Kanwalful Meets World: Jab We Met

Reading depressing stories of failed marriages and abusive spouses can get emotionally taxing, even for those who are merely reading about it. I thought, in my post this week, I would talk about how some marriages are indeed beautiful. Of course it is not all hunky dory and perfect. There are indeed tons of glitches along the way. But a good relationship can stand the tests of time.

Anes and I met in my first semester at IBA. He was two years my senior and a friend of a friend. Typical. Shoulder length hair and a serious face, generally found with a cigarette and thick (read: boring) book, no one would be able to tell Anes was a guitarist and singer of a college band. 

Excuse the quality. Cellphone cameras sucked 9 years ago.
Excuse the quality. Cellphone cameras sucked 9 years ago.

I swear I’m not exaggerating but I was/am the exact opposite. Loud, perpetually excited and generally cracking lame jokes. When I first met Anes – he thought I was really irritating (hmph, bara aya). And tried to further engross himself in his book to avoid interacting with me. I couldn’t care less either because he was pretty boring. 

Time went on. We did hang out occasionally in a group especially when I was spending time with Abeer and Ammar. Anes and I started talking a lot more. He finally started finding me less irritating and I decided to give his boring books a chance. Haven’t told him aj tak ke I never got beyond the first few pages.

This one time, I found him very upset in the cafeteria (where I was sitting because as usual I was bunking a class – bad student alert). I sat with him and he talked out his problem. Alongside finishing a whole pack of cigarettes (he quit a year after we got engaged in case any one is wondering and is quite health conscious now). I think that’s when we actually started acknowledging each other friends enough to share problems. 

It was the mid of the next semester when I jokingly told Anes about the proposals we memon girls received starting at age 18. He looked at me a little panicked. And asked if my parents would marry me off immediately. I casually dismissed the conversation.

The next day he messaged me to come down to the foyer where he had a very important matter to discuss. I took a friend along and sat there waiting. When he arrived, he kept hinting that I should ask my friend to leave. She looked at us quizzically and left. And that’s when he asked me if he could send his parents over. He had already talked to his mother and elder siblings. Only his father was left. And if I said yes – he could talk to him too. I immediately said no. I was not interested. In reality I was really taken aback and very confused. He was offended and angry. 

When I went home I discussed this with my father. He told me I should not have said no so rudely. And that he wanted to meet Anes. (My dad clearly wanted to get rid of me ASAP: kidding!)

So I messaged Anes. I told him I had thought over the proposal and wanted him to meet my parents.

The coming weekend, my whole family – sister, brother and parents (excluding me) went to meet Anes at Costa Coffee (before it shut down in Karachi). 20 year old Anes, in order to cast a first good impression borrowed a kurta from his friend, purchased new jeans from Dolmen and gelled back his long hair to prevent them from looking too jungli. And they all LOVED him. They thought he was sweet and sensible (mashAllah se singer honey ke sath sath bara ache actor bhi hain. JOKING!)

And when his parents came over the same week (I can’t recall if the Costa meet up happened before or after his parents came) we were all in love with them. They truly are the cutest parents in law anyone could ask for MashaAllah. May Allah give them a long, healthy, happy life. His father immediately upon further discussions said he would not accept a dime for his house (contrary to popular tradition). No jahez, nothing! We were engaged a month later.

After being engaged we were allowed (by my parents) to go out for dinner once in two weeks. And the first time we went out it was to Suzy Wong. Anes had been working at Anees Hussain and his parents made him earn his own pocket money since he became a teenager so it was a great expense for him to take me somewhere expensive. Bechara. Obviously after we were engaged this poor guy was perpetually broke. I eat like a cow, I mean. Badnaseebi thi uss ki

Our nikah was in a masjid – with no meal to follow. Our rukhsati was small and simple – with a few hundred guests and our valima had barely a handful of relatives. A grand wedding was never a priority for us – not judging those for whom it is, of course. Different people have different things that make them happy. I am just glad our priorities matched.

Wedding day candid.
Wedding day candid.

It’s been 8 years since were engaged mashaAllah (7 since we were nikah-ed). It’s been a long, eventful while and we started off at the bottom of the rung, monetarily. Things have slowly gotten better though. Of course we are not the perfect, non-fighting, insanely-perpetually-in-love type of couple either.  And we fight practically every few days. No shame in that dude. Humans hain. Larai toh hoti hai. Very naarmalz

Did I mention Anes is from the Urdu Speaking community and I’m memon. And generally memons don’t marry outside their community so people did raise their eyebrows. But my dadi and parents both don’t agree with that narrow minded stance. Very samajdaar family I belong to mashaAllah. And honestly this tradition of not marrying outside of communities needs to go now. It’s so two thousand and pait (ka dard).

Posing with an ulti car.
Posing with an ulti car.

Okay thank you for enjoying my love story (mashaAllah). Hopefully you drew a good moral of the story i.e. no marriage is alike. Everyone has a story to share. Things are rarely ever like they seem on Celebrity-couples’ Instagram pages. And falling in love rarely (yaani never) ever happens with violins playing in flowery fields.

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