Seriously, sometimes I think a healthy appreciation for the ridiculous is my only salvation! :P
September 29, 2010
This afternoon, a Pathan colleague came up to me and asked me if my mother could come down to Islamabad sometime early next week. I told him, it was a funny coincidence but she was actually flying down for the weekend, and I asked him why he wanted to meet her. He said he had been working on a 'project' with a client (also Pathan) and he wanted her to be part of it. Since my mom has been known to moonlight off-and-on as an enterprise trainer, I didn't think too much of it and asked him for project details out of idle curiosity. He looks as if he's wondering whether to say anything to me or not, and then he says well, it's Project 'Zainab'. I'm more than a little lost here. In response to an 'excuse me?' he says, well remember when so-and-so (the client) asked me if you were single? I don't really remember any such incident, but I nod encouragingly anyway. Well, apparently so-and-so has a nephew who happens to be in England, has good job, excellent prospects, is Pathan so is naturally good-looking (I'm not kidding, this was mentioned) and he thinks you would be a good marital candidate for nephew. At this point I'm wondering if I should be amused or amazed, I decide I'm a bit of both and ask him what all of this has to do with my mother. He looks at me as if I'm wacko and says well so-and-so is going to get the elders to Islamabad next week and they should meet my mother so they can talk about the 'future'. At this point I'm looking at him as if HE'S wacko and I'm like, but I don't even know this boy's name! He says, what's the hurry. You'll find out. I laugh, except then I look at him and I realize he's not joking here. So I ask him again, exactly what are these people wanting to meet with my mother for. He says aray baba, we're Pathan, this is how these things happen. Don't worry about it, I'll talk to your mother. I'm somewhat horrified at this point, and while trying to point out that this entire situation is a little ridiculous and nobody can have 'talks' about me marrying a strange boy I've never spoken to (no matter how many Pounds he earns per annum), I say to him 'but I'm NOT Pathan'. At which point he nods encouragingly and says to me, 'don't worry about not being Pathan, his family is willing to overlook that'. And then he walks off and I'm left wondering whether to bang my head against the wall or just drown him in the river.