Even at the somber event honoring Dallas Police Officers, President Obama, in his opening impromptu remark, thanked his stars that he met Michelle before Stevie Wonder could or else she would marry Stevie. The audience bursted into laughter (Do watch the clip if you missed it). This is not the first time President Obama has shown sense of pride that Michelle agreed to marry him as if the presidency comes after her, which if you look at it, is not that far from the truth.
My former colleague a bright, young engineer coming out of college when introduced me to his beautiful girl friend repeatedly added “I don’t deserve her. I know I don’t deserve her” and she just coyly kept smiling. When it comes to courting women, no one says it better than yet another American icon and thanks to his own satellite radio channel, often my driving companion Frank Sinatra. “I’ve got you under my skin”, “The best is yet to come” and many such hits. And how can we talk about love songs and not mention The One and Only Michael Buble’ who in fact hooked me to Sinatra, and beats him and Elvis to their own songs. You must have guessed by now that I am flattered by the American men’s style of wooing their women.
Now I don’t mean to generalize, but the concept of love is very strange in old Pakisatni folklore and many people still believe that true love is that which you don’t get. What kind of pessimism is that? You ask and they would reply that look Heer Ranjha, Sissi Punoo, Laila Majnoon none of them united and amar ho gaey. So that’s the litmus test if you should get your beloved or not. If you get him/her then you are no good or it’s not true love. Going by their standard this is what President Obama would say “Michelle I am glad Stevie Wonder got you because that proves that my love for you is absolutely true.” Urdu poetry is quite sadistic in its outlook too usually lamenting over neglect. I wonder what old time Urdu poets would do if God forbid they actually got their beloved. Half the books would cease to exist. My brother who is a fan of such sadistic poetry would testify to this long standing literary argument between us siblings.
Another scenario: Nusrat Baji who runs a women’s Halaqa in New York says “if a husband is appreciating the wife there is something lacking in him.” An unhappily married Nafisa listening to Baji’s speech nods in agreement “the husband shouldn’t be wooing his wife and if he does there is something he is trying to cover up”. In the movie The Help, Octavia, the strongest woman outdoors was daily beaten indoors by her husband because he made her believe that that’s what she deserved, that she was too wild, and that she needed to be kept in check or else she would turn haywire. Human mind is strange. You can talk yourself into believing or doing anything.
Nurturing and supporting men are very important in a woman’s life and I wouldn’t hesitate to acknowledge that I am fortunate to have one by my side, my husband. I wouldn’t venture to become a blogger without first discussing all the pros and cons with him. His wooing skills are another story though. The other day when we were ready to step out for a party he did compliment my NEW dress. The fact remains that it was the tenth time I wore it 🙂
Here is the bottomline: Can Pakistani men start praising their women and more importantly can Pakistani women start accepting that praise and also not judge if their Pakistani friend’s husbands praise their wives and suspect them to be incompetent . May be its time to review our mard ki shan to akarnay mein hay wala culture. I can understand when our men show the mardangi (machoness – for lack of a better word in English) but I totally don’t get when women not just facilitate but promote it.
P.S. I am using the term “Pakistani men” but most Asian men would fit the description, wouldn’t they? Other nationalities out there, what do you say?
Since I am in the nauseating habit of examining all aspects, it wouldn’t be out of place to mention that on the flip side, a growing faction in America believes that media is dumbifying the persona of American man. Watch any advertisement, be it auto insurance, hotel room, or home flooring its usually the know-it-all smart woman finding the best deal and rolling her eyes to a deliberately-acting-silly man. I would like to hear more on this from my American audience.
For now let me switch-on Michael Buble’ and accept his invite “Come fly with me” to Canada. See you on the other side!