Ghardari 101 – As Learnt from Pakistani Dramas

With two children under two, I have had my fair share of crazy moments during their earlier years where I have struggled to get food cooked, kids tended to and managed to live to see the next day. I would google nap routines, read those mommy guide books, etc. Some helped, some did not. For there really is not a Mommyhood 101 that is exactly on point and works for all of us. Similarly while Ghardari 101 (probably) does not exist, I have gleaned a few pointers as pointed out in our very own Pakistani dramas. Please note that these are random thoughts which cross my mind when I have seen these scenarios more than a couple of times in our dramas and this article, like most of my writing, is meant to be in good humour. Some points actually may ring quite close to home for some of us, even for me. I love most of the dramas I watch but they’re not perfect 🙂

So, without further ado presented below are some of the basic guidelines:

Victim – MIL or DIL? From the time of rishta up until the actual wedding day – do your assessment. Save a very rare few, no household (as portrayed in our dramas) has lived to see a saas and bahu living happily together. One of them is the victim, be it the evil saas or the evil bahu. Figure out who it will be in your case.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Age old saying. True to a huge extent – granted. But please remember as times have changed so has the man’s stomach. For where a home cooked meal by the pretty wife seemed to suffice to bring out the truth in that saying, now the dramas have taken it to a whole new level. Jab boht pyaar aye, be it husband or grown son, do not cook his most favorite meal. No – cook all of them! This recent ‘dekho mein nay tumhaari saaaaaari favorite dishes banaayi/banwayi hain’ leaves the foodie in me very confused. Biryani, kebab, koftay – heavy plate but still can be had together but chowmein? Where does that fit? Soup before or after or poured on top as curry? Baffling!

Bye bye to a promising career. Or bye bye to hubby and the kids. Because if you pursue a career, reality – the woman still is expected to pick up the brunt of housework. Dramaworld – she becomes a screeching, disorganized, selfish, evil woman – whose husband will most likely marry another woman. So be ready to undergo a personality change or else, keep the peace and give up any professional ambitions you may have had.

Housework all day. Every minute, every second. From the moment you wake up, hair perfectly done till the moment you rub on those creams on your hands before bed – the house is to be tended to all day long. Then and only then are you the perfect, sughar bahu/wife. No days off where you slouch around in your favourite PJS, order in food and binge watch a very new and interesting TV show. Ah, those days! Oh, I mean – God forbid! Haha.

Babies to remained swaddled in those big baby shawls/blankets until they are safely more than a year old. Weeks and months pass, major events unfold in the drama but the ‘baby’ remains in its forever present shawl. No milestones hit when baby is given tummy time, learns to sit, crawl, cruise – no! Keep the baby in that shawl until the baby will overnight grow into a walking, talking toddler who more times than not as portrayed in our dramas will yell one fine morning – aap gandi hain! Haye he talks!

Oh yes, besides housework there is something else you can do – shopping pe jaana. This one tickles me no end. Humans love/need to shop. Some more than others. Maybe women more than men. But if you want to be a cute, newly wed bride then pout and tell your husband – mujhay shopping pe jaana hai. The shopping pe jaana (emphasis on ‘pe’) always gives me a mental image of an expedition or cruise or a horse – like you sit on shopping and go somewhere. Go figure.

When looking for proposals for any males you are related to, son/brother/mamu etc – always finalise a household which has more than one daughter. For if the woman your son/brother/mamu gets engaged to decides to run away at the last minute, there is no need to have one person fall prey to a heart attack by the sudden shock nor call off the wedding – the to be bride’s sister will more than likely be offered as the replacement bride. Win-win.

Doctor without a degree. That can be the only profession you can openly practice and that too with expertise and ease. Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach – no ORS, hydration – announce it to be a clear cut pregnancy case. Self diagnosis. Best cure for a headache? Move over, Panadol – chai is the ultimate answer. Always assumed tea was used to fight off the tiredness, but there is also the ‘I am off to sleep in a bit, pehlay chai la do’. What?!

When writing an article for reviewit – cook pulao. That one is entirely mine, haha. For everytime I have written in the past couple of weeks, I seem to be checking on the pulao I have on the stove simultaneously.

You know how your hear those taunts (again in the dramas) of how watching TV has messed with the young woman’s (impressionable?) mind. I wonder if we all took to heart these lessons and pointers presented in our dramas – what kind of a household and family would we be running or be a part of. Again there is the suitcase, where the speed at which the woman packs her clothes and zooms out without having to look back or rush back to forget one minor thing makes me think a step ahead which is that she need not worry about financially supporting herself for with that kind of skill she could put the professional packing companies to shame and run her own. I could not resist penning these down and would really love any additions from your end. I am off to take a page out of my own book, rather article, so to speak. The saari dishes one. Now where did I keep that food delivery menu again? Haha!

Kunwal Javid