As some of you probably know, I just got married on the 1st of March, 2014 and I did it the way I wanted to. Weddings are a real scene in Pakistan and I just did not want a typical Pakistani wedding. Having attended a number of Pakistani weddings I remembered how everything was everyone’s business. From the color of the bridal dress to the protected or unprotected sex that the couple had on the wedding night, everything was everyone’s business. The millions that parents would spend on their children, especially their daughters, and loans they would take to fulfill all demands made by the groom’s family were a ridiculous way to get married in my opinion.
I wanted to marry a decent man in a decent way. I was not going to go to another house with household appliances, money and expensive jewelry. I was not going to get married as an item on a grocery list.
I had my mum and dad lay back and relax so I could handle all my expenses myself. I was getting married on the day of my choice, to the boy I liked, and so it made little sense to have them pay for it. Irteza and I brought together all the money we had and planned on a simple wedding. We wanted a single event but went for a two-day thing, a Nikkah and a Reception, because my mum wanted it like that. We took into consideration our parent’s wishes but did not let them spend a lot.
Then came the harder part when the relatives came pouring in. All the free advice and silly suggestions made things complicated. They would occasionally point out the liberty that the bride and the groom had in deciding everything for themselves. We were really not following the current and it was obvious. There was resistance and objection everywhere but I was steadfast, in fact, obstinate and I would have it no other way.
On the day of the Nikkah, I waited in the bridal room for the Maulvi. I waited as my blood boiled, the Maulvi was late. He was asked to be on time a million times because I wanted to sign the darned papers and go out to see my wedding, not miss a single photograph. He came at his ease and then brought in two empty papers for me to sign. My uncles were standing over me and as I touched one of the papers to flip and check them, he gave me a stern look as if I was doing something really shameful. All I was doing was checking the damned papers before I could sign them. There were some names on it but most of the Nikkahnama was empty and it was ticking me off, not more than my uncles standing on my freaking head though. My father-in-law interrupted, “Let her read them, this is not our time and we can’t just take her hand and make her thumbprint.”
I was looking for my right to divorce, I couldn’t see it but there was nothing slashed and nothing cut so I thought it would be this way. My parents, in-laws and I wanted my right to divorce, a right that Islam gives every Muslim girl, and a right that we should all have but the percentage of married girls in Pakistan that have this right is really low. I did not find anything slashed or cut on the Nikkahnama so I signed it, thinking no one would let the Maulvi slash it anyway because I have made myself clear and everyone wants me to have all my rights.
Little did I know that the Maulvi had a brain of his own, in that stupid skull of his. Seventeen days after the wedding I found the Nikkahnama and it said “Nahin” at the place of my right to divorce. My mum called the Maulvi and told him to come over to explain what he had done. My grandfather told him he had written everything down on papers and had asked him to copy them to the Nikkahnama, he did not have to use his brain at all. All he had to do was to copy all the information to the Nikkahnama, why did he change my right to divorce then. And so we demanded an explanation and he replied, “The side of the groom never asked for it.”
“Did you ask them?”
And this is where he gave the most ridiculous of answers, he said, “It’s not polite to ask them.”
So, basically, I am not accepting that as my Nikkahnama and we are filing a case, or having it changed in any way possible. It probably says that I am not legally married and I might, in fact, be a criminal under the Hudood Ordinance.
Just one thing Pakistan, BRING IT ON!