A wedding took place last month, in Windsor, UK, and the media all around the world got another topic. But surprisingly, the news hit Pakistanis the hardest, as still evident in their social media posts. Our ladies are still tweeting about how the Prince broke the shackles of age-old customs. At first, I wondered if it had something to do with the colonial mentality. Partially, yes. And partially, the fantasy thinking is to blame.
We tend to look up to media celebrities and ruling class to be an example for us whenever it comes to setting trends or breaking traditions. The people whose off-the-screen lives are way too different than what we see on TV. The reason Pakistani ladies are appreciating Harry so much is that he married into the non-royal class; in addition, the lady is older than him and she is divorced from her former husband. But did anyone of you even think for a moment that none of it matters when you are marrying someone who has a celebrity status- one aspect certainly outweighing all the other concerns. The act of going crazy over celebrity marriages is not new, especially when it is between a celebrity and a royalty. We, the commoners, never adopt realistic thinking and fail to realize that ‘like should always be compared with like’. You never know what goes inside the four walls of palaces. 37 years back, Prince Charles’ wedding ceremony received far greater media coverage but nobody could even think of the problems that arose as soon as the couple went on their honeymoon.
There are some very strong reasons behind the reality versus expectation hashtag recently getting famous on social media because we are never ready to face the reality – that demands rational reasoning. The royal marriages are not same as the love stories you see on your college campus, that later materialize into marriage. When such public figures tie the knot, it is certainly not the ‘love at first sight’ or a ‘celebrity crush’ that turns into a legal contract in front of the world. There is much more to it than the little that appears in the public eye.
Anyhow, I also see royals portraying a contradictory behavior after Harry has made this decision. Now that the couple is happily married, the upcoming movie based on their love life is reported to have a sex scene that has seriously worried the Buckingham Palace. Did they not see the actress’ explicit scenes on screen before? Maybe, the palace has restricted Youtube access because of the presence of toddlers!
Moving on to justifying my colonial mindset point discussed in start. It is Prince Harry who is having all your admiration, because we always tend to overlook that even in our part of the world, this practice of marrying into the less-wealthier has been around for a really long time. But we turn a blind eye to it. Don’t go too far into the past. Just consider Maryam Nawaz’s husband. He was not half as rich as Maryam, but no, Maryam is Pakistani and Safdar never acted in films. Remember Bhutto’s Iranian wife? If not, then hats off to either your general knowledge or memory. That’s not all. The Nawab of Bahawalpur also married his horse trainer’s daughter. But you don’t even know that Bahawalpur used to be a princely state, because you are too ‘cool’ to know the local history. (Disclaimer: I do not have any political party affiliation. I just tried to go in a reverse chronological order). Likewise, a lot of our other worthy politicians have also married ladies who have ex-husbands. Ever heard Tehmina Durrani’s name?
Anyhow, putting all your groom-praising Facebook posts aside, how many of you ‘desi sisters’ will make such a choice when seeking a PERFECT match for your brother (the word ‘perfect’ purposely capitalized)? How many of you will encourage your brother to propose Meera or Mathira? I know one of them is married but could not find any better example. Just take it on a lighter note!