Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mango Flavoured Eye-Candy

Sooooooooooo even this bloody video took over a year to make... all three and a half minutes of it. Lol. My biggest issue is not knowing how to do all this tech/editing stuff myself. But it got done eventually. Someone was nice enough to find time for me and my cause... thank you! xx

so first i had a problem finding someone to do the voice over, i'd do it myself, but I didnt want anything even remotely noth-american sounding. And I tried to fake another accent, it sounded retarded. I tried to find an authentic Pakistani accent (so much harder to do outside of Pakistan), but none of the ppl I asked had 'time' or they just didn't think it'd be good for their voice to be associated with the project. Jeez, every step of the way i tell ya. Then i got random members of my family to try and fake a Pakistani accent, and they all sounded so silly. Some of them sounded like "apu" from the bloody Simpsons. And if you're even half brown, you'll know that brown people don't sound like that. Sorry if you're reading this... but cummmonnn... you know it wasn't any good :/

Eventually we found a voice over. Not a desi accent, but not a north american one either....

The other issue was that i tried to get a non-Pakistani friend of mine to do the editing. Lol, he didnt get half of what was going on... especially the mirch, masala drawings. He was like, "I know for a fact you can draw better than this" ...he just didnt understand the significance of all the cheapo elements i guess. And fair enough...Then finally I found a fellow Pakistani to take care of it.... and it got done. Ta daa! Of course, it could be tweaked here and there... and changed a bit.. but i figured it was best to just get it out there rather than obsess...n'est-ce pas?

Plus everywhere I looked had a different fuckin number for the population of Pakistan. So I just went with the highest one.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whats 'Love' Got to do With it?

Like the poor (yet unnaturally happy) unsuspecting samosas from the previous post, sometimes a pair of Pakistanis is plucked up from the samosa box of life and arranged neatly on a plate. You never know what you're going to be paired with...if you're an aloo (potato) samosa, you might just get put next to a queema (meat) one...and sometimes there are even the rare dal (lentil) ones, watch out for those... you never ever really know till life begins to bite into you. Lol...

Yah yah, a little far fetched and silly, but thats for the benefit of all those who asked me how the samosa picture was relevant in the last post. I understand, sometimes as an artist, I can be a bit abstract... but come on people.... those little samosas were in an arranged marriage...

Speaking of which, I came across this gem of a video on YouTube:



LMAO, is it just me that cracks up every time? The South Indian guy REALLY makes the whole process sound soooo complicated... he's adorable though :) And you gotta love the Pakistani (I assume) couple who fell in love AFTER their engagement and were obviously too frisky to hold out for the assigned two-year waiting period... "It's made in heavens...everythings made in heavens"

And wtf is up with the random tractor shot in the beginning....? A weird comment on fertility?

***

ok, so back to the interviews:

Ayesha, Female, 28

I am not married.

*

Layla, Female, 19

Not married, so cant really say, but I’ve seen both arranged and love marriages and well it really depends on your significant other, because you never really know a person until you live with them.

*

Ambreen, Female, 28

My marriage was arranged.... but it didn’t really seem like it because I got to know my husband really well before hand.... we had met each other ... and gotten to know each others bodies before the wedding night so it wasn't awkward. In my case it didn’t have an effect on our sexuality. But I think it could have an effect depending on how comfortable the bride and groom are beforehand.... it could definitely be a little more awkward than it was for me.

*

Mariam, Female, 26

I’m getting married in 6 months….no - it’s not even close to being an arranged marriage. I’ve been dating somebody for 3 years. I think there’s no black and white answer to the question of whether arranged marriage works or not. It works for some people….I’ve seen it in front of me. I think it’s a pretty old fashioned concept and doesn’t really ‘hold’ in our generation and in this day and age. But that doesn’t mean I think it can’t work and that it’s completely irrelevant to even consider it for somebody – depends on what kind of a person you are and what kind of people your parents are…and who they’re looking for- for you. You might just get lucky – I know some people who’ve had arranged marriages but ended up with fabulous people who they’re compatible with. What bearing it has on sexuality….again I think there are no hard and fast rules….it’s probably a lot tougher to form an intimate bond with a complete stranger – but that doesn’t mean it cannot happen…. It can happen pleasantly enough…when comparing people who have had arranged and not arranged marriages… they are both capable of having equally great and equally bad sex. I think somebody who has had a ‘love’ marriage can have bad sex…because life is complicated.

*

Fatima, Female, 25

I think sex within an arranged marriage has potential for growth. I’ve met a lot of people that have been married through arranged means and are very happy. On the other hand I’ve met people that believe that you’re meant to have sex through a sheet with a hole cut between genitals. My step-grandmother came from a family like that till she met my grandfather who wasn’t gonna fuck like that! We live in a nation of double standards – where men have the upper hand, we should recognize that.

*

Sumeira, Female, 25

The effects of an arranged marriage really depend on what background you come from. Because in a lot of places “ok- arranged marriage is a woman’s duty…yes, hello I open legs-I make babies” that’s it. There is no such thing as satisfaction for a woman – they don’t even know that a woman can cum. In a society like this you need premarital sex so people can figure out what the hell is going on. If you have an affair or fuck around you’ll know what sex is all about – In marriage you’re not going to get it, because marriage is a done deal – that’s it baby you’re in the house, what are you going to do? People in arranged marriages haven’t usually had premarital sex…so basically they’re missing out on a big part of discovering what they like…sexually. That’s my main problem with it.

I got married out of spite. My mom didn’t want me to do it…I did it. Had a few drinks, came back told her I was married. Handed her the nikah namah…You can’t tell a kid ‘you’re daddy’s not nice’ – I realize that now, but then it was like he’s my daddy- so fuck you mum…and so I got married. My marriage lasted 5 yrs. My parent’s relationship didn’t end because of sex-related issues but I do know that both my parents were seeing someone else while they were married. While my mom was pregnant with me she overdosed on pills because she caught my father fucking around. My father has actually admitted to this himself.

*

Zobia, Female, 22

I didn’t have an arranged marriage, but I do think that an arranged marriage could possibly undermine the growth of any individual’s sexuality. Arranged marriages primarily consist of an agreement to be partners, as opposed to ‘love marriages’ which also include things like passion, physical attraction and already existing emotional ties between the two individuals. This, in most cases, creates a more natural sexual bond between the 2 people.

*

Saira, Female, 22

I think you would be more reserved... I’m assuming if you have an arranged marriage you wouldn’t know that person too well, you would be shy and not open.... or it might just go the other way.... but I’d be a little weirded.....

*


Most in this group seem to agree that arranged marriages can work out just as well as non-arranged marriages. It really depends on what kind of person you are. People can have bad sex and bad compatibility despite years of cohabitation. Life isn’t predictable…people have dated, lived together and then got married and then got divorced. And, also people have had really bad arranged marriages where there has been emotional and sexual abuse… there’s a variety of situations in both scenario’s…the way I see it…marriage in general is such a gamble…two people living together forever…who knows when circumstances will change the dynamics of a relationship. If you’re out there and you have a marriage that works…hang on to it.. love it, cherish it…worship it…nurture it.

Jeez, I sound like such a cheesy, girly girl.... not me at all.

(And I'm just playing devil's advocate here, believe me, when I have kids and they're all grown up, I won't be rushing off to have their marriages arranged...For arguments sake, I feel it's necessary to mention the positives too.)

There’s a fair share of arranged marriage horror stories out there – the worst kind involves a sweet little virgin being married off to a successful and wealthy young man…who hasn’t had the guts to come out of the closet…so he doesn’t care who his parents marry him off to as long as he can continue having his homosexual encounters, but can maintain a ‘respectable’ heterosexual image for his powerful career. Perhaps father a child or two to keep this girl busy…till one day she finally finds out and is devastated. By that time…she has two children with a selfish gay Pakistani and no one else will marry her. So she finally leaves him and begins life amongst the vicious rumours that surround her as a single mother, divorcee and someone whose husband simply used them. That... I hate…if you’re not going to come out of the closet, don’t marry someone for your parents or career's sake.

Then there’s the other type of arranged marriage, where you’re a rich brat sent off to college abroad… you have your fun, date and sleep with as many people as you can….then return home to marry a suitable person of your parent’s choice. Your reputation as an obedient child remains intact…in this situation, the arranged marriage is like hymen reconstruction surgery for your Pakistani reputation. That’s another reason I doubt the institution of arranged marriage – it gives some seriously hypocritical people the opportunity to wallow in double standards… to have their cake and eat it too. Someone who wants a virgin wife…but doesn’t want to remain a virgin themselves can actually make that happen. :/ Arrgh!

I’ve known my share of doctors in Pakistan… it seems to be a very popular profession (since all the mommies and daddies want you to be one when you grow up). But let me get to my point, the same story keeps cropping up with different people. Many doctors speak of treating young girls who have been literally ripped open on their wedding night…to the point where they need stitches. I don’t know how often that could happen if you married someone you loved…but something tells me it would happen a lot less.

And lets not forget the most tragic arranged marriage of all... Benazir Bhutto...
She married that donkey hybrid to further her career as a politician – since no one in Pakistan was about to take a single young woman seriously. Technically, she made a wise move…it got her all the way to being prime minister….but I'm pretty sure it had other consequences too...umm...like getting her killed for one...

Obviously, being involved in Pakistani politics, you’ve got to play by the rules – and those rules dictate that an arranged marriage is the proper code of conduct for a respectable woman…. Just like that scarf she put on her head. But maybe, just maybe…if she didn’t have to make such sacrifices… and she could actually have chosen who she married for love… she might still be alive…sure the chances of her being in politics would be slim to none--- priorities are different for everyone, eh?

I disliked her just as much as I dislike most Pakistani Politicians, but when she died such a miserable death, I felt sad, cummon, I'm only human. The weird part was -whenever we caught a glimpse (on TV) of her husband during those days (and that wasn't too often at all) ….there wasn’t a trace of emotion in his eyes…that’s when you know…there wasn’t much ‘love’ involved in that ‘arrangement’. It was definitely a career move.

How she could ever bang that dude, I will never understand... no matter what it did for her career.

***

Aside from that, keep an eye out for the nice mangos video - it's coming soon I promise!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Pleasure doing Business with you...



Ah, arranged marriage – to some a glorious institution and to others a mechanism of oppression. It’s amazing that this tradition of someone else deciding who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with…has still survived. It’s convenient in some situations…the chances of becoming a 'spinster' are far less in societies with arranged marriages, because your parents are bound to make a ‘deal’ somewhere or another.

I suppose it also benefits many families wishing to keep their money within the 'inner circle'. AND, It's prolly a fantastic resource for younger people who aren't able to find a suitable partner themselves. In the West, once you hit a certain age, there is incessant conversation about the pressures and difficulties of finding ‘the one’ - women especially, since their biological clocks are aaalwaaaays ticking (I know aaall about that, believe me). Some people have demanding careers and don’t have time for courtship, some just plain old don’t get out enough…and lets not forget about those who are religious and not supposed to ‘date’ (without a chaperone) – obviously, all these groups would be far better off if offered the convenience of arranged marriage.

Back when my parents were younger, it was almost expected that you’d be a good child and let your parents make a decision that’s best for you. Now, the custom is dwindling…but doesn’t die out completely.

Since the element of ‘love’ isn’t there when arranging a marriage, the procedure becomes more like shopping. You shop for looks, body type, money, foreign citizenship….Some people may be frowning already, but why not? If you don’t have love from the very beginning the least you can do is make sure you have everything else you ever wanted. If you’re satisfied in most other ways, love will eventually follow…so they say. But I’ve seen it happen and I’ve also seen it not happen.

One thing is for sure though, arranged marriages somehow seem to last for the most part…perhaps it’s because no one is going in with high expectations…or perhaps because they’ve been decided by the mind and not by the heart (or cuz these people are obviously ok with others making big decisions on their behalf, they're less likely to create conflict).

Either way, it seems to work for many people…and if you think about it…these dating websites that are cropping up everywhere in the West are kind of doing the same thing. They match you up with the most suitable partner based on a host of other characteristics – but not based on love. Arranged marriage is not for me personally, but I’ve learned that it certainly has its function in our society. Just like dating websites have a function in Western society. Bottom-line, nobody likes to be alone.

My question is, what does this sort of marital arrangement do for or do to sexuality? I can’t begin to imagine the awkwardness or fear of having sex with someone I haven’t known too well or too long on my wedding night. Generally, people that have arranged marriages tend to be conservative...I mean, they’re letting someone else decide who they'll be doin' the nasty with forever. Either they’re incredibly shy, conservative to the bone or just conservative in the public eye. The last group has often had all their fun in college abroad and later return home to let mommy pick a suitable life partner.

Imagine being a timid conventional type and awkwardly not knowing the person you’re about to get naked with. I will never know this feeling (I hope) and so I will never be able to imagine the magnitude of strangeness in that marital bed. But maybe, I’m letting my imagination run wild…I suppose it could be more exciting that way? It is possible that the mystery of the unknown gets you off….

The ugly side of this arrangement comes through when someone is being forced against their will. This is common in plenty of Pakistani villages…parents marry off their daughters to settle debts, or simply to get rid of the extra burden that is an unwed daughter…

I remember visiting Karachi every summer with my parents. Over the course of time, I made friends with my aunts little servant girl. We were both about nine when we met and got along fabulously. A nine year old servant girl is not uncommon in those parts, she has to go out, earn and contribute to the family – otherwise they wouldn’t survive. Some may see this as child labour, but she was better off at my aunt’s than her own home. She was not hired to do any hardcore manual labour…she was there to basically help with the babies, and play with them, etc. She got a good salary, 3 meals a day, visits to the doctor, medicine if she needed it. And best of all, in the sweltering heat of Pakistan, she got to spend the day in an air-conditioned house…Anyhow, if you're a kind, non-pedophile and you deny these kids a job you’re not doing them a favour. But I digress, my point is, by the time I was thirteen we had spent several summers together and got pretty close… then all of a sudden, she had to go away…back to her village where she was being married off to an old man…and she was my age! It disturbed me greatly…I felt fear for her…I don’t know how the poor thing coped with that situation at such a young age. We were in two different worlds after that…she was bearing children one after another and I was only just beginning to notice guys in high school…

It’s not always bad though – maybe awkward….but not always bad.

(I realise completely, of course, that without the experience of being in an arranged marriage, I can't really say too much - so hey, if you've had that type of relationship... and would like to add something, or disagree with something...Please do!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wake up and smell the pakoras!



Happy independence day ? :/

*shrug*

What on earth are you out there celebrating? This is not where we were meant to be.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just a few questions... I promise they won't hurt...



***

More words from 2007:

I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine on facebook........

*drum roll* ..........

......about Pakistani sexuality!

Since my sample consisted of more women than men… and I had run out of co-operative men I didn’t know, I naturally turned to men I did know.. and asked them if I could interview them. I didn’t hear back from several friends and the one I did hear back from wasn’t being too open. You see, I'm really not kidding when I tell you this has been like pulling teeth.

So I eventually ditched the idea of finding more men, and got on with writing the book (which is now a blog). Here’s the conversation…

*

(October, 2007)

ME:
ok .. so im not interviewing you.... im just going to ask you one question at a time,... come on.... my book is actually getting somehwere... now please answer this question:

When was the first time you ever heard of sex...how old were you, what were your thoughts....opinions...etc?

(if u dont feel comfortable answering on facebook ... please forward ur answer to
*&^%$.sex@gmail.com)

thanks :P

HIM:

Hmmm...don't remember actually....I remember I heard fuck the first time when I was in class five or six...and I pestered my sis till she told me what it meant...thought it was gross...but warmed up to the idea gradually...! seriously speaking, I'm the worst interview subject...I have a shit memory...M**** will be better....or ****l

...hope the book is coming along well...

ME:

I doubt ****l will reply to an email interview...
and puhleez... what are u so afraid of? are we finally going to discover that u have homo erotic fantasies? :P :P
listen ... just try to remember as much as you can .some of the questions are opinion based,.... i would think .. you have opinions right? ok get ready for the second question ...

HIM:

Opinions...I have tons. I like big boobs and I cannot lie, other brothers might deny....

ME:

2. Do you think we are sexually repressed as a nation?

3. Have you ever had/Do you enjoy having sex?

4. What are your thoughts on premarital sex (and have u ever engaged in it yourself, if so – please elaborate)?

HIM:

2) Yes
3) Yes. No
4) It's fine as long as everyone is willing and of age. Yes, in college.

When is the book coming out?

ME:

u cant give me yes and no answers... what kind of interviewee are u?? no one wants to read.. yes... no... yes...

ME:

the book will come out as soon as ur more cooperative with me

HIM:

You never specified you wanted anything other than yes or no!

ME:

its common sense - who do u think wants to read an interview with yes and no answers...?? :P could u answer those questions again?

HIM:

Nopes! :)

I told you, I'm a wierdly private person...even though I want to know everything about everyone else's lives!

Actually come to think of it....how would I elaborate on the questions? They seem like yes and no questions to me...

ME:

As##$!!... :P hmm ... but somehow - everyone else managed to elaborate..
and yeah i guess ur right to be so private... no one wants to know about ur sex life anyway :P

well i seem to have an abundance of twenty somethings.. its the thirty somethings that i cant get to speak...

HIM:

Have you interviewed the rents as yet?

ME:

who's mine? Um…no…my dad’s like you .. in fact .. he doesnt acknowledge that sex exists in front of his children.... know any other parents who would be interested?

HIM:

Not really....don't thnk they want to talk about their sex lives to one of the kid's friends....are you actually writing a book or are you just doing this to give your own perverted kicks?

ME:

AHHAHAHAHAHAHA yes.. yes u got me... this is all so i can get off on old peoples sex lives...


*

Well, there you have it – my last desperate attempt on the internet to reach my friend in Pakistan. *sigh*

Notice how helpful he is to the cause? I don’t blame him…this is how most people responded to me if they responded at all….Most of the time he’s just trying to be a smart ass. And this is one of my closest friends back in the motherland (at least I like to think so). Unfortunately, he couldn’t help me out. When I first thought of writing this book, I got so excited. I thought my email interviews would spread like wildfire… a nation of youths that haven’t been allowed to speak up…a nation of people whose parents told them to shut up and never talk about such things. How could they not want to talk to me? Well that bubble burst soon enough :/
Most email interviews hit some cold, deadly wall of silence in cyberspace. That finished them off right there, and I can assure you 95% never made their way home. (As you can tell, I didn't have too much more luck with the face to face ones either).

Ahh Fuck it. Beggars can't be choosers.

Onwards to the next bit of writing….!

(Mind you, I am usually much more professional when I'm interviewing, I assure you that is not how the rest of the interviews were conducted :P)