Bo Haro Poiro Che

My life as an Indian at this point consists solely and only of one thing: looking for a husband. Well, I may be exaggerating a little bit. No, I am not on a mad hunt for a man. I’m working. I’m studying. I’m living a peaceful (well, as peaceful as it can get with a family like mine) life and I’m growing up. While not many would agree with this, I think I am. I no longer wake up five minutes before I need to leave the house, dress, brush my teeth, sprint outside with socks, scarf, shoes, flask and the rest of world in my hands to complete my morning routine in the car. It’s a good start, the rest will come with time.

When you reach the age of twenty (I say twenty but everyone knows it starts at sixteen!) in the Indian society, your name is enlisted in a thing called ‘The Single Women’s Club’. Us, single women, are not part of this club nor do we have a say in it.

This club was established long ago when some old aunty had decided that Indian women, if not married by a certain age, would be considered too old to find a ‘Haro Poiro’ i.e a good boy, and then shrivel up and die single. She approached her fellow old aunty friends and they too agreed that this was a concern that needed to be dealt with so they started a secret club and decided that they’d never let this happen to a woman in their society. All of them would be happily married and making rotis for their Haro Poiros before the age of 25. So at weddings and funerals the old aunties would find their targets, draw the innocent girls in by asking simple questions at first and then they’d strike!

Their main phrase was: When are you getting married? I know such a good boy for you!

Naturally the girl would refuse so they’d go after the parents next. This went on until they found suitable matches for all the eligible girls then they’d wait excitedly for the next batch of girls to come of age.

When one became too old to do her job, she’d let her daughter into the club to carry on this noble work after her. This club is alive and thriving till today. It’s a secret club, that’s why you didn’t know about it. Well, now you do, you’re welcome.

As a twenty-year-old female, I have entered the club’s radar. All eyes are on me. As I go on with my everyday life, there’s always the talk of my future husband.

It’s a common discussion in my house since I am the next in line to get married anyway. I’m always being asked questions like: “What do you want in a husband?” “Would it be a problem if he lived in…?” “What do you expect from him after marriage”

I also live with a very opinionated mother who already has a long list of demands and prerequisites for her future son-in-law and a father who is adamant on finding me the best (May Allah bless them).

But with everyone giving me their own opinions, this leaves me very confused.

So recently my cousin got married and I met a lot of the old aunties who kept telling me that I’m next in line.  They asked me when I’m going to get married and some of the ‘Aunties-versions 2.0’ would have the nerve to ask me if I had a boyfriend. Um… hello? My parents may be slightly more modern than the average Indian parents but that does not mean they’d let me get away with a boyfriend easily. No, I’d get away crawling on my knees after ± 35 hits with a sjambok and the wooden spoon and maybe if I’m lucky I’d escape without the velan but there is no such thing as luck in an Indian household so I’d most probably get the velan too. Also, haram! Let’s not forget that.

When I’m asked when I’m going to get married, my answer is, “I still have time, I don’t need to worry about that now,” and it’s true. I’m only twenty and I have many dreams and goals and as it is I’m confused about what I want in a husband. But that’s fine too because when the time comes for me to choose, when I see him, I hope it’ll fall into place. Not in a novel ‘love at first sight’ nor a ‘sparks and fireworks’ kind of way but I hope that I’d be ready to decide if he is who I want to spend my life with based on what I know about him.

I also know that I’d have the support of my parents and their advice and wisdom to guide me in a decision affecting the rest of my life.

I have experienced friends who would try their best to help me and my teachers and mentors who would kick me if I made a decision based on the butterflies in my stomach and didn’t look at the bigger picture.

Right now I’m dealing with a series of potential suitors. Some are too short (tall people problems) and some are perfect but in the wrong country. It’s a long process to find the missing piece of the puzzle.

But guess what? There’s no rush! (I’m not going to mention my outbursts every once in a while when I just want to get married because all of my friends are getting married and I complain about my husband taking so long to make his grand appearance. Mentioning that would defeat the purpose of my whole speech) Because good things take time 😉

Single and ready to mingle

Hafsa Umar

The Real World & All It’s Thrills

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

YA fiction

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At first I was a bit hesitant to read this book. I scrolled passed it on ‘Goodreads’ a few times but it didn’t attract my attention enough. Until I saw it on the ‘Best Books of 2017’ list that is, and I decided, “Well, why the heck not? There’s a reason this book has reached the ‘best books’ category so let’s see if it meets up to expectations.”

The reason I was hesitant at first was because, believe it or not, the protagonists’ names mean a lot to me and ‘Eliza’ and ‘Wallace’ just did not cut it. In fact the male protagonist’s name was even a joke in the book itself. But that’s my own problem which I got over very early on in the book.

The book is basically about the lives of teenagers in the 21st century, how they deal (or don’t deal) with life, high school, social interactions and a very huge variable that affects all of our lives today: social media and the internet.

The main protagonist, Eliza, runs a very popular webcomic (Monstrous Sea) anonymously. It’s her everything and she knows it’s going to be her future. However, her parents, being of the ‘older generation’ and not really interested in what she is doing, just don’t get why she would be so uninterested in school and putting all of her hopes on a webcomic. This causes a major rift between them, the whole reason being because they don’t understand her.

Wallace, the new boy, is mute. Well, not really but he has trouble speaking in the presence of people. He’s a huge fan of Monstrous Sea and when Eliza befriends him and slowly starts falling in love with him, it becomes very difficult to continue keeping this huge secret from her new best friend.

Another reason why I decided to give the book a chance was the whole concept of art, the modern way. It was interesting to read about this development and her love for her art was beautiful.

It had me reading to the end  and I was intrigued because it was very relatable to common teenage problems these days. It covered so many different aspects: anxiety, family behavior, romance, suicidal thoughts. All of these things made the book feel more real. It was a book about growth, it was fun and also interesting watching the characters evolve as they learnt about themselves and tried so hard to deal with the problems they knew were problems.

I loved the fact that the fandom life was shown. Yes, very geeky but that’s us. We practically live in the worlds we have created for ourselves with others that understand us.

My conclusion: I felt all of these characters’ emotions and more importantly, I had a good time and wish the ride hadn’t ended so soon.

Do I recommend this book? Yes. All you YA fans, find yourself a copy right now!

Resident Fangirl

Hafsa Umar

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Thriller

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a book lover. I could read for ages, have been reading stories and books and novels since I could string a sentence together.

But giving my opinions on books? They mostly consist of: ‘asdfghjkl!!’ or ‘meh’.

But anyway, here is my go at recommending some great penned words that have been written.

For my first attempt, I have chosen Blood Sisters by Jane Corry.

This is actually unlike the normal books that I read which include romance, fantasy and of course comedy. If someone accuses me of picking up a fanfic here and there I will viciously deny it.

No. Rather this is a thriller which I normally wouldn’t have given a second glance at but just look at this cover. It’s like asking you to lift an eyebrow and ask, okay what? So despite us being told not to judge a book by its cover (ha! What an utter pile of crock!) I’ve got a thumbs up for the pull of this one.

Now to the story.

It’s interesting to say the least. I do not wish to give too much away and it does begin a bit slow but I excused that because the alternating of the chapters between two points of view, one of  a girl in an institute who is clearly brain-damaged,  and another who works in a prison, is very interesting.

This book is so full of twists and turns and betrayals! It had me on the edge of my seat and I may or may not have had whiplash at one point.

Just when you think you have figured things out, bam! Another plot twist. UNTIL THE VERY END!

I am not a fan of horror. Anything that has my heart thumping in fear of death, not anticipation, does not float my boat. But this was a mixture of intrigue and suspense along with a lot to think about. No gore so that was good.

The characters are not well-loved because they are full of flaws that just show how human people actually are and your levels of wanting to slap some of the characters is something best experienced.

I learnt a lot from this book which is always a plus for me because I love having more knowledge about new topics.

If you’re looking for a break from the norm, this book is for you.

And drop us your own review, if you will.

Breaking Away From My Comfort Zone

Ayesha Abdullah