The Pakistani Guide to the Rishta Process…. tips, tricks and strategies. Part 5


The subtle announcement of a Rishta arriving

For this particular stunt you’re completely with your mother. I mean why can’t she announce to everyone that people are coming to see you? After all, all of your aunts did the same for the last five years that your mom has been looking for a proposal for you. They call and rub in the fact that their daughter, who is two years younger than you, is getting proposed right, left and center. You think your mom has earned the right to be crass and cheap about it just by way of having waited for so long for a Rishta to come your way. You support your mom in this. You’ve seen her angst and frustration over your Rishta-less life.

The first person who is always the recipient of these calls is of course your father’s sister. She’s a 400 pound nutritionist who has picked out various faults in your physique over the years. She likes to tease you for your nonexistent derrière and less than perfect décolletage. She hasn’t ever said anything nice to you unless you’ve fed her a 2000 calorie meal. She loves to point out to your mother that men need a little meat on a girl’s body and that you will likely die in your spinsterhood. So of course it’s with great anticipation that you sit next to your mom to listen how this call goes.

You hear your mom building up to the Rishta like Indian science fiction. Everyone knows what’s not gonna happen. Everyone knows that this is not going to convert amazingly into something totally cool and out of this world. In fact the chances of these movies losing their appeal and becoming more lame as the movie goes on are more than any science happening. There’s a lot of fiction happening which is ultimately the saving grace of these movies.

So of course your aunt knew that your mom was trying to sell a cheap story, written by a B grade writer, for a third class movie. She immediately informs your mom that the guy she is raving about is actually a high school drop out and has been engaged to four girls in the past.

This takes out the wind from your mother’s sails a little. But your mother isn’t made of breakable, or for that matter, accountable material. She immediately claps back and says that this guy is probably the most misunderstood man in the history of the world and would’ve been one of the few men that God would save when the apocalypse came. She then goes to tell your aunt of his academic and personal background and urges your aunt to conduct an independent search into this guy’s background if she doesn’t trust your mother . Your aunt, who has always been a weak opponent to your mother, placates her by saying that she is just watching out for you and didn’t mean to cause any argument. She gives lukewarm congratulations and hopes that this guy is all and more that your mom ever dreamed of.

Next your mom calls her own sister. Now sister they may be but their jealousy and competitiveness has seen heights which can only be compared to how Kim Kardashian competes with Paris Hilton. There is no limit. Even though they’re sweet to each other’s face they secretly want to jinx everything that’s going well for the other. Even though your mom and aunt love one another at some level the amount of negativity that they bring to each other’s lives is enough to keep them away from each other.

Your maternal aunt receives the news much more nicely than you had counted on. She congratulates on “finally” scoring a proposal, makes a funny comment or two about making sure the groom doesn’t run away from the wedding when he sees you and tells your mom to keep looking and not just be content with the first proposal that walks through the door. Your mom is usually quick with her comebacks but since your maternal aunt is genetically linked to your mom, they both have a way with biting words and therefore your mom is usually left speechless. Your mom wraps up the call quickly and promises to fill your aunt in when the whole ordeal is over.

The next person to get a call is your best friend’s mother who, like all good and honest mothers, is also waiting for someone to take her daughter off her hands. Your best friend is very dear to you. She is the sister that your own sisters could never be. She has taken one too many for the team for you. She is your rock and your shoulder to cry on. She is your everything. But even though she is your everything, you do not, never, ever never ever, not in a million years, not even in anyone’s dreams, want her to get married before you or even get engaged before you . That can’t happen. That would be the ultimate failure of this friendship. She can get married to someone a year after you’ve been married. Someone who is less educated, less wealthy, less accomplished, less good looking than your husband. She has to get married after a full year of your wedding because you have always wanted to attend her wedding about six months pregnant. Six months is a good time in a pregnancy. You’d show but still be able to wear your wedding clothes. That’s just perfect.

Your friend’s mother is a down-to-earth woman with excellent manners. As your mother pompously tells her of the looming proposal, she wishes you the best. She also asks if you’re happy. Now that’s a strange question! Of course you’re happy. Why would you not be happy? It’s not like you have someone in mind. This guy is, in the current state, the only guy in your life. Your mom takes umbrage to this question and blasts your friend’s mom by saying that she knows what’s best for you and “happiness is getting married”. Even though your friend’s mom doesn’t agree with it she is truly happy for you and sends many good wishes your way.

After putting the phone down your mom forgets the conversation immediately but you think for a long time if it was possible that you weren’t happy. You finally conclude that you’re happy. I mean, reasonably happy. As happy as any healthy person should be. You dismiss the question and go to see how your outfit looks when worn with the sandals that you’ve especially got for it.

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