Good relatives; endangered species

I write this post, brimming with terrible anger and piercing frustration, with the hope that you, for one, would re-evaluate your self and try not to be a “jerk of a relative.”

When was the last time our so called “blood relatives” left us alone at the time when we actually needed them and plunged into our personal matters with their elongated noses at the time we needed to be alone? I would say, every-bloody-time!

There is a reason why Pakistani relatives are hated so much among our younger generation. And gradually, through heinous experiences, I have realized why it is so common.

It is because of one simple reason: Our relatives, generally speaking, love comparing our life with another totally different person and point out to us what charms we are missing out on in our life. Actually, let me rephrase it: present to our parents what a loser of a child they own and how many people have reached mount Everest in the past few years whereas their own is stuck feeding off their own nibbles.

I don’t get it. Really? All this “career craze” has gone to unbelievable lengths. Enough with this shit!

And I have some particularly badass comebacks and arguments for you “relatives.” You just wait… or not. Keep reading.

Okay first of all, please clarify because we are a bit baffled here: Are you “relatives” following the Eastern side or the Western side? Like for one, you want everyone in your family to work in multinational companies with a huge name and what not (just like the WEST) and on the other hand, you’d grind your child’s ass if they chose their own life-partner, totally out of your community, family or whatever (just not like the WEST.) What exactly are you on about, eh? Set your priorities straight at least, would you?

Years back, your own grandparents didn’t mind when you ate off of their tables or rather dastarkhuwaans and your women didn’t work. There was no concept of being independent and there was happiness, even then. So why is it such a huge issue all of a sudden? Oh, what did you just utter? “It’s the 21st century,” did you say? Oh-kay. Then what about that time when your own daughter said she wanted to wear a gown and your almost killed her with your typical Medusa-glare? It wasn’t 21st century at that moment or what?

I mean, not every one wants to work in a multinational company, don’t you get it? There are people still in this world who would want a simple job, less money but true happiness in whatever they are doing. Not everyone treasures money, like you money-hungry freak! Do you want us to spell that out for you or you know what I’m trying to say because I don’t know, you’ll probably tell our parents we are crossing limits…? (which you sure as hell, cross very often)

You don’t know anything about anyone’s life. So stop right there. Stop judging. Stop telling others what to do. You often teach others to mind their own businesses, why not try practicing it yourself first?

Your mere “good intentions” can break someone’s heart. No, some people don’t want, what you call your”kind advice.” And that’s because you are not kind. You try to bring them down with your words. If someone has chosen ARTS as their field, how dare you tell them to “choose something sensible”? HOW DARE YOU? Who are you again? A mere relative, right? You are not that person’s brain or heart. You are definitely not the owner of their soul. You have absolutely no right to tell them what they should do with their lives. You can’t dictate anyone’s life.

Keep your experiences to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are aged over 80 and have all the maturity in this world stuffed in your brain, if you break someone’s heart or bring them down, or try to create any sort of dispute when you clearly know it’ll cause trouble of some kind in that person’s life, you definitely are in trouble. It doesn’t do good taking advantage of your age, dictating everyone’s life, making “better decisions” for other people when they clearly despise it and expecting a leap into the Heaven. No sir/madam. That is not how it works. Your niyyat matters no doubt, but your words matter more. At least have the decency to explain your point in a way that is not mocking.

Every person is different, remember that. Every person has a story you can never imagine. We all hide our demons. We all smile like nothing’s wrong but we all have terrible stories, waiting to be heard or forgotten. We all have experiences that mold us into a person who is standing in front of the mirror. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone learns. To err is human, isn’t it? Let everyone learn on their own accord. Let people experience what they want. They can always change, whenever they want to. Sometimes, your niceness can tear someone apart. One mocking sentence, one jeering remark at their career choice and you can destroy someone’s peaceful life. You would leave their place, satisfied, thinking you have done a good job, helping others. When in reality, you have accidentally thrown a burning matchstick near a haystack in a wooden hut and now gradually, it will all burn into ashes. You don’t realize that, do you?

There are tons of people in this world, who have either chosen the wrong career, or the wrong life partner and now, even if they have parted their ways with that apparent mistake, it lives with them. It moves with them. It’s a part of their shadow. Wherever they go, their mistakes will be dug up, so often that they decide to stay within the confinements of their home, where they feel the safest. Don’t be so harsh that you drive such people into madness. There’s a limit to everything.

Yes, they chose a wrong life-partner. Yes, they chose the wrong career and are not pursuing it anymore. So what? Respect their decisions, would you? Stop asking “WHY did that happen?” Instead, start asking “HOW do you want me to help you now?” That, my dears, would earn you loads of fans.

What may seem like a useless life to you, might actually be way better than yours. You should keep that in mind. Also, learn to realize when your opinion is required. It’ll definitely make the path to Heaven much easier for you, trust me.


6 thoughts on “Good relatives; endangered species

  1. This unfortunately is a menace of the Pakistani Society. There is a reason why we haven’t produced the best of people. A society where financial stability is important pressures us to make that a priority. But you can not do your best in something that you don’t love. The world needs better scientists, artists and so on.
    Having met with the best of people (American Pakistanis) I can definitely say that you can not succeed unless you work hard in what you are passionate about.
    Being extremely idealist (literally), I have tried successfully to succeed in what I have been passionate in, not giving way to the ‘advice’ of others (and I am doing good so far AH). In doing so, I feel that I have followed the spirit of my institution, LUMS (which honestly has taught me to follow my interests and has enabled me to do so). Though at some point one has to be realistic and consider the need of money to live, but this should never be a priority.
    The best thing I enjoy in America is individualism and freedom to pursue your ambitions. Here unlike Pakistan, everyone supports you and nobody is bothered about you.
    There is a flip side though. In Pakistan, everybody will help you if you fall but here nobody will be there.
    Also sometimes people try to show the wider world perspective which you might not have considered, so its worth thinking a little bit about the world.
    Generally its a good idea to not take people’s advice to heart and be humble with them (not my case as I was always mad). In doing so, you don’t become mad at others.
    It’s important to have some philosophical depth into your ambitions, do something constructive with the world and not fool around with gimmicks e.g. the virtual reality of internet is not constructive.

    I can point you to some people that have inspired me. Consider e.g.
    Anjum Altaf
    Adil Najam
    Asad Abidi
    Maryam Wasif

    Hope this helps
    Shoot me an email if you want to have a discussion.
    TA 🙂


    1. “Also sometimes people try to show the wider world perspective which you might not have considered, so its worth thinking a little bit about the world.” yeah well, like I said, they prioritize money, that’s probably their aim in life, to build a mansion or something, which people like me, are not comfortable with.
      “Generally its a good idea to not take people’s advice to heart and be humble with them” People can’t be humble FOREVER, that’s not possible. Everyone has a breaking point. Nobody likes external interference more than is necessary. And yes, one is certainly going to take it to heart if you’re being ridiculed in front of masses and not just privately.
      “It’s important to have some philosophical depth into your ambitions, do something constructive with the world and not fool around with gimmicks e.g. the virtual reality of internet is not constructive.” Please elaborate your example.


      1. I don’t think I can be in your feet but I can refer from my experiences.
        Consider for example that working at a good place might make you meet with more educated people which might eventually help you in learning more about the world, it might make you independent (I argue that it is necessary for everyone since one can not always rely on others), you might find like minded friends and so on. So sometimes money is not the only thing. Books are an excellent source of learning (I myself am an avid reader) but they tend to make you idealistic and one must know realistic ways of dealing with the world (Still don’t give up on your philosophy). Also to make any impact in the world in any way, one has to take a step out just to learn.
        About public disgrace: I have passed through that stage. It takes a high level of maturity to face public disgrace and still be humble(I haven’t achieved that yet).
        About ambitions in life: I’ll better leave it for your interpretation as that was the way I was introduced to it. The general idea is that life has a bigger purpose beyond enjoyment and self fulfillment (not directing it to you).
        The best thing one can do in case of criticism is to look into oneself and to rectify his/her behavior. In case one finds himself on path of truth, then one must be prudent enough to balance his ambitions and the world.
        Thanks for the article.


  2. Luckily I haven’t had to put up with any of this, not because I have angelic relatives but mostly because all my first cousins either live in India or elsewhere!

    Anyway, I understand what you’re saying and I know people – including you now – who face this issue with relatives. To me, relatives’ interference wouldn’t be so much trouble if our parents didn’t pay heed to their interference. If our parents don’t give relatives’ comments a second thought, then it’s a matter of in-one-ear-out-the-other.

    Besides, I think we’re better placed to take relatives’ comments in perspective i.e. where are those comments coming from and why they think the way they do. Then, just nod, smile, pretend to agree, and let it go 😛 I say we’re better placed because we may be more open minded to the possibilities in this world.


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