C'EST LE MODE DE VIE PAKISTANAIS

Posted by Umair Asif on

From the day one takes their first baby steps, parents are filled with joy over the progress they have been making. From that very day it is decided whether the kid is going to be a doctor, engineer or if the parents are liberal enough.. a Dentist! The pride and confidence quite obviously are dependent on whether the newly parents can predominantly overcome the slurs from all other have been mums claiming “haye bechaara kitna kamzor hai”. The key though, is the decision that has been made on one’s behalf, either you are going to be a doctor or an engineer. God forbid you would want to grow up to study art or worse - travel the world.

What is interesting though, upon asking a child for what he/she wants to do when they grow up, the response is always imaginative and something out there – a pilot, and astronaut, Superman. Only if!

From an early age an attempt is made to curtail the imagination in to a little box. Laden with the heaviest of backpacks we are sent off to school, where free thinking is almost a sin (and if you are being totally stereotypical – with a rooh afza filled igloo water bottle). Schools are often institutions that shun free thinking, dreams are crushed and aspirations are muddled in to one believing that if they don’t aspire to become that doctor or engineer you have failed in life.

You start to growing up and finally hit your teens. The time is to go and explore the world to feed your imagination but contrarily we get locked indoors to study for those ever-looming exams (in three years!). “beta O’levels may parh lo, A’levels may phir ayashi karna” is what’s constantly fed to us. That ‘apparent’ promised land A’levels, where no one needs to study and life sorts itself out. You churn and grind to do your best through our O’levels, skim through and finally think that you are home free. You are a young adult now and can make your own decisions. How wrong you were!

Approaches the promised land of A’levels. The tune quickly changes as university becomes the place to be. As cynical as you are, you still give in to believing that when you are finally at university you will be taken as a serious adult. When you get to university you realise that the constant pressure only continues. You slack off; however, this is for no lack of trying by your parents. The bane of your life becomes – “beta abhi parh lo phir naukri achi milay gi”. You have already failed in not becoming a doctor or an engineer. A measly BBA will only get you so far in life so you believe it to be true and give it your all through the final years of university.

When the day of graduating arrives, you have been through pre- and post-school – you are finally ready to take on the world, albeit with a pocket full of broken dreams. That vision of becoming an 

astronaut seems further away than ever before. The real world isn’t slow in teaching harsh lessons. You now have to look for a JOB!

When you land your first job the pressure mounts. Those high school “sweethearts” are all getting engaged or married, so your parents start pushing and trying their luck as well. The question beckons “beta koi hai to bata do?”. You try and fend off any attempt at them trying to get you married off however the rhetoric shifts to you having to work hard at your job because you have to support a family and no one wants to fail at that! Then start the introductions to various suitors who you will “grow” to like because “shakal may kuch nahi rakha”. You finally cave in and say ‘yes’.

From an early age an attempt is made to curtail the imagination in to a little box. Laden with the heaviest of backpacks we are sent off to school, where free thinking is almost a sin (and if you are being totally stereotypical – with a rooh afza filled igloo water bottle). Schools are often institutions that shun free thinking, dreams are crushed and aspirations are muddled in to one believing that if they don’t aspire to become that doctor or engineer you have failed in life.

You start to growing up and finally hit your teens. The time is to go and explore the world to feed your imagination but contrarily we get locked indoors to study for those ever-looming exams (in three years!). “beta O’levels may parh lo, A’levels may phir ayashi karna” is what’s constantly fed to us. That ‘apparent’ promised land A’levels, where no one needs to study and life sorts itself out. You churn and grind to do your best through our O’levels, skim through and finally think that you are home free. You are a young adult now and can make your own decisions. How wrong you were!

Approaches the promised land of A’levels. The tune quickly changes as university becomes the place to be. As cynical as you are, you still give in to believing that when you are finally at university you will be taken as a serious adult. When you get to university you realise that the constant pressure only continues. You slack off; however, this is for no lack of trying by your parents. The bane of your life becomes – “beta abhi parh lo phir naukri achi milay gi”. You have already failed in not becoming a doctor or an engineer. A measly BBA will only get you so far in life so you believe it to be true and give it your all through the final years of university.

When the day of graduating arrives, you have been through pre- and post-school – you are finally ready to take on the world, albeit with a pocket full of broken dreams. That vision of becoming an 

astronaut seems further away than ever before. The real world isn’t slow in teaching harsh lessons. You now have to look for a JOB!

When you land your first job the pressure mounts. Those high school “sweethearts” are all getting engaged or married, so your parents start pushing and trying their luck as well. The question beckons “beta koi hai to bata do?”. You try and fend off any attempt at them trying to get you married off however the rhetoric shifts to you having to work hard at your job because you have to support a family and no one wants to fail at that! Then start the introductions to various suitors who you will “grow” to like because “shakal may kuch nahi rakha”. You finally cave in and say ‘yes’.


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