Tag Archives: wedding

The Road to Swat

It was Son’s brother in law B’s wedding day. We were quite late in reaching our destination which was a wedding hall in Chakdara. Whereas most people followed the old road to Swat from Tahtbai, we went on the newly built motorway. This was a longer route, but smoother than the old one, and had less traffic.

In the evening before the wedding the boy’s parents had invited their relatives. The event was held at home. It was colorful, first with the girls carrying thals of mehndi, and candles dancing on the dais, and later on men doing the Hatyn ( Peshawari dance).

The next day was the wedding day when we went to Swat. The boy’s parents had arranged the lunch for the guests there. We returned in the evening via the old route. The road was in terrible condition, and our car rattled with every bump. We feared we would be the last ones in the wedding party to return to the groom’s home, but were pleased when we came to know that we were ahead of the groom, and rest of the wedding party.

B’s friends had blocked the gate to the house with a vehicle. They demanded money to let anyone into the bridegroom’s home. They made a ton of money with B vowing to wreck vengeance upon them upon once their turn to get married came.

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Despite believing in One God, people in parts of the world indulge in superstitions. One which I have seen is when a bride goes to her husband’s home she is given a burning lantern to take with her. When we were bringing home with us my daughter in law, a maid accompanied her with the battery powered lantern (above in the picture). It is supposed to bring longevity to the marriage.

How can one even think such a thing is beyond me?

When my brothers in law got married their spouses brought with them a lantern too. In those days a battery powered one wasn’t available in the local market, so it used to be a kerosene one. When you entered the newly married couple’s room the stench of kerosene assaulted your nose. I still remember the smell.

Thank God I don’t have such beliefs, and neither does my family.

Bridegroom to the Rescue

On my last visit to Peshawar, I never had the inkling that I will be arranging Son’s marriage in a few short days. On the day of his marriage I had to go early in the morning to the shops to get the gift boxes of sweet meat, and have my car decked out in flowers for the coming nuptials, while Son was still sleeping. He had arrived at three during the night after a long flight from Boston. The orchids above are those few ones I retained, after removing the rest from the car after the wedding.

After getting back home, I changed into the clothes I had bought for the wedding, and soon Son, and I were ready to be on our way to Charsadda where the wedding was going to take place. Midway we saw the stranded car of the bride on the roadside. Our bride was waiting for her father to send her another car. We waited with her for quite a long time. I asked her to come along with us, but she was hesitant in accepting our offer. I phoned her father, and asked for his permission, which he readily gave, saying she was already ours, and it didn’t matter whether she came in our car before her marriage.

It must have been a first time that a bride, and bridegroom arrived at a wedding venue together. Her brother was waiting, and he hurriedly whisked her away before it could be known that she had come with us.


Growing up some kids are more emotional than others. A relative who is twenty six years old, left his job with an NGO to study for his law degree. Being an only son, he threatened his family that he would commit suicide if his parents didn’t get him engaged to the girl of his choice.

His parents terrified that he might make good on his promise, agreed to the engagement. Not wanting an additional cost, they want him to finish his education, get a job to support his would be wife, and only then he can get married. Apparently he is not happy with his parents’s decision, and now he is again threatening with suicide if his parents won’t agree to an immediate marriage. He keeps mentioning it on Facebook, and other social medias.

His younger sister, whose birthday is occurring on twenty fourth was fed up with his threats told him very earnestly, “Please don’t commit suicide a day before the twenty fourth of this month, and not on twenty fourth either. I don’t want to be sad on these two days, but you can go ahead on the twenty fifth. Apparently she doesn’t realize the gravity.

I’m hoping, and praying that he isn’t serious, and it’s just a ploy.


Everyone has an important month in their life. Mine is October. My wedding happened in it. Nobody planned it that way. My late husband was in a different part of our country. He could only get fifteen days leave, and so whatever date he said he was available for the marriage ceremony, it became the due date.

Another coincidence. My daughter had her Nikah ceremony in the last week of October. We wanted laughter, and gaiety in our midst, and so we made it happen, although her actual wedding date was four years later on. Both she, and her would be husband were students.

My late husband’s date of birth was twenty sixth of October. He graduated from PMA as an army officer on eighteenth of the month. Every year we celebrated the event by getting together for a sumptuous dinner with fellow graduates, and their families. The tradition stopped with his death, as I couldn’t bear to go alone.

One of the saddest thing in my life happened this month too. I lost my mother as a five years old child. She died of a stroke on fifteenth of October. She was twenty eight. There is nothing sadder than children losing their mother when they are too young, and can’t take care of themselves on their own. The world is a cruel place,

Guess what? The planet 🌏 earth became my abode when I was born in the last week of this same month. I can say October belongs to me.

Looking Forward

IB (grandson) is a funny fellow. He was asking me about M1 (daughter ‘s eldest one), and when was she returning back from Pakistan? She has gone there along with her parents, and siblings to attend her cousin’s wedding. I told him the due date which is four days later.

I asked him, “Are you missing her?”

M1 is great with kids. They open up to her. Apparently it looks like I don’t have this skill. When she was here for a few days, IB wouldn’t leave her side for a minute even. If she was sitting on a sofa, he would be cuddled up next to her. When she would lie down on bed, IB would go to his bed only when lights were turned off. I think if he would have permission to sleep in her bed, he would have gladly done so.

His reply to my question was, “It’s good to have someone to talk to.”

So whose fault it is?

Certainly not mine! Looks like I have crossed over into invisibility.


Grandson H on graduation day (pencil marked)

The little boys capered on our front lawn. Grandson H who was four at the time was blissfully welcoming more inside the gates. We– late husband, and I, Son and his family had come to spend a night at our village home, and attend a wedding next day.

Cloistered in our Peshawar house, H never had so many boys to play with. H soon exhausted our supply of water bottles, juices and soft drinks. He was happily playing the host, not realizing there wasn’t any water left for us.

Along with the younger children, an older batch of eleven to fourteen had slipped inside. They attacked the fruit trees of apricots, peaches, leeches, loquats and the ground beneath was littered with leaves and fruit. Thankfully the watchman returned from his home, and shooed the unruly ones out, and saved the trees from further plundering.

In the evening H had to be persuaded to let his newfound friends go. He was all for his friends to spend the night with us.



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My late husband was stationed at Rajshahi. He came on a fifteen days leave for our wedding. After the plane hop from Lahore to Dacca, we kept changing boats. I felt sick all the way. I had the re current thought at intervals,  and wondered when my ordeal was going to be over?
I couldn’t eat. Everything was different, the taste wasn’t one I was used to. The smell of water was abhoring. It was sickening. I kept my thoughts to myself. I didn’t say anything to my husband. 

Who knew that I would be sailing all the way to Rajshshi?



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Photo Credit: Google

My marriage was an arranged one. I had never met the members of my late husband’s family, except for mother in law, and one sister in law. My marriage took place from my uncle’s home, as he was my guardian after father’s death. Uncle had arranged for their stay in an adjoining rest house. The in-laws had come from Charsadda, where as my husband to be flew directly from Rajshahi, as he was stationed there.

It was about 4am after the wedding night. I had come out from the bathroom, and was going to lie down, and catch further sleep, when the bedroom door opened, and the in laws entered unannounced into the bedroom. I was caught in my pjs. I felt exposed meeting my in laws that way without an attire of qameez shalwar ensemble, and without a dopatta covering my head.

No one had told me that they would be leaving the next day, or I was expected to meet them so early in the morning, otherwise I would have been more, or less prepared.

My brothers in law, one by one started with shaking my hand, while the sisters in law hugged, and kissed my cheeks. As suddenly as they had come, they waved goodbye, and left.



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My father had remarried— not to the girl, grandma had chosen, but to a widow with four children. Grandma got wind of it. There she was planning to get her niece wedded to father, and father had dashed all her hopes to the ground.

Unannounced she managed to reach Rawalpindi, where we lived,  from our ancestral home in the village. She rarely travelled, and the farthest she went from home was Charsadda. Father didn’t know where to hide from the fury of his mother, and he took refuge sitting in his car in the garage.

Stepmom spoke Urdu, and grandma could only talk in Pushto. Neither was making head, or tail of what they were telling each other. Unfortunately grandma espied me as I came out of my room searching for God knows what. She took hold of my hand, and almost dragged me to sit between the two foes. It looked like I had to translate whatever they were saying to each other.

Grandma was saying, “why did you get married to my son? Couldn’t you stay on your own?”

Stepmom said she was having problems, and needed a husband to take care of things. Grandma was asking why her son? Couldn’t she get someone else?

This went for a while, and grandma started cursing. Poor me! I was frightened, fearing they might come to blows. Grandma was intelligent enough to know that I wasn’t exactly translating what she was saying. The moment had come for me to make a dash for my room, and bolt it from inside.

I don’t know what happened later after I left them. Grandma departed in the evening –sad, and disappointed to her home.



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