cor ad cor loquitur

where heart speaks to heart

An update — September 17, 2017

An update

I can’t think of a better title, and I’m pretty sure I’ve used this title before LOL, but oh well. I know it’s been a while since I’ve written something on here. I really didn’t intend on leaving for so long, but as you all know (all 10 of you LOL),¬†I never intended on making blogging a regular habit. I just started this blog as a place to vent and just share my thoughts, and the older I get, the less I feel the need to vent (grammar?). I still love blogging/writing, but I’m trying to expand my horizons and get out of this little tiny world in front of the computer screen. Okay, tangent aside, here’s my life update.

I started rotations about 3-4 months ago. This is my last year of pharmacy school which means every 5 weeks, we get to pack up and move to a different site. The packing up is figurative, of course, unless you really are doing a rotation somewhere far away. Speaking of far away rotations, I got the opportunity to do a rotation at the FDA, but I declined last minute. It’s starting to become a decision I kind of regret, but so far all of my rotations and preceptors have been great.

These past 4 months have brought forth a part of my personality that I never knew existed. I never thought I would genuinely enjoy talking to patients and feel confident enough making recommendations to my preceptor and the doctors, but look at me now. I am honestly humbled by the compliments that my patients, preceptors, and doctors give me because prior to starting rotations, I never believed that I would be able to be this confident. I never thought I could talk to patients so easily and hold conversations with multiple people. Look at me now, it’s almost as if the era of socially awkward Komal has come to an end… almost.

A few minutes ago I was going through my old blog posts and realized just how naive and immature I was. I remember 2 years ago obsessing over the idea of marriage and getting engaged. I remember desperately wanting a significant other in my life haha. I remember wanting to marry a doctor haha. So much has changed since then, but so much has remained the same. I’ll leave you to figure out which is which.

Honestly, when I consider where I am now, in all aspects of life, I truly believe that it is the work of Allah. The depressive state that I went through for the past few years is slowly clearing up. Those dark clouds no longer hang over me. Are they gone? No, but I am just content where with everything is going in life, and I have no one to thank, but Allah.

I spent countless nights bawling my eyes over things that I can’t even remember, and I remember I would pray to Allah to just make it all easier for me. I would pray to him and ask him to make my life brighter and happier. “Ask Allah and he will give,” is something my mother would tell me growing up. I can tell you, that up until recent years, I never believed her.

Basically, life has been going well alhamdulillah, and the days I still feel down or upset, I just try to remind myself that it’s all just a test from Allah and move on with a smile on my face. If there’s one thing I learned from the past few months, it’s that a smile makes the biggest difference ūüôā

What is friendship really? — March 28, 2017

What is friendship really?

You guys know by now that I like to write these posts whenever I’m feeling down or depressed, so naturally that’s exactly how I feel right now and need a way to gather my thoughts and potentially hope that someone out there will read it. I was thinking about doing a review on those Foot Peeling Masks from Amazon. I bought one, wore it for an hour, and am currently waiting for my skin to start feeling. But I completely forgot to take before and after pictures so there’s that. Since my feet didn’t start peeling yet I still have time, so I might do a review on that soon stay tuned. Okay, now for my venting, which I hope entertains you guys or provides some perspective.

For the record, I¬†don’t necessarily consider myself a lonely person. There are friends in my life, but I certainly expect more from friends. Something I’ve been thinking about:¬†dosti sub ko karni ati hai, magar nibhani bohat kam logon ko ati hai. I think that sounds so much better in Urdu. But if anyone wants a rough translation: everyone knows how to form frienships, but not everyone knows how to maintain them. What I’m getting at is that people have emotional needs to which they look towards the loved ones in their lives- friends, family, and significant others. Alhamdulillah, I am so blessed to have wonderful parents who support and guide me every step of the way. But sometimes the love and support provided by parents is not enough. I have always maintained that no matter how close you are to your parents, there are some things that you simply cannot talk about with your parents. There are some things that require the guidance of friends.

I honestly don’t know if I’ve had a lot of things going on in my life or if I’m just overreacting. Honestly, it could be either one. My dad had two cataract eye surgeries, my mom is really trying her best to stay positive through everything going on with her (it is not my place to discuss her problems), my life might change drastically, learning about cancer in class has made me concerned about my family’s health, my cousin had a baby: all of these I want to talk to someone about, but who? To be very fucking honest, no one seems to act like they care. It especially hurts since I am the one everyone comes to when they need someone to talk to or vent. Maybe I’m just not trusting them enough with my secrets, or maybe they don’t care.

College for me was going to be a chance to reinvent myself, and it was, don’t get me wrong. But it was also a chance for me to find friends who would definitely be there for me, not just to listen, but to respond, provide advice, just to be there emotionally. A lot of the emotions I feel stem from my Pakistani background and the cultural norms surrounding it. I am expected to be engaged, then married, then have kids, and while all of these are things I want in life, I also want love and romance. If I feel concerned for a parents health, I want to be able to call up a friend and just cry to her about my concern. I don’t want to see a goddamn¬†check or “read.”

Not all friends are like this, but definitely the friends I count on to be there especially since I’m always open to their venting/rantings could at least try to be there for me. Like I said maybe, it’s the way I think. I tend to be very pessimistic and distrustful of people when it comes to relationships and friendships, but that’s because I have been hurt in the past and it’s just something that I have never fully recovered from.

I have just been feeling so down and abandoned by so called friends. I reached my breaking point the other day and just started bawling my eyes out and sobbing in the study room. There were so many people around, but I just could not stop crying. Then when I went home, I just cried some more to my mom. Of course, this was precipitated by something, and its¬†something that I don’t feel comfortable sharing.

Maybe in the next year after I graduate, I need to move away from everyone and start a new life, fresh, away from all old so called friends. I just need to find new friends, but that’s not the easiest thing when you’re socially awkward.

— May 9, 2016

I’ve been trying and trying to write blog posts these past few months. The semester from hell is over, I’m getting my bachelor’s degree, and I don’t know how to write a proper blogpost anymore. So that’s a small update on my life. I’m hoping to get back into the grind on blogging. I want to blog, I miss blogging, but I have writer’s block.

A slightly deewani pharmacy student — December 4, 2015

A slightly deewani pharmacy student

I hate sounding sappy and emotional. Well, to be very honest, I just hate anyone thinking I have emotions that can be toyed with. So what’s the best solution to that problem? Making it seem like I’m a heartless witch (you can replace that w with a b because I’m a classy lady). And now that that’s out of the way, at the risk of sounding sappy and emotional, I’d like to share an aspect of my personality that I have kept well hidden from the entire world– my romantic side (DUN DUN DUN).

DISCLAIMER: Lol, sorry it’s like 8 am in the morning, and I am feeling extra sassy and ironic today so you’ll be seeing a lot of these italicized, paranthesized (IS THIS EVEN A WORD?!?!?!) statements. The blog post itself is meant to be a serious (srsly) about feelings of romance and love and all that jazz.

I’m a lady (a classy one at that), which means that I’ve been planning my entire wedding since forever (ok, so not all ladies do this, but how else am I supposed to word this). So yeah, being a lady, I’ve been planning every single function of my wedding since about 8th grade when I was 13. I am 21 years old now, so this entire shindig (very cool, Komal) is 8 years in the making. I even have general ideas for the honeymoon.

I totally went off on a tangent there. I wanted to talk about my romantic inclinations, and here I am going on and on about how I’ve had my wedding planned since forever. So anyway, since I have that wedding thing all planned, what’s missing. WHY THE GROOM OF COURSE. THE LOVE OF MY LIFE, THE MOON TO MY SUN (y’all know I’m obviously bright and shining like the sun)

(Okay so like I totally forgot that I was writing this post sooo here I am two days later revisiting in trying to gather my thoughts). I want to get married, and sometimes I think that I may just be 21, but I’d be happy with getting at least engaged. That means we’d have time to establish our life together before we went into the real deal. But then I realize my career goals, and I want to do a two year post-grad pharmacy residency. I want to specialize in a an immunology related field while also engaging in direct patient care.

So if I did ever get engaged as someone who’s still in school, then I’d either have to get to the big deal (aka tying the knot) during my last year in pharmacy school or immediately after graduation. Or we could just have a significantly long engagement period. (What am I even talking about though? It’s not like I’m getting engaged anytime soon. But as a moderate Muslim, I want to be in a relationship with someone as long as it’s halal. And the only I’d be comfortable with that every happening would be if I were to engaged to someone.)

The further I get into pharmacy school, the more lonelier I feel. I have friends and I have the most wonderful family, but I don’t have that special someone in my life. I don’t have that person who I can share anything and everything with. I want that level of emotional intimacy with someone in life. But then again, as a Pakistani, I don’t want to go through the traditional arranged route. I’m not opposed to it, but I would love to get to know the guy for a few months or even years before we sealed the deal.

I don’t know, at this point, everyone has someone in their life and I just feel #foreveralone.

Why Desis should start taking mental health seriously — June 11, 2015

Why Desis should start taking mental health seriously

The second you mention something along the lines of depression, anxiety, psychiatric, bipolar, etc (you get the point), Desi people lose¬†their shit (excuse my language).¬†These are actual things I’ve heard from Desi people in regards to mental health:

  • Are you calling my daughter/son psycho?
  • Psycho hogai hai (She’s become psycho)
  • Mera beta pagal nahi hai (My son is not crazy)
  • Tumhe kyun depression hai (why do you have depression?)

As you can see, mental health, in Desi culture, is never associated with something positive. People often view such mentions as threats to their pride and image. In Muslim households, parents attribute poor mental health as a sign of not being spiritual enough. “Oh you just need to pray more and be closer to Allah,” they say. But what they do not know is that in those low moments, during those darkest hours, the only being¬†we have to turn towards is Allah. And so we pray and pray that just maybe, for once and for all, please God, cure me from this terrible disease. Since there is such a stigma associated with mental health and depression and even a mention of the word will lead to a loud¬†“PSYCHOOOOOOO,” Desi youth never get the necessary professional help they so desperately need.

This despicable attitude towards mental health needs to stop. Mental health is a serious issue, and if Desi youth don’t have their parents to turn to when times are rough, then who will they ask for help?

Deepika Padukone, a famous celebrity in India, recently came out and told everyone about her depression. She also mentioned that people would often remark to her, “you’re so famous and rich, why would you be depressed?” (or something along the lines). That’s just the thing. Why are we equating a successful life to that of a life of happiness? You can have everything in the world, but you can still feel empty inside. You can have that smile plastered on your face, but you can still be stuck in the deepest pit. You can try to pull yourself up from it, but there will also be that lingering creature that holds you back.

India has the highest rates of depression compared to anywhere in the world. It also has one of the highest rates of suicide. Pakistan is not far behind, either. Out of the numbers of doctors that graduate from medical school, only about “0.002 [become] psychiatrists [and] 0.07 [become] psychologists (SOURCE).” That totals to about 340 psychologists in the entire country (SOURCE). The entire nation of Pakistan only has an alarming five hospitals dedicated to mental health. Overall, only 0.40% of health expenditures are spent on mental health facilities.

If you think about, South Asian teens are faced with multitudes of stress. If you’re a girl, it’s the fear of getting married off to a young age, or the fear of not getting married at all due to ridiculously high dowry demands. If you’re a boy, it’s finding a good job, so that you can take care of your family. Even if you’re foreign raised, you may not necessarily have as much stress concerning marriage, but you still have to worry about being getting good grades, going to a good college, and getting a decent job– all to make your parent’s sacrifice worth it. Who cares if you’re truly passionate about art and music? No, you major in biology, chemistry, engineering, business, etc: anything that will get you the dough after you graduate.

Youth in Pakistan face even more stress. We may think our lives are hard, but remember that shooting at the army school in Peshawar? Oh you bet those kids were scarred for life. Can you imagine the emotional trauma they suffered seeing their own teacher being burned alive in front of their eyes? Are they going to get access to mental health facilities? Or will society also call them psycho (EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE BEEN THROUGH SO MUCH SHIT)?

Or how about those kids who constantly witness drones attacking their homes or their neighbors’ homes? They see their mother, father, and grandparents fall victim to these drones. Are you going to say they’re psycho also?

Mental health is a real issue. Now I know most of the scenarios I mentioned above may not affect everyone, but still bullying is prevalent throughout the world. I still remember being called fat, ugly, a bitch, disgusting etc in middle school. I still remember my culture being mocked by my peers. Those scars won’t ever disappear; they will always be a part of me.

So to anyone who mocks mental health and denies someone the care they need, DON’T. Act now before it’s too late. Depression leads to devastating consequences. Let go of your ignorance and just act. You don’t want to wake up one day only to see your child has resorted to cutting themselves.

Some notables: One| two| three

Summer goals — May 9, 2015

Summer goals

Yo whaddup blog readers?! Finals week was over a week ago, so I’ve had a week of chilling and sleeping and relaxing. Actually, immediately after my last final, we (as in my friends and me) went to watch the AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. AND OMFG THAT WAS WONDERFUL! I’m going to watch it again tomorrow with da familia, so if y’all want a review hit me up (lulz, never gonna get a reply on that). Oh I’ve been watching a lot of Gossip Girl lately. I decided to watch some TV shows for the summer before I go off to a rendezvous in Pakistan in July. And let me just tell you, GG is great. There’s something great about watching the elite dance and party with no care in the world, but then hidden beneath are all the troubles of the world.

Besides watching shows, I have a lot to accomplish this summer. This includes hot bod, more writing, career plans, etc. Writing is something I definitely want to focus on this summer. I’ve been thinking of couplets and phrases in my free time, but they haven’t prospered to something great just yet. I just want to spend some time with a pen and a piece of paper and write away. So many ideas, so little time, so few words. Better get to it then.

This was just an update post. More posts to come soon. Still working on that fashion blog don’t worry.

Just an update (yet again) — April 4, 2015

Just an update (yet again)

Yooo, so if you ever visit my blog via URL and don’t just read the posts that show up on your reader, you might notice some changes in the layout and format of this blog. That’s right, I ditched the ballons theme, and I am now going with a more subtle and polished theme. I quite like the new theme, what do you guys think? (she says to the crickets)

I’m thinking about starting a fashion blog, but the thing is my style is literally just pants, T-shirt (sometimes fancy blouse), shoes, and cardigan; then walk right out the door. I don’t know if it would be that great of a fashion blog honestly. I never really wear dresses or skirts or other things of the like. But I’ve always wanted to have a fashion blog because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE fashion (and shoes, especially shoes).

Thing is, I tend to go shopping with my mom, who likes to mention that I am buying way too many shoes or clothes and that I need to stop. Actually, deep down, I sometimes feel that way also. I guess I have that minimalist sort of nature where I don’t want too much, just enough to get by. But then I love reading fashion blogs and seeing the lovely outfits people come up with and I’m like WHY NOT ME.

I also don’t think I have the body for fashion blogs. But that would be revolutionary though wouldn’t it? A fashion blog run by someone who’s not the ideal body type. (I am not body shaming) It would certainly give me more confidence about my body and all the quirks that come with it. No, but actually though, knocked knees make me very self conscious. I can’t even walk properly because of them. FML.

I already have my fashion blog name reserved on WordPress lol, just need to start it. The semester is slowly winding down, so who knows maybe I’ll have time to properly fashion blog. I can also put that fancy camera to test. It’s kinda just been sitting there for three years; kinda sad honestly. I used to be so into photography and writing, but now that I’m in pharmacy school all I think about is healthcare and science. I subconsciously write patients instead of people and then I have to change it back.

Three more years left of pharmacy school (P2, P3, and P4). Hopefully these years will fly by. I am trying to put myself out there and be more comfortable with everyone, but I’m slowly becoming my former self. I am not as confident as I think; physically, my body is changing. It’s not the -40 lbs that it once was; it’s more like the -10 lbs slowly creeping back up to 0 change. I wish I didn’t care about physical appearance as much because then I could be more confident, but like I said growing up as a fat kid does things to you.

Okay, my laptop was literally going strong with like 2% battery left, but now it’s yelling at me to charge it. Literally at 0% battery. I am adventurous.

Till then, bonne journée.

Growing up as a fat kid — February 15, 2015

Growing up as a fat kid

Lately, I’ve been feeling a plethora of things. In order to avoid talking about some really personal things (which trust me I wrote a whole blog post on a very very personal aspect of my life, but decided not to post it because it involved people other than myself), I want to talk about how growing up as a “fat kid” affected me. As an aside, I’m only going to use the phrase “fat kid” in this blog post, but in real life I try to avoid saying fat. There is a negative connotation associated with it, and I have experienced the repercussions of that phrase quite often.

Up until about age 7, I was actually relatively thin. I used to be extremely skinny. In fact, I remember once when I was 7, my neighbor said she weighed something like 60 pounds, and she was younger than me, but much taller than me. I only weighed about 45 pounds. The fact that I was older and weighed less¬†just didn’t feel right to me at that age. Boy, was I wrong. After that I started binging, and I ate so many Doritos and started gaining weight. I was in second grade when one of my dresses didn’t fit me anymore. It was too tight. Since then, I was fat.

People don’t realize how growing up as a fat kid affects your mentality. It causes depression, low self-esteem, and body dysmorphia. This Buzzfeed video really illustrates how growing up fat affected me. It wasn’t so much growing up fat that affected my mentality. Rather, it was the constant remarks by friends, family members, boys I liked, and gym teachers that really made me suffer from low self-esteem.

I would never tell a boy I liked that I liked him/had a crush on him. But I would very often tell my friends that, and they would go on to tell that boy the same secret they promised to never tell. I guess I should have been hurt that my friends betrayed me and broke their promise. But what hurt me the most was the fact that the boys who I crushed on wouldn’t like me because I was fat. Also, the fact that I was Pakistani, had darker skin, darker hair, and different features also deemed me unwantable. But see, this stuff only happened up until about age 13. After that, I simply stopped telling my friends which boys I liked because I could never trust them again. Now, at age 20 almost 21, I have the mentality that if a boy doesn’t like me solely judged on appearance, then eff that, he isn’t even worth it. I’m hot by my own standards and that’s all that matters to me. Love yourself before anyone loves you.

Whenever I went shopping for clothes, I would hate having to try on clothes and not having them fit. I was an average height girl, but in terms of width and circumference, I wasn’t average. I would often have to buy clothes that were size 14/16 even though I was only 10 years old. Sometimes, I’d have to hit up the women’s section of stores and buy clothes that I used to call “old lady clothes.” Jeans wouldn’t fit. When I bought jeans, they’d be size 13/14, but because I was average height, they’d be really long. I’d always have awkward looking clothes. Let’s just say fashion was a disaster back then.

Since we’re talking about clothes, let’s talk about Pakistani clothes. Anytime I needed to get shalwar kameez stitched for me, the tailors would make fun of the fact that at age 14, my waist is 39 and hips are 42. They’d ask if they were making dresses for a middle aged woman. I remember one instance particularly well. My aunt, who has now passed away, was a seamstress; she was going to make a dress for me for her daughter’s wedding. We couldn’t even attend the wedding, so I suspect it was just a way to suck up to us. But she said that there wasn’t enough fabric to properly make the lengha suit for me. Then she went around and told everyone that my proportions and measurements were similar to hers. But they weren’t. I suspect that ill-fitting clothes and rude tailors have a lot to do with my hate for all things shopping (except shoes).

Any remarks by people concerning my weight and appearance made me feel upset. These, in particular, contributed to my low self-esteem. People would always tell me “Oh Komal, you’d be so gorgeous if you weren’t that fat” or something along the lines. Why was my beauty something that my fatness concealed? Because of that, I can never truly feel pretty. I may think I’m gorgeous sometimes, but deep down I will never feel that gorgeous.

Every word, comment, and remark affected me. Each remark pierced my heart. There were times when I wished that I would get so sick that I would lose 40 pounds in a month. Can you believe it? I wanted to get that sick that I wanted to completely destroy my body. I never suffered from anorexia or bulimia. I know people have it worse, but that doesn’t mean growing up as a fat kid didn’t affect me. It still affects me, even though I am nowhere near the weight I used to be. I still don’t think of myself as skinny or hot. I still hate shopping because I’m afraid that I will once again have to go up a size.

Your words can affect a person more than you can imagine. You may think you’re helping someone by saying they’ll look prettier if they lose weight, but in reality, you diminish whatever self-esteem they had. You get rid of their confidence. I was lucky enough to not go to extreme ends, but someone else may end up becoming anorexic. Someone else may take on a more devastating approach. It’s 2015; accept everyone’s body regardless of size.

New year, better me — January 4, 2015

New year, better me

I was actually going to title this post “New year, new me,” but then I was like that’s way too cliche, so I changed it up a bit. I am fully aware that we are three days into the new year, but still this post needs to be written (well it’s not necessary, but to me it is). 2014 has been gone for three days, and 2015 is just three days old.

Let’s start off with an overview of how 2014 was for me. Honestly, 2014 was not the best year for me because a lot of major incidents happened that weren’t too great. The year started off with my grandmother passing away. Spring semester of 2014 was absolute crap. Summer was just work, work, work, with a few beach visits. Eid was okay. Ramadan was great (I prayed a lot, but there a few fasts that I had to miss because we just didn’t wake up for sehri and also lady problems). Eid-ul-Adha was terrible because then my aunt passed away, leaving three daughters behind, two of which are still teenagers. November came and I got into an accident the day before Thanksgiving. Family friend’s valima was so fun, though I should’ve danced more because yolo. Dad also had cardiac cath with angioplasty this same month that was preceded by a heart attack the night before (90% artery blockage wtf, as a pharmacy student I was like ohhh learning oppurtunity. But as a daughter, I was internally crying). Got into an accident in December again on the way back home from work (evening shift). By that point, I was so ready for the new year.

(Side note: one thing I’ve noticed is that odd-numbered years are so much better for me, but I’m not really superstitious– or is it number-stitious. 2012, for example, was great for me.)

For 2015, I’ve obviously made some New Year’s resolutions. Some are cliche, others aren’t. I’ll list them and explain as I go along. YAAAAY. (Note: not in any particular order of importance)

  1. Become a better, less toxic person.¬†I’ve spent my whole life envying people and comparing myself to them be it my cousins or a random stranger. I put others down (in private, never publicly) in order to make myself feel better. This needs to stop. I’ll be turning 21 this year, and I want to let go of all of these immature actions. Putting others down doesn’t make me feel better about myself; it just makes me a shitty person. I don’t care if that’s what’s been done to me in the past, but I shouldn’t vent my past frustrations this way. I’m becoming a more friendly and less bitter person this year.
  2. Lose weight and eat healthier. I lost a crapton of weight (45 lbs), but gained like 15 of those back, so yeah I need to get fit. I want more muscle tone, and less fat. Also I want that number on the scale to go down to a more healthy range.
  3. Learn to cook. I’ve been wary of this because I thought that once I learned how to cook, I’d be expected to cook for the rest of my life. But honestly, that’s not the case. It’s something I should know how to do because who knows where I’ll be in the next three years. Plus, my parents are both awesome chefs, so I must strive to be that great. (This is also the only way I can control how healthy my meals are. I know, I’m selfish, but it’s also going to be better for my dad and family.)
  4. Start praying more frequently. Allah had been so good to me, and I don’t do enough for him. I don’t thank him enough and I barely ever pray. Therefore, as gratitude and for my own spiritual well-being, I’m going to start praying.
  5. Be more social.¬†Yeah, I don’t like people in general. I have the worst social anxiety, but I’m becoming confident and comfortable now. I’m going to be more social with people because honestly it just sucks being alone during club meetings (of clubs your friends aren’t a part of).
  6. Reconnect and re-establish those broken relationships. See number 1. One of the reasons I broke off these old relationships was because of my inner child and the bitterness. But I want that to go away. I’m trying to be a positive person, so it’s necessary to start acting mature and re-estalishing those relationships I broke off during my fury.

Very vague explanations for some of them, I know. Also, my sentence structure is totally not on point lately. Maybe I should make learn grammar like a pro (aka my grammar nazi high school self) one of my New Year’s resolutions hhahahaha.

I hope you all have a blessed and wonderful 2015. There are many days left in this year, make sure to make them worth it. Till then, stay classy.

Marriage: Islam, culture, and moi — December 23, 2014

Marriage: Islam, culture, and moi

So I’ve logged onto this site every single day and really tried to write this blog post. It’s been something I’ve wanted to talk about, but it’s also something I don’t know how to put into words. I also don’t want to seem like a desperate girl (even though I am). Here goes nothing.

As always, we need some background. There has to be a reason why I’m talking about this and why it’s bothering me, right? Of course, there is. Everyone around me is getting engaged or married. It’s ridiculous. Literally, every time I log onto Facebook, I see a picture of a wedding or an engagement announcement. (But there’s a catch, though, which my silly self doesn’t want to mention because then I’ll really seem desperate. They’re all much older than me by at least 4 years.) But then I went to this wedding reception recently, and I swear I saw this girl who goes to my uni, and she’s a year younger than me and MARRIED :O. I mean it’s pretty common in Pakistani and other Desi cultures for girls to get married at a young age. And this my friends will lead us into our discussion (well more like me typing and ranting and you reading) of the day: marriage. Well more specifically, I’m going to talk about how exactly marriage, culture, and Islam intermingle.

Islam decrees that men and women should get married at a young age. There is a reason behind that. Obviously (and I’m gonna try and keep it as halal rated as possible here), there are desires that grow stronger the more you age. These desires can grow stronger because as Muslims, we are taught to be abstinent until marriage. But as the desire grows stronger, people begin to drift farther away from their deen and move closer to committing zina and other haram acts (look up these words, too little time, too much to write). According to this one website, girls should marry at a younger age because they have a much more stronger desire for the *ahem ahem*. (And here I was thinking Desi parents just don’t want to bear the burden of having to take care of their daughter anymore. Although, I am sure that it is still the case; more to be discussed later on)

Contrary to popular belief, Islam is not against the idea of a “love marriage.” Boys, if you love someone, be a man and go to her father to ask for her hand in marriage. (Try to throw in a totally romantic proposal in there to the girl as well. Here’s a semi-halal, semi-haram example. She’s the other half of your deen.) Girls, do not do anything wrong with the boy. If you like him approach him with appropriate intentions, and have him come talk to your father.

Also, yes, even though Islam tells us to lower our gaze. During the time when one is seeking out a spouse, you can sort of open up a bit more (KEEP IT HALAL). Obviously, you’re going to need to see the person’s face; he/she’ll be your future spouse, so there needs to be some physical attraction. You obviously can talk to him/her, and if you’re more conservative, then you’ll do so in the presence of a mahram.

And now let’s talk about culture. I’m going to specifically talk about Pakistani/Indian culture because that’s the aspect I am more familiar with. First of all though, I really need to rant. For some reason, Desis emphasize the importance of getting married at a young age, but only when it comes to girls. Two of my female cousins were married at 23 and 18 years old. My male cousins are now close to their 30s, and only one of them so far is engaged. Like do we not see the ridiculousness of this. (let’s get personal: got a rishta a few months ago, said no to it, guy was in his last year of residency which means he is a good 8-9 years older than me, lol bye, no; I do not want to marry someone that old. In my opinion. yes age is just a number, but I would never be able to connect with a bhaiyya who is more than 5 years older than me. Because once you pass that 5 year mark, you’re pretty much an older brother to me. Personally, 4 years is the oldest I’ll go, but if I’m really attracted to the person then yolo). The logic behind letting guys roam single for the longest time consists of them graduating, finding a job, and being able to start a family that way (immediately. I’m not even kidding, those families start so quickly and they’re never ending). (also, my thoughts on this will be inserted later)

Another thing that irks me about the Desi concept of marriage is that mothers try to find girls who are much younger, prettier, and fairer (ugh fuuuuuu, fair and lovely, but it smells so good) than their sons. At least try to find someone on the same level as your son in all aspects (including education and career). Also, I hate how guys get the say in what kind of girl they can seek out as a potential partner, but girls just have to sit and wait until someone comes to them. Why not give girls the power also? Why must a guy make ridiculous demands like skinny, pretty, fair, and tall? But girls can’t make demands like educated, hot doctor, hard-working, and funny? And why are we basing our future spouses off of the physical attraction? Why not get to know their personality a bit more? UGH.

And now finally, my own thoughts on this topic: Our generation has this odd fascination with the idea of being in love and finding the perfect someone, and I must admit I am on that ship as well. I want to find love and all that jazz, but I’m trying my best to be patient. I’m obviously in no hurry to get married because I simply have not found the right person yet, AND FOR GOD’S SAKE I AM ONLY 20. Although, honestly to me age does not matter, you can be 20 or 30 when you get married, but if you feel ready for it, then you are ready for it. We can’t be dictated by society’s norms of marriage between 25-32 years old.

Although I want to find love, I want everything to happen in an Islamic way. I have disconnected from my faith and have now just start reconnecting with it again. I would obviously want a Muslim spouse. As I mentioned before, age is a number, but still 4-5 years older max and 1-2 years younger max. (LOL THIS IS LIKE A FREAKING SHAADI.COM PROFILE. WHAT IS MY LIFE? WHY AM I WRITING THIS?) There are many qualities I hope my future spouse has, but that’s not for this post. Maybe some day, I’ll write a post on that (probably not tho, I already sound desperate. #thethirstisreal #jk #srslyjk #keepinithalal).

Unlike most Desi parents, I believe that we should desire a person for marriage rather than the idea of marriage itself. My own personal beliefs are a mixture of both cultural and religious. Although I am not the best person, I agree more with the religious aspects of marriage. Why only focus on superficial characteristics of the person we have to spend the rest of our lives with? So rather than writing another essay summarizing my own beliefs on this topic, I’ll use the TL;DR approach.

TL;DR- Marriage is fascinating, but what’s more fascinating is the person you’re getting married to. In this day and age, it’s difficult to avoid temptations, but you must stay strong. Never rush yourself into the decision. Always pray istikhara if unsure. Keep making dua and most importantly, have faith in Allah. He has written someone for you; you will find that someone.