Why We Need To Know
Ms Claudette (the amazing woman running this blog), very sweetly invited me to write an article for her readers related to the women of Pakistan. She said she wanted to introduce her readers to the depths and breadths of the lives of women around our world. I did that article – “Wellness And Pakistani Woman: It’s A Class Thing.”
Discussing sometime later follow up articles, we decided to dig a bit deeper into the lives of Pakistani women to give our readers a better insight into the social dilemmas and virtues of Pakistani women. We decided to do a sequel. So, this is the second article in that series.
The sum of a Pakistani woman’s life is dependent upon the social class in which she is born. That was the basic theme of my first article. Over the next few articles, three women will narrate their life stories, complete with their joys and sorrows with the social class that each represents as the backdrop. Each woman is named in the pattern followed by the group.
You, the reader, can easily name the social class, whatever your view, from the following stories.
Meet The Women
I am Michelle,24 and I live in a palatial mansion in the high-end suburbs of Islamabad. I did my schooling at the Convent of Jesus and Mary. My father gave me great ideals about life and helped me follow them by sending me to Oxford for my university education.
Now that I am back in Pakistan, my life is not as exciting as it was overseas. Still, I have to find something interesting to do every day to make it “happening.” I am very particular about my health and fitness. So getting up well after sunrise, I have a hearty balanced breakfast of cereals, fresh fruit juice, boiled eggs and grilled sea food prepared by our expert butler. A long swimming session with my friends keeps me in shape and energized.
Returning home later in the day, I have light snacks and a power nap to keep me fresh. About four days a week, my social life and circle are filled with evening gatherings and shopping sprees with my friends. My fiancée is working overseas (after his education there) and we are planning a dream wedding for this December. Life is as simple as that.
I am Ayman and I am 28 and live in a small house in the city of Multan. I studied at a government school. My university education was on a scholarship and now I am working in a private bank.
It is possible that I would not be doing this job if I did not have to support my ailing father and a large household of eight (my parents and five younger siblings). I wake up early in the mornings, prepare breakfast for my family, help my younger siblings get ready for school and then commute by public transportation to my work place.
Every day, I carry a lunch box since the commercial food is expensive. My working conditions are not particularly comfortable since the system is not truly conducive for female employment. On my way home from work in the late afternoon, I do grocery for my family every second day. I hurry to get home to prepare dinner for my family.
Around 10:00 p.m., I drop dead on the bed to start an early day again next morning. I have stopped dreaming of marriage with so many responsibilities to shoulder.[optin-cat id=”6744″]
Razia aka Rajjo
I am Razia aka Rajjo. I am 18 years old and live in a village in the desert of Thar. I have been married for about two years and a mother of two children. My husband is a laborer and works on a kiln for about $2 a day.
My day starts well before sunrise when the other women of my clan and I set out to fetch water in our earthen pots from a well some five kilometres from our village. We get back around sunrise and I light up a wood fire to make breakfast for my family which is usually onion curry and bread.
Soon after my husband leaves for work, I set out to gather fire wood and graze our cattle in the desert. My mother-in-law takes care of my children while I am away. Usually there is nothing much to eat for lunch so I return in the evening when my husband gets back with something to cook. That is our dinner time, around 6:00 in the evening.
Milking the starving cows is a great challenge since they hardly produce any milk living on the dry brush of the desert as they do. I have never been to a city or a town and my children were born in our straw hut under the watchful eyes of my mother-in-law.
Their Lives, Their Stories
These women tell the story of the class makeup of Pakistan in general and share a brief glimpse into their lives with this limited coverage of daily activity. The sorrows, ideals, joys, frictions and aims in life are individual and specific but the general outlook is pretty much same.
The commonalities are many so are the differences but a woman in most cases does not define her destiny in Pakistani society except for a very few brave ones.
Subscribe and receive a daily email update when Neelma posts her next article on Prostitution, Pakistani Style. This will be another chance to learn more about this country and the lives of the women populating it from someone who lives in the midst of them. Neelma brings a different flavour to the banquet here. She is freelance writer and lives in Islamabad, Pakistan.