Dear desi aunties, Why is my education so ‘funny’ to you?

It was 4pm when my mother received a call from a long lost relative, she had heard from a mutual friend that my mother had a single daughter who’s apparently as white and fair as she can be, cooks & cleans, and has a tongue so sweet, you’d never be shy of sugar at your house.

The woman in question asked my mother at what time she can come to ‘see’ me. She also wanted to inform my mother that she’s coming to ‘see’ me because she’s currently looking for a girl from ‘good caste’ and mine apparently is one of the ‘good castes’. Not wanting to ruin relations with a good old relative, my poor mother ‘allowed’ her to come.

As if she had any other option in the first place.

At exactly 7pm, Aunty was outside my house. I think I should have mentioned this at the start of my story, but I belong to an educational institution that is known as the top colleges in Pakistan for producing elite and sophisticated drawing-room bahus (Yes, you got it right— that institution!)

As I sat infront of her, draped in my best dress with blow-dried hair— she asked me what I did.

‘Jee I’m a student of BBA’

‘Acha toh, what else do you do?’

‘I’ve just finished working for a project where I helped 10 girls to learn skills and create their own online businesses to earn a livelihood for themselves.’

‘What else?’

‘I have led an event in my university for young entrepreneurs who’d want to showcase their businesses and possibly have organizations invest in them if they see potential in them’

‘What else?’

I started working for a company as head while I’m still in my last semester and finishing my thesis on marketing and consumer behavior

By this time, she visibly felt annoyed. Here she was trying to ask what I do, and I was listing unnecessary and useless things I do. Yeh kya baat hui, Maybe I am not worth her time after all.

‘But what else do you actually do? Can you cook?’

Yes I actually really like cooking, learned too that in Grade 10.

Bas perfect

‘That’s good! Girls should know how to cook. Yeh degree shegree to bas timepass hota hai, jab tak Rishta na ho. Larkio ka kya kaam hai k wo itna parh likh jayen.’

By this time, my mother was regretting letting this woman come to ‘see’ me.

‘Who to abhi issne kaha k mai bba karrhi hun to mujhe hassi agayee. Ab jab tak Rishta na ho tab tak to krna hai na larkiyon ne kuch’

No aunty, contrary to what your pea-sized brain believes in, I actually fought for my right to education, I like using my brain muscles and I don’t want to rot my life away just by being someone’s wife. I don’t want my identity to be JUST that.

‘Hahaha, I think its sooooo unnecessary for girls, why bother putting a burden on your brain for no reason. Isn’t that right? hahahahaha

Aunty, why is my degree so funny to you????

‘If a rich boy asks for Rishta, girls should leave their degree. Otherwise, they don’t find good rishtas’

Aunty, yeh Rishta toh aapko he Mubarak ho.

I’ll take my degree— the 4 years of my life spent to empower myself and unlock my brain to an extension. Please take your matric pass beta, and find another unfortunate animal to sacrifice for him.

‘Bari hassi ati hai un larkiyo per jo kehti hain hame parhne ka shauk hai, bhala parhne ka kisko shauk hua hai?’

At this point, I don’t even know what to think, I give her a quick smile, say my goodbyes, and leave the drawing-room. She watches me walking outside closely, After all, she is here to ‘see’ me.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.

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