I, Emaan Asghar is telling you the story of my life which I have spent in this patriarchal society, where, a girl is allowed to get an education but not permitted to pursue her dreams. A girl has a permission to stitch the clothes of opposite genders at home but to teach them at the university level in her own house just because they are boys, neglecting, the fact, she is a qualified girl, equally ambitious and can teach them better than others in that same society.
I won’t say these are the insecurities of parents towards their daughter because they care. Rather than these are the insecurities of every other person towards females that are someone else’s daughters, wives, sisters or female friends.
Why doesn’t this happen in the case of boys just because they are considered “the lamp ( Chirag ) of their family?” What is making them so strong in this society? Nothing but “Your support people” Why they require a tag of being ‘Chirag of the family’ to gain this? Are they insecure that at some point in future, a girl with the equal qualities will topple him down?
Why can a girl not raise her voice if she wants to achieve her goals like the same boys want to pursue? Why can a girl not become a public speaker, debater, social worker or a Chief Justice of Pakistan?
Why parents are so concerned about their daughter’s marriage rather than voicing for her better career? How can they be so sure that their daughter will be happy ever after? This does not end just here if they become so merciful and allow her to do what she wants, they still expect her to come back home early and serve her services like a maid whole life to her husband’s family, Why?
Isn’t it strange? A girl trusts her parents a lot . She does everything in her life according to her parents, right from staying back at home when her brother is out winning the sports trophies and parents go to raise his morale. Whereas, a boy can do whatever he wants to do with his life.
I am sorry for gender discrimination but do you really think it was a gender discrimination? Because I am a girl and I know how it feels when you have to drop all your aims because of your parents and for their reputation in the society, in a family, but they do not think even for a while what exactly their reputation is, in the eyes of their loved daughter. Do they really know the definition of reputation? Has even daughter a heart you know? A heart which can be donated for anyone in her family without her wishes, Strange! Here, her heart doesn’t belong to her, anyone can do anything with it which means there is no need to ask from her because “She is a girl and her voice will not be heard”
Let’s start reading this story, like the girl of the story is in your mind, try to imagine, it’s you – a daughter in male dominant society. Imagine it like you were the talented sister among your siblings, think for a while a traveler who is traveling with those backward mentality people who thinks a girl is just made for homely chores, a girl is just a marriage material. Everyone wants to control her life, whether she is a sister, daughter, wife or a mother. Does it really sound cool?
Her Old School Life:
Mama: Get up Emaan, it’s time to wake up and get ready.
Mama: Ohh god! This girl will never change!
Mama: Are u even listening to me? It’s your final result today.
Saying her mother pulled the blanket she was covering herself with.
Emaan: Mumma! Just 10 more mins, plsss. You know about last night. Auntie Faryal was teaching me Maths and that’s why I slept late. Please let me sleep.
But her mother won’t listen up. So, She had to sacrifice her sweet nap and wake up with a thud.
Mama: Thank god! wake up, finally – Saying this she left her room.
It was Emaan’s result day for the fifth class, which was to be held at Bahria Auditorium around 10:00 am today.
Mama: Everyone will be there except this girl because as usual, she will be a latecomer by the way Aleesha is there waiting for you outside the door and look at her she is already ready for school ceremony
Emaan: Are you serious? Is the result today? Oh my God! I have to get ready as soon as possible to reach there.
Emaan’s mother continued to talk while Emaan was getting ready, she was worried about her daughter’s result as always. So it was not for the first time that she was yelling at her on her result day that have come n gone!
Emaan lives with her parents, 3 sisters, 2 brothers, 2 aunts and 2 uncles in Naval Flats at Agra Taj Colony Lyari Karachi. She belonged to a middle-class family who lives in a two bedroom flat and that is quite difficult to adjust in this cold weather of summer (Sarcasm).
When she came out of the bathroom,
Mama: Get ready soon, I will ask Aleesha in.
Emaan: Okay Mama.
Mama: Take me with you.
Emaan: No! I am leaving with Aleesha. See you there. Allah hafiz.
Mama: But Emaan, listen to me, please… Okay, see ya, Khuda hafiz.
Emaan: Reached at school auditorium just five mins before, she was happy but nervous too. Everyone was there except her dad.
She didn’t care about her mother’s existence. Maybe being a kid she doesn’t realize it yet, after all, at this age, everyone is not mature. In fact, we cannot expect maturity because they say, it comes from experiences, right?
Final Evaluation has been done to pick out the toppers for this year by her teacher Mam Saima who was the subject teacher of the English at that time. She was the best teacher among all and the best part was that Emaan liked her a lot because she taught Mathematics as well ( Completely opposite streams and yet she used to manage without compromising the subject matter, which earned her a lot of respect in her tiny heart)
It’s time to announce the results and the 3rd position went to Ambreen, please clap to motivate these students to achieve much more in the future, urged Mam Saima, the second place went to Aisha Zahid, Claps went on. Emaan started feeling nervous furthermore and she never had the confident in her that she was a talented student maybe because people never appreciated her. Emaan has a plain-looking, leggy, skinny girl type personality – who has a talent but no one is there to appreciate her just because she was a taciturn and she never shows off or maybe she is not cool like others but affectionate and here we go the last announcement, the first holder had got staggering 96% and that she was not just the topper of her class or batch but she had topped the school and it was a big achievement for her because she is about to go for her eye operation, having short-sighted and it’s quite pathetic in this age and we guess she gave her level best in this year. So, guys put a big hand for her to express our love towards her and with this I am glad to announce that the trophy goes to “Emaan Asghar”
Emaan was still sitting on her seat with her friend Aleesha beside her who had just got passing marks. However, Emaan was thinking about not to go on the stage. She always had a fear of stage – Stage Fright one can say. Mam Saima called Emaan once again to come up on the stage and take her trophy, a trophy which was waiting for her only!
Emaan was shocked to see the gargantuan love for her but she knew this love was temporary and that she will soon be forgotten. Even she was feeling bad for all those who had scored less, who could not get good marks and suffer from depression because there is no motivation for them by their family.
Now it’s time to introduce two kinds of female students, one – the ones who weep in the night for their marks and the lack of family support that they get and of course there are girls like Emaan who can score well without their family’s support. Yes, They can!
Besides all, a girl cannot groom without a family backing her. Especially for a girl who loves her father a lot and whenever she needs him, he is not there for her because he was busy in his politics. Emaan’s father was a typical guy, who was always busy to make a reputation in front of the so-called relatives and she knows about him that he had suffered a lot to turn his children’s wishes true. No doubts he had proved to be the best dad. Emaan’s father was the best she had ever found in her entire life. I think for every girl their father is the best. Isn’t it?
Emaan Asghar please come up on the stage and take your trophy said by Mam Saima again. Emaan’s reverie was disturbed and she tried to catch her Mam’s voice. She finally stood up and walked towards the podium. Here you go, trophy. Emaan took the trophy and was very excited and then she came towards her mother who was only waiting for her in the crowd. Her mother gave her a kiss on her forehead for the impeccable achievement that she had achieved.
Her mother wanted to say something but Emaan was in her own trance and she left the place without her mother, all she was integrated in today was the trophy in her hands. She came in her area Naval Flats, the moment she entered everyone were looking at her with smile and she felt herself like a celebrity though it was not the first time when she got trophy or highest rank but this time she was happier somewhere maybe it was the happiness to get admission in another school and to interact with new people. It might be the happiness to learn from new teachers, new syllabus and that she was eager to learn something new at a new place.
A New Step Towards Her Journey:
Her eye operation had done and now she feels good because there is no teacher to beat her on bad writing because the school rules are different where teachers cannot beat student and there is literally no one, who don’t know that she has short and long sighted problem which means everyone knows about her in the new school. She doesn’t want sympathy from anyone there, anyway, she took a time to get herself settled in a new environment.
Auntie Faryal was the sister of Emaan’s father and she suffered a lot to get the position in computer center as a head. She was frank to everyone in her staff not even this everyone from others department praised her for being so nice to them. I’ve noticed her and I cannot forget, her eyes dreamed once or maybe her eyes yearn every day to achieved those aims which she cannot achieve being a part of a middle class typical or narrow-minded family.
Auntie Faryal was a teacher in computer center situated At Naval Flats KNCRE Lyari Karachi. She was so pretty, hardworking women who make her niece Emaan’s so strong to learn complete copies and write the whole material in an hour. How is it possible to learn the complete 6 to 7 copies and then write it in 5 hours for a normal student?
However, Auntie was pretty obedient sister for his brother. She never complained that how is she surviving around them. Being a girl everyone wants to do the things according to their wishes and she was the one, plus, she knew that if she demands to his brother for anything he will not permit her for those things because he thinks that a girl shouldn’t wear elegant clothes from outside the home. Why can I not dress-up like my friends? Why can I not go outside to watch movies? On the other hand, you are going to your cousin’s house to play Ludo and you played there the whole night. What is the reason, man? Oh, you are a man? Why are you a man even? Because a female gave you a birth once, remember? Then, why you have gotten lots of importance from everyone? why not me? I have given all my services to you and your family.
Yes, It is your family, not mine because I will have another family when I will get married soon according to you so your family is not my family. Even, I give up my all rights just for the sake of you, my brother, for the sake of your reputation, for the sake of the love which u have given me. I gave up everything, my dreams, my tears, my wishes. So many questions were coming out from her mind and heart but nobody was there to listen to her because She is a girl and her voice will not be heard and understood.
She spends her whole life – like a silent walker who just walk from the roads without creating any voice.
Does it happen in others families too? Or just in Emaan’s family?
Mama, You Never Speak, Why?
In Islam, there is utterly no difference between men and women if it comes about their relationship to Allah is concerned, as both are promised the same reward for good conduct and the same punishment for evil conduct.
The Quran says:
“And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.” [Quran 2:228]
Everyone, whether male or female have to answer at the day of Judgment what they had done in their lives. Both are equal in front of Allah or they will treat equally when he will ask their sins and good deeds with each other. He will ask that who are you to decide the inequality among each other?
A female has an equal right over her man like he has a right over her. A wife has a right to ask from her husband, when, where and why he is going. She has a right to stop him from the things she doesn’t like at all. Fortunately, In our society, a wife does not have the right to at least ask from her husband because of the fear of disrespecting her in return.
In Islam, a wife should obey her husband but I must say there is a difference between obedience and dictatorship.
If a woman is an uneducated and she is not that confident as an educated wife then she loses her all rights for her husband and towards her children. Example:
She doesn’t have a right to take decisions for her children live. Maybe many of you will be like it’s not happening but it is. A father can take all decisions for his family without asking from his wife just because he is the head in a patriarchal society? Okay, If he asks from the wife or from the mother to support him for some decisions which he is going to take, what’s a big deal? He will do at the end whatever he wants to do as a so-called head. Oh man! She is your wife and she has a right to disagree on those decisions which she thinks as a mother that are not good for her children. Why don’t you support her just because you are a Head of the family that’s it? Ego Problem, Power Problem, Physical Fitness Problem.
Suppose, if we people treat our daughters, sisters, wives like the way they deserve which means if we educate them in a broad manner and if we give them a training in their childhood to become fit more than anyone else. Do you think a man can defeat her then? No, a man cannot, neither physically nor mentally.
Emaan’s mother was known as a ratbag since she had just passed her 4rth standard. She got married to a guy who had done Masters in Politics. Sounds weird, eh? She became a mother at the age of 15. Way back into the past of our history it was a custom in our society that people used to get their child married at the age of fifteen especially the custom was for girls and the custom still continues in our so-called 21st century.
Her whole life is spent in shuffling through different domestic chores starting from preparing breakfast, sending kids to school, housekeeping, doing dishes and laundry, then in day taking care of her in-laws, cooking food for them, giving them time, this is how her life is being wasted and she could not get time for her own self to make her more valuable to the society than only for her in-laws.
Her wishes were, not to do the home chores but she did because of her husband, children, in-laws. She loved to do window shopping as well as if she doesn’t belong to a middle-class family she might be bought all the dresses and utensils for herself in a day. She loved to go with her husband but her husband never let her go with him in parties or in occasions, maybe he felts embarrassment to introduce her to his friends even to females.
She was crazy to go out for hanging out with her family but no one was interested in going with her, maybe everyone was busy, they were busy like they had to do all the work of this world whether if it comes about her husband, in-laws or her children. However, her most favorite places to go for shopping were Atrium Mall, Zainab Market, Dolmen Mall, Hyderi and favorite places for food were KFC, Burger King, Atrium Food Street, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and much more. She had never visited such type of places in her entire life, Strange?
She heard those places name by her daughter Emaan who used to go there. She had seen those places when she traveled by bus and noticed the things and places around her.
Emaan told her mother many times that the food of some restaurants was pretty yummy. One day she told her mother again that she visited Pizza hut.
Mama: Why you come late?
Emaan: I was at Dolmen Mall in Pizza Hut. Oh, Mama, Deals were awesome there and was in our budget. I mean, I went there with my friends.
Mama: Friends? Which friends you are talking about? You were in college, right?
Emaan: yes, suddenly we planned.
Mama: How dare you to go to such places without asking from me. You know about your father right?
Emaan: I know, he is not letting us explore ourselves by any means. I don’t think, I went there for a crime, for a relationship, to crossed my limits which have been prescribed in Islam. Is it a crime to had a lunch with your friends out? To visit some new places? Com’on Mama we are in 21st century and a modernize society.
Mama: Shut up! Do not argue with me. You can argue to you father as you know him very well as you said but don’t you dare to go out with your friends next time it’s not a good thing in front of your father. Get it?
Emaan: I don’t get it, he can go wherever he wants to go but you, me and Auntie Faryal cannot? Is it justifiable?
I know you love to go on such places too but you never say to your husband just because you are an obedient wife and do not want to argue with him because he won’t permit you to go for hangouts and to explore yourself.
I cannot live such type of life which I am having right now, then, how you survived in these boundaries from 35 years till now? You never showed your wishes to him, Why mama? Don’t you have a heart? How come you bear this torture mentally?
Mama: Will you please just shut up Emaan? Or else I am gonna call to your father that she is teasing me a lot and what you just said? Am I not happy? I am happy, Allhamdullilah. He gave me everything whatever I have expected from him.
Emaan: Oh yes! He gave you the money, a well-furnished house, AC, Generator stuff etc but that’s not a life Maa. Why don’t you understand? Why don’t you speak – the words which you have never said? It’s irritating me.
Mama: Enough is enough! You cannot go outside to such places without your dad’s permission and that is final although we cannot afford your these expenses.
Emaan: Why I have to take his permission? Why not from you? Why don’t you realize your importance Maa? Is it necessary to inform him every time when we know he will not letting us go maybe somewhere he is afraid of the society of his past incidents happened in his life that does it mean he will bind us because of his fear? Com’on Maa, I don’t want to ask from him anymore for little things. I know your importance and I have asked from you – you gave me permission – what else more?
Expenses? I go with my friends and I don’t have to pay all from my side – we manage the bill together. It’s not about money sometimes, It’s about mentality, restriction, boundaries somewhere in our society but people are pretending they have not bound their daughters, wives, sisters.
I will go again, you and your husband’s restrictions cannot keep me in this jail kinda house.
She left the place and her mother was thinking about her that she is stupid and does not know about her father arrogance and strict mentality.
Emaan Is Exploring Herself:
Emaan left the place as she was angry at every person of her family because nobody is out there to listen what she is trying to explain. In her family, everyone is controlled by her father, why so? What is the need to control women? Okay, she is not that emotional fool or dangerous for the society as everyone says.
People say women can be dangerous for the society if she will not control by man. Oh Man! She is a human , not a healthy buffalo, alright?
People say we don’t make differences between our daughters and sons. We educate our daughters like the way we educate our sons in fact we expect more from daughters rather than from sons. If it is real then why all the topics sum up on one line that is ” You are a girl and you cannot do the things whatever you want to do”
Why has a boy much freedom in our society? Why cannot I do things of my own wishes? Is it a sin? I want to travel in different countries at my own expense all alone. I want to talk to so many people around me and all over the world as well. Is it a crime? Why are you binding me with your strict words? I am an ideal daughter, does it mean I have to sacrifice all my dreams for you and for this society? I want to become the best debater. I want to attend so many events to explore myself and If sometimes I might come late at home, does it mean I have done something wrong? Ain’t you aware from Karachi Traffic Law And Order Situation?
If your son wants to become a Psychologist and he wants to go abroad for further studies in abroad, you will arrange money for him, right? Why not for me Dad? When I have demanded you that I want to go for higher studies in Uk, you said I will see If I will have money for you. Why will you see? Why can you not arrange money like for your son you have arranged in a day, I remember ( Emaan was recalling her memories alike her mother she had never said to anyone those questions coming from her head )
In our society, we don’t discuss some topics very openly just because we are so shy to talk openly or being a Muslim we think that we cannot discuss but we can. Just think for a while about those girls and boys who are involved in bad activities, in vulgar conversations just because their parents are pretty strict and they never feel that their children need their time and frankness especially between the age of 17-20.
We should teach our children before this age or at this age to make them aware of bad activities. Our generation is not aware because our parents & society never think about it, maybe, they don’t get time to spread awareness between each other.
Emaan wasted her time, talked to boys on social media, phone calls. It was not her fault, it was the fault of the society and parents who discouraged her a lot being a girl and didn’t support her at every step of her life when she needed. Her college years passed and then she got entered into University level and started MBBS, following her parent wishes and tried to make it true.
Suddenly, she realized to groom herself that she is not made for MBBS and If she wanted to pursue this field further for her parent she had to polish her hidden talents to groom herself. She had to fight for her rights. She had to prove everyone wrong that she was not just the student of MBBS she was made to achieve something more.
She raised her voice in front of her parents. She started to struggle to get her reasonable freedom and rights – the right of speech and expression which has not been allowed to express in our family and in our society being the part of a patriarchal country. She gave words to her voice and spoke it to those travelers backward mentality people and made their mouth shut that daughters are not made for kitchen only, they are not made to sacrifice their dreams.
Message by Emaan to everyone who is reading this story especially to girls.
I respect your opinions and I have not intended to offend anyone. Dear Girls! Raise your voice and do not compromise on your dreams. Maybe many of you will not accept the reality – the girls are facing in our country. However, I have shared my story to all of you because I have a voice meant to be heard and understood.