Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love or Arranged Marriage?

'The happily ever after’ moments are very well tattooed in our minds from the time we are kids reading fairy tales to the very reality of growing up and realizing that 'happily ever after' may take another route before reaching its destination.

Marriage, a holy matrimony between two souls uniting in harmonious commitment for life, is a sacred occasion every girl dreams of. The preparation of finding your dream bridal dress, the perfect location for walking down the isle and the strenuous decision of choosing the right flowers matching the bridal theme, are scenarios every girl fantasizes. A dream so pure and beautiful in thoughts, yet sometimes, is harshly unattainable in existence. Human nature has evolved drastically with the rapid growing technology of today and marriage has been given a whole different meaning. People have become aware of their surroundings and demands by paying a more detailed observation when finding a mate.

The concept of love marriage is far more lenient than before within the Eastern society and generations of culturally diverse ethnicities living in the United States are integrating open-mindedness and tolerance with the changing of times and traditions. Girls are no longer marrying for the sake of marriage alone; they have a deeper understanding of commitment and are willing to take risks within their personal growth of intelligence and intellect. Love marriage is usually defined as a very liberal act of personal decision making, whereas arranged marriages in the West are confronted in a demeaning, force able way for not pursuing your own life partner.

The perception of a marriage without initially falling in love is strictly looked upon as an emotionless bond, an alliance per se within the consent of parents alone. This is however an untrue factor for the educated households believing in traditional matchmaking over a string of dating consequences. Values of such sort are created in the environment of a community that holds dear to moral ethics and contradicts the exposure of women in a materialistic society where looks are given precedence over intelligent capacities. The question remains to be taken under the loop and studied in various different angles;
Is love marriage to be perceived more seriously than arranged marriages, or would you rather say an arranged marriage is ought to be safer, since played on common grounds?

With the growing trend of youngsters trying to find their own life partners it is worrisome for many parents to give up on their power of knowledge and wistful life's experiences. Parents have taken a backseat. They may or may not enjoy the ride, but when happiness is at stake, conforming to their children's ideals is usually the best thing to do. However, parents who are liberal in thoughts steer their kids to the right people and let them decide what's best for them, preserving their enthusiastic mindset in the domain of challenging the right from wrong.

Along the line of pure and pious living for Muslim youngsters, a relationship that is sought for marriage purposes is a more permissible act within the eyes of God and the family. Our society has succeeded in designing a women's mind to easily mold into conventional male perceptions and feel pressurized for living up to the expectations of such meaningless pursuits, leading towards insecurities and paranoia among young women.

The wait for a marriage proposal within a long-term relationship is often a stressful period for the women to inhale, without the guarantee of an actual commitment for the investment that was put in from the very core of the female heart and soul. Such heartbreak and misuse of sincere feelings is a direct chain reaction of decreased faith in the unity of marriage around us. A protected wall of secure and sound decisions in the form of parents may be well served to such tragedies happening nowadays. The outcome of a marriage is not determined by love or an arranged fixture of destiny; it is determined by trust, respect, tolerance and communication.

By solely making your own decision or weighing in the decisions of your well-wishers, one can not lean towards the one or the other for reaching a successful romantic life. Fate that is based on arranged marriage may come in with baggage of maturity and in-detail background research paired with family commonalities, likewise, it may not uphold the kind of fate that was woven in the heat of passion and attraction towards each other. Similarly, fate itself can easily turn its back on both, walk away and never look back.

When I touched upon this subject with my mom, this is what Ammi had to say:
" Playing the role of a parent and trusted friend, we are well aware of the actions of our sons and daughters since they have proven to be loyal to our beliefs and values. In return, our unconditional trust is given to them with the knowledge that they will make decisions based on righteousness and good moral judgment.”

Awww, thanks Mom! :)
The hope to find true love remains a struggle for mankind and is repeatedly defined as a new product to lure young people into thinking of exposing themselves at an early age, packaging it as entertainment and fun, while gradually depriving the young & confused from a beautiful vision of marital commitment.

When the Holy Prophet of Islam, before the announcement of Prophet Hood, was given a marriage proposal by Hazrat Khadija, a courageous 40 year old widowed business woman, the Holy Prophet accepted the marriage proposal. A very unconventional marriage had taken place in the times of the Prophet, more than 1400 years ago. It was highly uncommon amongst Arabs to marry widows. Hazrat Khadija's boldness and confidence is praise worthy; she was known to be a poise and noble lady.

In today's world a woman's boldness is defined by her body language and the art of seduction, rather than the innate understanding of finding supportive structure in life. The marriage was arranged by the woman herself and resulted into the most lovable marriages of the Holy Prophet. An arranged marriage that was initiated by a woman, is somehow seen as a lack of substance in the 21st century where there is claim to be more modern, much more progressed, where secularity is pride, where marriage is a trial of boredom and is inevitable with the fast growing excitements of the day.

The individual concept of marriage should be revised and taken into positive consideration, whether the conduct of marriage is arranged or love, nevertheless statistics may speak their own language, cultures may enforce their ideology, at the end it's the two people involved who make it all happen...

through thick and thin, for better or for worse.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Oooh Valentine?

To those who have loved ones and to those who are spilling their hearts out today to declare their love, who are showing emotions on an 'official given day' whereas the rest of the days it doesn't acquire much publicity, where there is pressure for men to perform and bring home the roses and chocolates anticipating women to drool over them, to those I say ; Look closely at your family and the love of your life; have you really appreciated their company, their surroundings day in day out? Has their presence truly enlightened your soul throughout the years or have you spent most of the time bickering/avoiding/or defending your stand point? Now, don't get me wrong. Valentines is sweet in its presentation, but a bit shallow in its commercialized approach. Of course everyone has their own creativity of delivering the perfect Valentine and again no problems with that. As a woman, even I had to drop a few hints to get the "special treatment" today. But you know what? My love has never lessened or instantly increased just because Valentines decided to announce February 14th the day of love.

haha, my words may come with a little sarcasm, but I am a true romantic by heart and soul. I would encourage men to treat their women with love and make them feel like a princess, but the reality of the matter is that even Valentine would frown upon the many deceitful relationships people carry around with them; the smile, the charm, the promises makes them look lovable and adoring, but the two faced personalities have it all mastered, all figured out.

If there is a day that I would like to be an official day on the calender, before Valentines day...that would be the day to respect and believe in morality, to love unconditionally without the "pretense" of beautiful packaging or bouquets, to hold ones promise and to fully approach on it with purity and decency, a day so pious and full of truth, to truly love someone as if your life was depending on it, to shed tears of utmost joy, to kneel in front of the Creator who has given us all the blessings, yet still we remain ungrateful. If that day approaches anytime soon, I'd be the first to walk the parade, I'd be the first to carve out a heart so big that the whole world; white, black, brown, yellow, purple, green....all of it would fit in. perfectly.

As a society we are guilty for commercializing ourselves far too much, to dramatize "love", how sweet and beautiful it may seem from the surface, digging it deeper to its core one would find a note asking to question ourselves, our role, our character in the movie of the year, called Valentine. The critics may not applaud, your loved ones may not give you a standing ovation, but to follow society and rules, you will blindly walk ahead and ignore the natural signs of stepping back into reality, putting importance on impressing friends with an exaggerated story where you surprised him/her on this BIG day of supposed love.

Love to me is pure, it is natural like a mother bird feeding worms to its baby birds, it is beautiful like the blooming of a new flower, it is fulfilling like eating a bowl of ice cream and it is surely incredible like an unexpected miracle from the Higher Powers of this Universe.

When receiving a beautiful rose stem from my loving husband today, I was excited to give it its own place in a vase on the side table where the color red pops out, like bright red lipstick on starch white skin. His one rose was a sea of rose petals for me leading towards a destination I know of, the safe haven of trust and such intense love that is shown through sweet commitment. That is in existence between a husband and a wife, from one person to another.

My valentine isn't justified for being married, but it is justified for having a clear view of love...labeling the relationship with any name doesn't make a difference as long as the intentions are clear. My emphasis will always lie on this, whether today or tomorrow...we need help as a society to stop sugar coating the true meaning of living and start living a life of true purpose and love.

My heart goes out to those students killed in Chicago today in the lecture hall of their University. What statement was the shooter trying to make on Valentines day??? Why the killings? Why the violence, hatred and desperation of taking lives? What is happening to the young???

Love should not be alone, it shouldn't appear for one day and walk out the door in all its selfishness. I am deeply sorry for the losses and I pray for betterment, for a peaceful future where our kids later can be sent out to school without the fear of them not returning ...ever again.

I will rest my case here. The jury has adjourned Your Honor, off to eating chocolates and making it all disappear with the opening of a wine bottle and the arranging of beautiful gifted flowers... tell me...whom are we kidding here?


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Starting Over

Starting as a new born baby in this world with the growing pains of learning, falling and getting up again...I have decided "starting over" isn't a big deal anymore at the age of twenty five. I also realized that "time" can never be late, since the time spent towards improvement is never wasted, even when failures and disappointments take place. My disappointments are very self-destructive, the ones I don't like to talk about, but always make my stomach turn from the inside when I think about. More so, these are expectations that I highly hold for myself in order to live up to my own self-reflection. The outer world perceives me as a whole person, but the "Naila" in me always has a fine niche for criticism somewhere lying around. I have decided to fill in that empty spot within me, mark it off in a (self)-application box and never regret. Stop it right there!

Starting over in a new career, a new place that has taken me almost a year to explore with my homesickness to California; I have taken a vow of discovering new adventures in Houston, whether it be career related or entertainment wise, life will be much interesting once I step outside in the overbearing sun of Houston with its massive hugeness applied to every building and every step I take. Nevertheless, I don't feel lighter, I don't feel triumphant, but I feel a sheer joy crawling up on me, knowing that this may become the most exciting year of my life...apart from the 'newly wed' roller coaster ride of last year.

I have been sending off resumes all morning long, expecting to receive an answer, a phone call or someone squealing at the other end of the line begging to hire me....the one and only and yes!...I'm back in demand! :) To every employer I apply, to every building I gaze...I find myself walking in a business suit dealing with tons of real estate transactions, I somehow drift away into the security of my home. The nest that I have build over the past year, this soft embrace of household satisfaction; the hourly brewing of green tea is just a couple of feet away sitting on my kitchen stove from pouring into my teacup, the little trip to the balcony in the afternoon to water my plants and the soaking of my feet in the calmness of the sun---can never and I repeat never be replaced in a fast paced working environment where the AC will be turned up high, resulting into layering on clothing over clothing, killing the fashion, where stress is another way of paying off youthful energy and slowly, but daily chipping away on mental stability to make place for the so-called rat race, the chase of a lifetime . Melodramatic aint I? haha!

Naawww, I am over thinking it a little. Maybe starting over and facing the people will bring new experiences for me to laugh on and share with. I am a people's person hidden behind this computer screen, making a buck or two by observing the world as it is through my apartment window overlooking the boring parking lot.
Richmond Ave. Houston. Texas. The World.

The reality; My world. I better push the START button or life itself will push me OVER the fence. Starting over that is.