The Eligible Bachelor Conundrum

Disclaimer: This a story specific to some parts of South Asia particularly to Land of the Pure.

There was once a young lad. When he was only an infant, his mother took very good care of him. He was fed and changed by the caring hands of his mother. As years past he grew into a handsome young boy by the very precise account of his loving mother. She would tell adorable stories about her boy. She would chuckle and get rosy cheeked with pride when giving account of her son’s handsome features, white skin and thick hair.

More years past on, the boy of tender age entered teenage. His handsomeness grew tenfold. His mother’s stories and pride about her son touched the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro (Mt Everest is over rated) She could not help but narrate tales of his achievements at school. Later her obsession with her boy’s success turned into even bigger stories. She moved in her circle of friends like someone with a gold medal. And indeed she had worked hard on her boy. She had spent her time and energy into raising her child, now a fully grown man; if I may say so an eligible bachelor — ‘a catch’ if you might add it in his mother’s words.

It was time. It was the right time for him to get a bride. A bride with a pretty face, a clean past, culinary skills to put master chefs to shame, qualification to match her son’s; and most importantly a girl of the right age. Age is a matter of big concern for it is closely connected to the prospects of furthering the family tree. Hence, the right age, the appropriate number is a serious business for mothers. If the bride in question is same age as her handsome son, it is a big no. If God forbid on the wedding day, a neon sign starts to shine horribly bright, letting lose the truth about the girl being OLD. No one wants a girl looking like a grandma!  According to “How to Find the Right Girl for your Son” guide book a girl should be at least 5 years younger; in fact the older the son, the younger the bride to be. What? You are questioning the existence of such a guide book?  Well I assumed there must be a golden rule book that is followed by all the proud mothers of their one in a million sons.

Coming back to the particular mother and son duo, the hunt began and is still ongoing. It has been some 10 light years since the mother set out to find the perfect match for her off spring who has grown into the epitome of a perfect man. And by grown I mean really grown like there is no stopping – no, not just vertically in height, but horizontally in all angels and shapes. The once poster boy for all to follow in all respects, now seems to be losing his edge.  The data, however, remains unchanged in his mother’s mental scrapbook. The records haven’t been updated for years which mean the girls keep aging all around. The eligible bachelor remains alive with that vampire streak of his, keeping him young and handsome and immortal in the fantastical mind of his mother.

Sun rises and fall, flowers blossom and wither, girls are born and then age. But there is a son or sons of marriageable age, forever the eligible bachelor(s) waiting for a perfect match. They all will live happily ever after, after they have lost their hair and teeth, with a young, naïve, pretty wife by their side.

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Some Thoughts

It is amazing how the ache from our hearts reaches our eyes. Has that ever happened to you? It is strange how our heart and eyes are connected. An aching heart is never alone, the eyes take the burden. They shed some tears, they cry with the crying heart. Am I making sense?


Tears in eyes and conscience knocking at our hearts makes one feel wide awake. It is faith blooming like new spring leaves. Faith is like a new born child, weak and fragile but spotless, yet it needs constant care; a close watch so that it doesn’t get hurt. Sometimes, when praying, our cupped hands feel the heaviness of the pain, like some magnetic current travelling through the body. On other occasions the lightness of it all makes the hands in prayer feel empty.


I wish many wishes, as is the human nature. The desires and wishful thinking has deep roots within the human heart. As age takes its toll on the human body, the wishes center around nostalgia, the past, the frighteningly fast pace of time. The idea of time slowing down seems tempting. For some old souls, the time’s slow pace, the same mundane days, become an added pain in their already arthritic bones. The clock’s constant tick tock is a reminder of their fading life and vague memories.


I want to write the words before they dissolve into the dark humid night. The sweat beads on my forehead stick to the rubber end of my half chewed pencil. The silhouette of the trees on my beige curtains cast a ghostly impression. The grasshopper continues its benign but rhythmic sound. The friction between the paper and the pencil lead reaches a crescendo and then snap, the nib breaks. The words disconnect and finally dissolve into the quiet walls around me; some slip through the half open window, the rest too tame to escape, sink back into the dark recesses of my thoughts.

Find them if you may

Dust and smoke on some rusty roads.

The ghosts of writing spring out alone,

Near the dawn of the day

Or into the midnight fog

Mocking the shadows of my words;

Blow out the candles, Dark out the night. 

 

Find them if you may or better still,

Say rest in peace

To that what haunts you;

The silhouette of words,

The ghosts of writing,

The muses so shy.

 

If you then still persist;

Walk along the train tracks,

Run after the missed bus,

Hail loudly for a worn out taxi,

Board a plane or 

Adventure on a ship.

You will not find them.

Words lost aren’t meant to be found.

 

Lying on a charpoy

Hang onto the starry sky,

A moon will glow back at you.

Drink away the summer night

With thoughts of a rosy past,

With plans for a morrow not seen.

You will not find them.

Words lost aren’t meant to be found. 

 

Book Review: Dark Places

Dark PlacesDark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places is a twisted tale of a crazy night on a farm in Kansas that takes Libby’s mother and two sisters away. Ben the only son to Patty and brother to 3 sisters of the Day family is in deep trouble for not just the alleged murders of his family but also Satan worship and child molesting. Libby the youngest, and only 7, escapes the gruesome murders by a twist of fate. But how and why? 25 years after the murders, Libby now 30 something finds herself researching into the murder case of her family only to discover the truth that was buried by the people involved in the case.

As I turned page after page into the story, I couldn’t help but pause and say, what the hell goes on in Gillian Flynn’s mind? As I started the book, I kept saying nah its not at par with Gone Girl. No, nothing close but she proved me wrong! The story just keeps getting better if you keep turning the pages and once you start the book there is no stopping until you have reached the end. Though I would highly recommend reading the novel with all the positivity and happy vibes around you as there is some depressing, disturbing stuff to freak you out.

Things I really enjoyed as the story progressed are as follows:

Libby and her unusual random theft moments stop disturbing you and as the story unfolds you realize how perfect are her stealing skills.

The conversations between Libby and Lyle brings out the personality of both the characters making them more human than weird. But then again, humans are weird. right?

As Libby starts visiting Ben, her brother in the prison, the layers to these characters start to come of.

Flynn does it incredibly well when she describes the murders. They hit you like a bullet and stay with you. I do not want to reveal much, spoilers are the worst thing but let me tell the readers (if anyone has come this far into reading my ‘review’) that some of the final chapters in the book are best.

Libby’s dreams are perhaps the weirdest but one can relate to their strangeness.

I don’t remember giving much thought to acknowledgement part of the book. But with Flynn, acknowledgements were fun, inspiring and more of an insight to the kind of person Flynn is. I recommend reading them, seriously!

View all my reviews

Busy Bees’ Book Bash

Hello dear readers,

Along with my friend we are starting a small book club named SoulFood where we plan to read a lot of books and exchange our ideas and thoughts on them. In order to document it, we are further planning to write small reviews and blog about them, ideally every two months. There is a tasty twist to our book club, a theme that would run in the backdrop of some good book discussion; good food to tie everything in. We experience a new restaurant every time there’s a book to be talked about or philosophical concepts to ponder on. So far we have done it twice and hope to continue it.

To continue reading you can find me and my friend F. on our page here

The Conversation

“There is so much inspiration in the world and I can’t seem to write a single word.” lamented the man with exasperation piled up inside him for years.

“ You are a mad man,” came a reply as if unveiling a piece of art.

“No…I’m not…,” said the man taken aback at the bluntness.

With confidence dripping like Nutella the second man said, “Yes, indeed you are.”

Clearly vexed at the coldness of the stranger’s tone he exclaimed, “NO! I M NOT.”

“Sigh,” nodding his head the second man reinforced, “I’m afraid you are…”

The exasperated man trying to hide his anticipation said, “Okay, then why don’t you prove it?.”

Second man’s cold reply came, “Well, you are talking to a mirror.”

The Bell Jar Review

belljarcoverAs a reader, when I picked up this book, I did it solely to find some answers into the mystery of Plath’s suicide. Why would a beautiful mind producing amazing poetry, would put an end to her life? The Bell Jar is exactly about this person not just through Esther’s character but through all the characters that we meet in the book. You cannot help but see Plath in Esther’s friend Joan as well. Esther, the protagonist, has been portrayed to  what Plath could have become in an ideal world but it is Joan’s character which is mirroring Plath’s real life. Once you open the book, a labyrinth opens up as Esther goes on from being an apparently stable mental health to eventually breaking down. The book portrays the struggles and experiences of her time in different asylums; most importantly how she ends up in them.

The imagery in the book gets you in awe with a tinge of pain. There is a fig tree described at one point in the book. A sadness lingers on once the fig tree has been interpreted through Esther’s perspective. This is by far the only imagery that will remain stuck in my mind; especially whenever I see the beautiful fig tree out in my own lawn. The dilemma of picking the right fig instantly climbs up my spine. At one point into the story, Esther goes to visit her father’s grave and the description of the graveyard is exactly the kind you find in Pakistan. She says ‘It was crowded right up by another gravestone, head to head, the way people crowded in a charity ward when there isn’t enough space.’

The issue of gender equality made me draw parallels between Pakistani culture with that of the American when Plath reflects on men and patriarchy.

An element of distrust looms over her relation with Willard Buddy that on some level amused me. I could not come to a conclusion who was more at fault Esther or Buddy? Was it the feminist in Esther that made her inflexible to Buddy’s confession, or the lack of his ability to build confidence about their relation for Esther to lean onto.

It is not just Esther’s relation with her boyfriend and other men that she comes across that make you want to dig deeper into her character or so to speak see into Plath’s. The irritation with her mother’s visits to the hospital and her memories of her father, all lets you peep into the complex mind of Esther.

What happens to Esther in the end is for you to find out; making observations about this girl who herself is a silent observer ‘I liked looking at other people in crucial situations.’ As readers we all kind of become Esther; very carefully peeling off layer after layer observing her dissent into mental illness.