Pakistan Day: 66 Years Later

How often does a Pakistani citizen contemplate the status quo of the state?

Every passing second.

The unsubtle reminders of a nation in turmoil are rather obvious. From the mystery surrounding the alleged suicide (alleged being the keyword) of an investigator from the National Accountability Bureau, to the relentless rolling blackouts, there is not a child in this country unaware of the current state of affairs. Corruption has been widespread. The media gate scandal, the Ephedrine quota case, the scams surrounding the rental power projects, the disappearance of NATO supplies, the railway fund embezzlement, the steel mills frauds and the list goes on. All that, with the exception of one, just last year. As corruption sees record highs in the country, the backlash is felt by the people. As unemployment rates rise with the inflation, one begins to wonder how far we really are from more cases of self immolation?

However, once you stop to think, you realize that through everything, citizens of Pakistan have stood tall in the face of adversity. Day after day. Fighting. Persevering. Flexing to the country’s needs, but never bending to the powers that be. Not always due to the lack of another option neither. Although it holds true that a few who couldn’t take it anymore chose to establish themselves anew in foreign lands, for which they can’t be blamed. There were those who left better lives to come back and help fellow Pakistanis shoulder the burden. Never has there been a nation more resilient, more supple, yet more adamant than that of Pakistan.

On this day in 1947, the first constitution was adopted, thus declaring the state a republic. Today, 66 years later, Pakistan sees its first democratic transition of power. A silver lining in the thick smog. A step towards progress. Hope, to be taken with a pinch of salt.

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When in Pakistan…

Marry something.

Seriously! You have to. It’s our tradition. Plus it’s the law! Our land, our rules. Just do it. Something. Anything! Preferably, something educated. As a matter of fact, the higher this subject is educated, the more negative characteristics we’ll be willing to overlook.

For example: we’ll tolerate a unibrow for an intermediate education. We’ll take bad teeth, body hair and halitosis for a bachelor’s degree. Obesity and old age for a large inheritance. And obesity, unibrow and bad manners for an adult, well established, expatriate sloth. Unibrows, of course, count as a strength in certain parts of Pakistan. Specifically at and around 32.49722°N 74.53611°E. They’ll never figure it out.

That’s just the gist of our trading system. Please rest assured that the finer points are calculated by complex mathematical formulas, stored safely in the heads of our elders, and only brought forth by the twisting of a mustache in the presence of chai and absence of logic. You are in great hands. Literally, hundreds of them.

What’s that you say? You don’t want to get married? Why? Didn’t you know God sent everyone on earth as a couple; though precisely 3-6 years apart? There are other reasons too and if any one of the following reasons fit, we must not acquit.

It’s time:

We seldom abide by the rules of nature. With evolution, God bestowed upon us these amazing life clocks which we drilled into an area between our two cheeks and tethered to our brains. They’re quite simple. You are born, you are educated (or thrown into child labor), you maintain a presentable reputation and then BOOM! It’s marriage o’ clock. Sometimes, this hour of dread is preceded by gossip about how you’re still not married, but that’s not always the case. Also, you want to avoid the too-late-to-get-married o’ clock, which we will let you know of once it’s too late. Never before. Unless you have the aforementioned inheritance, by the time you finish reading this sentence, it’ll be too late.

Marriage O' Clock

It ticks for thee.

A chef & a maid:

Are you too busy (read: lazy) to feed and clean up after yourself? Perfect! The only logical solution we can think of is marriage. It’s not a man’s job to make his own bed in the morning and wash his own dirty underwear. There’s an app for that. It’s called a wife.

“Look at all these rice that aren’t my mustache.” Sorry.

Babies:

That’s right. Your parents are bored. Entertain them with grandchildren. Also, teach your kids at least 15 new tricks every day. Such as manners and not getting sick. If it can self-heal, we’ll be slightly impressed.

Desi baby

“I a make a you a baby. Take.”

Something about land:

In a society where wedlock becomes a trade and nepotism is promoted, consanguineous marriages are a big seller. It’s not only about inbreeding, it’s also about keeping the family heirlooms in the family. By family heirlooms, we mean assets. Anything capable of being owned, tangible or otherwise. Most of the time it’s land and property, but saying that “you’d be surprised” is an understatement.

Roughly the effect we’re trying to achieve.

Boredom:

You haven’t been married until you’ve gotten married out of sheer ennui. You’re done with your education, you’re making money (or sitting at home, as is the case with many females) and you don’t have much else to do. Before you go out and find love on your own, God forbid, we would like to do it for you. We’ll find you something you can love for the rest of your life due to a lack of awareness and a hint of insecurity.

“Mom! I’m bored. Rishta me, thanks.”