Keeping the dream alive.

If married women are to be guidance counsellors/aspiration for all single women, then we are in for a shocker. Married women do not-contrary to popular belief-go about their business inspiring single women to shed their single-hood, sacrifice their independence, and jump onto the married bandwagon with the next male that comes through the door. What they do however do is make us shrink inwardly at their married cynicism. They are sometimes the reason for us to choose to remain single. Do I want a constant bitter flow of words leaving my mouth? No thank you. I would much prefer to keep my smiling, analytical, positive, word pattern.

A few days back we held a reunion for our class, at a comfortable coffee place where we and our class off springs could be ensconced in deep cushioned sofas to catch up. The inevitability of the conversation turning to marriage was not doubted by any of us single gals. Mothers-in-law, husbands, territorial issues, and other such exciting matters had us riveted. What is it about being married that shuts off a part of our brain? Why is it not possible to stay away from the oh-my-god-you-are-lucky-to-be-single-when-are-you-getting-married contradiction? As a friend of mine said you can look so happy and relaxed because you are not married try seeing things from where we are sitting. Point taken. We can’t see things the way they can, but to believe that it’s that depressingly end of the tunnel is also difficult.

When my best friends started getting married I thought to myself, things will only change if we let them, and for the most part we tried to remain independent beings first and married or single later. That night I was confused-my belief questioned. If going out for a relaxed evening of coffee meant husbands who kept calling, or husbands who came along, or friends who kept stressing, or conversations that centred around marriage, or lectures on how we (single women) don’t know what its about, or just a difference of the stage of life, then that evening was too heavy a price to pay. The next evening we tried a singles coffee night out. The talk vibrantly jumped from one to the other, with jokes being cracked and understood, references being made and absorbed by not distracted individuals, and the invisible intelligence bond quivered with life linking all four or us.

Maybe there would be less single women in the world if the married ones tried harder at keeping happy. Maybe. For my own part though, I know I will try not to get influenced by anyone else’s experiences. My life is my own, and whether it’s a single life or a life with another person, it is my only life, and no cynical married woman or a bitter mother is going to put me off it. I will go through life embracing all that comes my way, and if marriage is on the cards it will be on my and my husband’s terms taking each day as it comes, remembering the reason why we tied the knot and keeping that dream alive.

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Keeping the dream alive.

The Discovery Channel

The unconditional love for a baby-a part of you-the conditional love for a friend-a part of you-the sudden new love for a place-you are a part of-all a process of discovering even more hidden reasons for loving, of finding yet another level in your capacity to absorb and make something your own.

Amna’s baby has shown me a completely unselfish aspect of me which only thinks of him without expecting or wanting-without analysing, without questions, without answers. I love this part of me. This is the part which will make me the mother, not a daughter, wife or sister-just the mother. For the first time I feel a slight tug at my heart of that obscure maternal feeling so talked about by all women past the age of puberty. Barefoot and pregnant becomes a reality.

Discovery of a less monumental nature, but with its own essential place in the scheme of things, is the discovery my friends and I made of this stylish manhattan-ish coffee place aptly named espresso. Some places just make you feel right and this is definitely one of them. There is always someone you want to be, some feeling you want to cling onto, some image in your mind of YOU that you want to feel yourself in, and this little tiny place does all that for me. I am a smart working woman in London who stops in for coffee with her friends after work. I am a character from F.R.I.E.N.D.S hanging out at café perk. I am bundled up, dressed for winter, walking briskly through a New York square, while a jazz musician plays his sax. I am a hip and happening karachiite with some amazing friends I love chilling with. I am all these people, because of that little coffee place. It is a real high. Makes me also think of how I would love to have a bookshop/coffee place of my own-a little comfortable place with cosy nooks, excellent coffee, and events like book club gatherings, lectures and discussion groups. Till I make this dream a reality, or let it remain just a dream which makes me misty-eyed, I will continue to have my café latte and drink it too-with banana bread & cream on the side.

The Discovery Channel