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Before marriage, she was a fun-read novel. Now, she’s a text book!


Before......

.....And After!

This blog is inspired by a quotation of my eldest aunt, Khala Jaan (may Allah grant her a high rank in Paradise).

Khala Jaan was an epitome in wisdom. Experience and innate wisdom were etched on her face. And so, her famous “quotes” were passed on in generations as family heirlooms.

And one of these famous quotes was: “Beta, mard ke liye shaadi se pehle aurat aik rangeen khoobsurat novel hoti hai jise woh ghour se, shouq se, baar baar parhna chaahta hai. Magar shaadi ke baad biwi textbook bun jaati hai. Roz parhna parhta hai.” (For a man, before marriage, the woman is like a colourful novel which he wants to read intently, passionately, repeatedly. But after marriage, she becomes a must-read textbook. He HAS to read it everyday.”

Now, we can disagree with this quote. And exceptions may always be there. But let’s give it a thought.

Girls, remember “that time”? (let’s go all dreamy-eyed!).

That time when he remembered EVERYTHING you said? When he even remembered your chaachi’s birthday and knew what your mom cooked best. When at the end of every phone call, he would say “acha paanch minute aur na” (ok let’s talk for 5 minutes more). When he found everything you said or did soooooooo interesting. When, to get a glimpse of you, he would easily give up a meeting with his CEO. When the “unlimited texts” package was used to the fullest. When it was important to know what shampoo you used and how you liked your eggs and which books you read and what clothes you wore that day. When on every second sentence you got responses like “how lovely”, “you’re awesome”, “tum kitni achi ho“. When you both couldn’t stop talking. When everyday, you both came up with new terms of endearment for each other. When he felt you were made for him. When the sense of connection was so strong that you thought of him (which was pretty much most of the time) and voila! He’d be there! When you ACTUALLY felt you were on cloud nine. When, as my friend and deputy editor of the first magazine I worked for (name withheld on request) used to say,”even going to your maamu’s house is ecstasy”.

Phir kya hua?

What happened next?

The same drill. You both dive into the scary “C” – Commitment!

Whether your parents do it for you (via the tea trolley rishta routine, or now the coffee on Zamzama routine). Or whether you did it yourself. Samaaj se lar jhagar ke. Convincing the cruel world that you were both soul mates, and fighting to be together.

So now, jumla huqooq mehfooz…..you are his. Sense of ownership sets in. Whether in a commitment, engagement, nikaah or full-fledge shaadi. Dreams come true. Imagination is realized. It is what you both always wanted. Khushiyaan. Khushiyaan. And MORE khushiyaan.

And then what happens? Well, girls, “that time” is over (wipe that dreamy-eyed, goofy look off your face. We’re talking reality check now!!).

The phone calls from office are lesser, your chaachi’s birthday no longer matters, you are “so emotional and impractical, baby. Grow up!”. The compliments are lesser. The conversations are predictable. Yet, you somehow still don’t find him so boring. But he? Well, he already knows everything there is to know about you. You are no longer on cloud nine. You are on ground sub-zero!

Now, don’t get it all wrong (as we women sometimes in our sweeping EMO moods do). It’s not like he doesn’t love you any more. He may in fact, actually, in his weird twisted way, love you more than ever. He can’t do without you now.

But the only thing we need to understand is……..(drums rolling)…….this is the animal kingdom!!

Till you were the hunted and he was the hunter, even if he had to dangle from trees to impress you, he’d do it.

Remember “You Tarzan, Me Jane?”

Remember the phrase “Thrill of the chase?”

That is how he is programmed. Once you are his, you ARE a text book. Not the novel.

But what we need to remember is that the textbook is indispensable. What you gain from the textbook is what the perks and joys of life eventually rely on. The really wise men are those who make the textbook feel like a novel, every day.

Giving the “guys” their due, the problem is not just theirs. We, the women, are also more pleasant and fun in the incipient phase of the relationship. We complain less, we are more fun, we bring out the best in him, we look good and walk good and talk good.

The problem, inherently, is complacency. When we start taking the “ownership” tag as a licence to become boring and become bored.

Relationships are high-maintenance items. They always, I repeat, ALWAYS require the input of creativity, of emotion, of communication, of expression. A single gesture. A smile. A holding of hands. A small gift. A call or text saying “I miss you” or “you’re the most important person in my life”. Taking an avid interest in each other’s work. Making each other feel “wanted”, “needed” and “desired”. It’s not an easy challenge. But it is so worth it in the end.

So all you textbooks out there, worry not. You are the REAL thing. The thing he can’t do without.

And guys, step up your game!!! In the end, faaida (benefit) will be yours. 🙂

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About FarahnazZahidi

Journalist, writer, blogger & activist. Currently working for The Express Tribune. Focus on human rights, health, gender, peace & Islam. Idealist. Wannabe photographer. Chaai, traveling, reading, friends and motherhood.

15 responses »

  1. It has not been even a day that I got to know of chaaidaani and I am so impressed with this blog. Your posts have such an amiable feel to them. Reading them is being a part of a warm conversation.

    I don’t know about the Zamzama routine…please mention something more about it. Deep ‘C’ of commitment was brilliant. Khala Jaan ke liye meri bahut saari Duaayein!

    Compared to these bits of wisdom, modern age “love gurus” sound so off the point each time they say anything about relationships.

    Reply
  2. Hi Amit! Wow, that was quick 🙂
    Well, in the “olden” days, people would come to see the girl for a rishta & she would get the tea trolley (pretty much like India). Now, the boy and girl will go out for coffee mostly on a famous upstreet area of Karachi called Zamzama 🙂
    Thanks so much.

    Reply
  3. I love the sound of your khala jaan! Yes indeed it is the thrill of the chase that wears off as is natural. But it’s sad when those compliments stop coming. Worse when you let those small resentments build up. That is what starts happening in many relationships I feel

    Reply
  4. lol Good one…Yes we (husbands) do get lazy in this..but this is also true (as you already mentioned – He may in fact, actually, in his weird twisted way, love you more than ever). But don’t textbooks make us what we are…

    Reply
  5. This quote reminded me of my Nani Amma. She used to shower us with such reality checks every now and then 😀

    Reply
  6. Tarannum Zahidi Ahmed

    I love how you wrote “So all you textbooks out there, worry not. You are the REAL thing. The thing he can’t do without.” Courtship is the time of mystery, but with marriage things change. You are taken for granted and always counted upon, no matter what ; almost taken as personal property. If your man stands by you, supports you, nurtures the relationship, it will bloom as he must know you are the real thing and with you he can make a difference in whatever he pursues.

    Reply
  7. A ‘makes-me-feel-good’ kind of a blog. You’ve put it so rightly…yes, with the passage of time, the compliments from your man don’t float that easily and you start to feel that the feelings have faded, but the reality is that the dependency from his side increases tremendously (the thing he can’t do without), whether he admits it or not!

    Reply
  8. excellent ,very well written and seriously i could relate to so many things before marriage 🙂 life indeed is very different once u enter the ‘twilight zone of forever happiness’ and bang …..our eyes are open to saas, nand and many susrali ristadar who are the key to your happy married life as when they are happy ur hubby is happy…..:)

    Reply
  9. “The really wise men are those who make the textbook feel like a novel, every day.” <<< Love it!!!

    Reply
  10. Wonderfully written, loved it….and I agree with Amit…just hooked to Chaidaani
    MashaaAllah excellent….now this piece my husband has to read:)

    Reply
  11. I really like this article. Lots of wisdom in it. Should be a must-read on nikah-naama. :). Please write more on dawn.com. I like your blog, although I am strictly a non-religious person. And do not in general like those people. :), but you seem to be an exception.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much, “a guy”!
      Well, religion has it’s serious plusses 🙂
      I appreciate your feedback. You can leave a comment for dawn.com people suggesting I write more for them.
      Have a good day

      Reply
      • I hope my fiance does not read this article. :). She will not be happy after she knows the “reality”. :). I will write to dawn.com people.

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