, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    I must add to the chorus of praise here-well done! Everyone has an Aunty Mehnaz and an Aunty Shehnaz in their life!

    Keep up the writing. I’m becoming your # 1 fan 🙂

  8. Gaia April 9, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    Randomly came by your blog… Loved the piece 🙂

  9. b April 12, 2010 at 10:53 pm #

    LOVED IT

  10. sulaiman April 13, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    Dear Zoya-from-Brown-University

    1. All Women and Gender Studies majors should be made to memorize the following. Preferably at gunpoint: “Males of each and every mammal species ever studied, without exception, have a greater propensity for sexual intercourse with multiple partners than their corresponding females.”
    2. Gender may be a spectrum, but its also a cultural construct, and culture is blown way out of proportion by Anthropology. Which is all crap anyway.
    3. Those minor technical quibbles aside, this is one of the finest pieces of writing I have read in a long, long time. WOW.

    :)))))))

  11. M April 13, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    Absolutely fantastic, well written and very interesting!

    And of course, we’ve all seen the marriage mart up close!

  12. AK April 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    I stumbled upon this piece, and I have to say, I’m pretty surprised at how much praise the author is getting in the comments section. I can only assume that most of these people are the author’s friends and well-wishers. Everyone seems to be commenting on how well written this piece is but nobody has said anything about its pompous and consequential content and tone. This sense of self-importance is a product of a lifetime of undeserved privilege, something her so-called “liberal” education clearly failed to wean her out of. I’m sure that when seeking a suitable marriage partner, she won’t stray far from what her family deems “successful.” Also, I would be curious to know who exactly these “best known [Pakistani] academics, poets and authors” are in her family. This seems like a bogus claim to me. Of course, the article is not without truth; the author is clearly good at self-promotion, which is why she can probably manipulate dim-witted aunties and the less discerning of her readers.

  13. Ayesha April 15, 2010 at 12:36 am #

    Although the article is a good read..in terms of peppered with wit and capturing the hilarity of our marriage obsessed society. However, the author is no better than ‘aunty’ with her blatant attempts to make us aware of her ‘khaandaani-pan’ (another term we pakistanis are obsessed with) and ‘good breeding’. If she were actually secure as an individual , she would not have felt the need to parade her relatives one by one nor rest on their laurels to assure us that she was a ‘good catch’. Aunty’s snobbery inspired by her belief in son’s superiority pales in comparison to the author’s own belief in hers (be it on a different basis, it does not make her much different from the butterflies of Pakistani society)

  14. Know Code April 15, 2010 at 1:43 am #

    @AK: The entire point of the article was to poke fun at the auntie culture of Pakistan; if you didn’t get that then perhaps you should’ve asked someone for “tashreeh” before unleashing your fuckwittery here. Also, you don’t seem aware of any good comedy; because if you were, you’d know that at comedy’s core is irreverence, so your issue with the “tone” of the piece is irrelevant.

    How did you determine that the writer’s tone is the “product of a lifetime of undeserved privilege”? That’s a serious question. I know this is the blogosphere and every online “danishwar” chimes in with such shit, but seriously, how can you say that?

    Let’s extend that and let me take the liberty of saying that your tone reflects a life of indoctrination by the mosque and the state (love how you used conservatives’ favourite word “so-called”), a pathological hate of all things “liberal”, and a lack of capacity to think for yourself. And, of course, hansna to Islam mein haram hai na?

    And thank you, in the end, for admitting that these aunties are dim-witted. Which was the entire point of the article. Idiot.

    @Ayesha: all these aunties’ sons need their mothers to find a woman for them, how pathetic is that? The author is not parading herself for them (another example of fuckwittery: READ the story), and that she does not need the validation of these aunties DOES make her superior to them, their culture, and the losers from their litters that need to get married.

  15. AK April 15, 2010 at 6:56 am #

    Know code,
    People like you have very low standards for comedy precisely because you don’t really know much about being irreverent. What both Ayesha and I have pointed out is that despite her claims to be “above” the culture of these aunties, the author saw it fit to list her family’s accomplishments– her good genes and upbringing. For example, when the author writes:

    “Catching the eye of a “good family” requires every girl to have the 3 “Ks” – “Khoon, Khandaan aur (deegar) Khoobiyan” – Blood, Family and Other Assorted Qualities. . . I know I score high on all three. I was born right. ”

    The author then goes on to list all of the qualities she has inherited through “genetic predetermination and maternal instruction.” Now, it could be argued that because this presentation of self is couched in humor that it constitutes a critique of the culture of elite Pakistani society, but it is pretty clear that it does so from the vantage point of intimacy and familiarity with these people– the author makes this explicit– not from a position of an outsider.Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with having insider knowledge of this world– people are born into the families they are born into– but the insertion of these details indicates that the author is not exactly willing to reject this world entirely. In fact, if she were more of a radical critic, she probably wouldn’t be sitting in the company of Aunty Shahnaz and Mehnaz in the first place. So, I think she has lived a life of undeserved privilege in part because the details she presents in her piece make this explicit and because it is apparent in her sense of superiority.

    Now, let’s turn to your claim that my tone “reflects a life of indoctrination by the mosque and the state. . . [and] a pathological hate of all things “liberal.” I find it really interesting that whenever elite Pakistanis are critiqued, they assume that the criticism is inspired by some backward interpretation of Islam, as if there are only two worldviews– liberal and Islamist. Your comment is evidence enough that you have not spent much time around politically engaged people on the left.

  16. Know Code April 15, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    You’re running around in circles. So it’s not bad to have an insider’s view, you’re born where you’re born…what’s your issue then? But again, if you acknolwedge that this is a pisstake, why are you assuming that the author has or hasn’t rejected this lifestyle? It is you who chose to be Debbie Downer on a piece you acknowledge to be a pisstake, and then you’re telling me I have low standards of humour?

    As for your last paragraph, re-read my post. I was EXTENDING YOUR OWN FRAMEWORK to apply it to the tone I found in your response.

    Islam, indeed all its sister religions, are medieval relics anyway. All interpretations are backward, so that’s moot.

    As for the Left, trust me, I’ve been in the trenches with them and have observed them very closely. As they say in Lahore, “tussi meinu easy lae rahe ho”.

    And for the record, I’m not an elite Pakistani. I’m lower middle class, studied in a government school most of my life (and beyond that, on scholarships and financial aid) and have no real material wealth except for my books.

    Finally, please do elevate my standard of humour by exposing me to what you find is top stuff, say, Comrade Stalin’s favourite lolz?

  17. AK April 15, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    Also, a final point on gender. I understand that this is a piece based more or less on her personal experiences, and I can’t fault her for living in the world she lives in. But, one should ask how a young woman who has been trained in gender studies is capable of assuming such a meek position. Shouldn’t we wonder why all this wit and humor finds expression only as an internal monologue? Oh, of course: “She thinks I am inconsequential. I disagree but those darned manners genetically coded will not let me tell her otherwise.” Thank god, at least she disagrees! The truth is that even the aunties she is mocking know that they are performing for a crowd. They, too, have their internal monologues, their dreams and their ideals. What makes her like these aunties is her unwillingness to say anything out loud, her unwillingness to be defiant. Feminism is threatening to these aunties not because it implants dreams and ideals of equality, but because it encourages women to express these dreams and ideals publicly. What she keeps to herself doesn’t really concern them; it is her willingness and ability to keep things to herself that they are truly concerned about and that is what they are evaluating in her. It’s no wonder then that she got “short-listed” as marriage material.

  18. AK April 15, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Ok, Know code. You are obviously a clown who isn’t capable of careful reading or coherent thinking. The reason I think you know nothing about comedy is cause you don’t understand that humour is also serious business. That means, a lot of morality and politics is expressed in humor and so humor should be evaluated in terms of its moral and political content. I’m trying to point to a certain kind of politics that is evident in this piece. I’m assuming you left your brain in one of those trenches, but the author is clearly more sophisticated than you, and I hope that maybe she will find something of value in the criticism. It is tragic that in Pakistan the people with the least to say tend to be the loudest and somehow manage to hijack every forum.

  19. ayesha siddiqi April 15, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    What a wonderful read Sehar….I truly loved it!
    You could be the next Jhumpa Lahiri of Pakistan.
    Khaandaan Ka Naam Buland Kar Bachcha,

    Love,
    Ayesha Khala

  20. Ayesha April 16, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    @Know Code : Please re-read my comment! i did not say she paraded her relatives for the aunties , i meant she paraded them in the course of the story to make sure her readers knew she was of ‘noble birth’ hAAA ! . perhaps i shud have been more literal for bufoons like urself. Also, when you put things on the internet , criticism is to be expected. Since we ‘re getting personal, i must point out that your maturity level has miles to go. Your comebacks scream miffed 5 Year old !

  21. Know Code April 16, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    @AK: “It is tragic that in Pakistan the people with the least to say tend to be the loudest” > Spectacular own-goal.

    @Ayesha: Learn to spell and punctuate. Then, maybe, you get to lecture me on maturity.

  22. Mahboob July 5, 2010 at 6:20 am #

    Call me biased, but I cannot be convinced by anyone using words like fuckwittery (whoever invented that?) and pisstake….and boasts to be a top leftist while not having the guts to stomach a sensible comment on a piece of writing, which the author intended to have in the first place obviously…isn’t that what blogging is about?

  23. Ayesha July 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Way to go Ayesha, AK and Mahboob:).
    Superb comments and way of writing..
    As for know code…
    You need to do better than that…Instead of commenting on the actual content, you made it a point to trash sensible people.
    Shame on you.

  24. Lubna July 24, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    Leaving everything aside, I could only think of the line from the movie The Princess Diaries: “…how many times a day I use the word ‘I'”.

  25. Murtaza Ali Jafri July 27, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    Haha, really entertaining.

  26. Chanda Ashkettle August 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm #

    Beautiful post. Please more.

  27. KK September 4, 2010 at 11:08 pm #

    Awesome Piece ! I stumbled across your blog yesterday and i must say, i am addicted ! The righteous crusader ! 🙂

  28. mudassir October 18, 2010 at 1:53 am #

    dancing, singing, brunonian, stays in Pk, with fat check etc. etc. zoya is hell perfect girl to marry, wonder y she cares about winning rounds lol
    i wudnt take it to be a story of a Pakistani girl though; like i wud b surprised if someone told me there r more than 100 of that kind there.
    well written sehar, sorta enchanting i say…read this long a post after so long a time. kudos

  29. Asif December 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm #

    Rabishhhhhhhhhhhh 😉

  30. Afia September 27, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    Reminded me of a piece I read recently on an online magazine for Islamabadi teenagers. Do read it – I think you’ll enjoy it! http://text-teen.com/issue/2/raiseyourvoice/raise-your-voice

  31. Neman Ashraf February 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    Awesome narration. Enjoyed every bit.

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