Unsaid Dilemma of Pakistani Men

kausar-bilalWe have a weird society, where we don’t prepare man and woman for a happy and healthy family life. It is lack of education, proper training, their interaction, social values, marriage system, research on social issues or whatever, most of our marriages end up at midlife crisis at middle age.

Women, usually share their feelings and complains with their families, friends, colleagues, but unfortunately men can’t. But it doesn’t mean that men’s needs are catered well in their marriages and other relationships. Their lives are more miserable because they can’t voice themselves outside their homes or very intimate circle. They also want to be heard, understood and loved like all human beings regardless of gender. I came across some observations:

I saw tears rolling down his eyes. I was stunned, never expecting an icon crying. Sitting on the seat next to me at DHA cinema house, he helped himself through a tissue paper. Who can expect the king of a business empire crying while on the love scenes of a latest movie? What is the matter? My mind was swinging between spectrum of answers, but didn’t dare to ask,” What happened?” He was 52, my boss, and a dynamic and shrewd person, visiting my branch for the first time.

“Sorry”, finally he said.

“I sometimes feel very vulnerable to see love movies. Usually, I avoid love stories.” We left the modern architecture of the cinema house behind us and moved to the parking lot.

“You know, I hate this Love Thing.” He laughed brokenly.

“You hate Love?” I blurted out mindlessly.

“I mean, why?” I corrected myself, rephrasing.

“Saw my mom dying from cancer at the age of 7. No, siblings. A quiet childhood. A very busy and active college and professional life. Three failed marriages. No kids. Until now I feel incapable of loving anyone. Still sometimes the past hurts.” There was a sudden pause. His smile was colorless, boxing up all his autobiography and saving his word count.

I was completely numb and speechless.

“May I come in, Sir?” I inquired.

“Yeah, sure!” He picked up my assignment from his table and said, “Glad that your poem ‘showed rather than told’. This time, I would like you to move towards metaphoric use of language.”

“Ok,” I looked for words.

“There is no one in our country to teach us the real technique, but you. No one even easily understands your approach and methodology, here. You must be feeling suffocated and regretting to come back to your country from the West.” I dressed my thought into words.

“No”, he smiled graciously, buying a moment to think before he spoke again.

“Good to know something can be taught”. He answered briefly.­­


“I won’t be at home next week as am going outstation on a business tour.” She looked up to her handsome husband, who spoke a few words after a long time.

“Did we really have a love marriage?” She stared at him pensively.

“Then why are you getting so cranky and workaholic?” She did not waste her words this time. She knew none of her words could stir anything in him.

He was a best dad, an amazing provider, but his stubbornness was horrifying. He pushed her too hard to join him at his gym class and lend him a hand in his professional work, but how could she deny her real self. It was just not her type. She knew she had other strong qualities, an incredible person, a matchless housewife and a full-time mom of 2 great kids. So what if she can’t accompany him at gym and with his work? But he would never understand.

Yeah, he understood, the day he found the companion of his life, Aroosa, though not his wife. A memory brightened his smile.

He looked at his watch for the last time. Still there was no sign of his wife. It was the biggest event of his life and he wished his wife to be there for him. Finally, his name was announced as the new President of his business company. His achievements were mentioned at the International Conference and he was applauded by his audience for 3 long minutes continuously. He stepped down and saw his wife chatting with someone near the entrance. Gradually, she reached him, smiled and said, “Congrats.”

“Oh Aazer, Congratulations! Your success story was amazing. You are a real hero and well deserved for the post!” Approached Aroosa with a glowing face. She was a new manager, talented and ambitious ahead of her years.

“Thanks.” He said humbly and a smile touched both his eyes and lips at the same time.

“You know, I also have some ideas to share with you. Talk to you later at the office.” She said warmly.

“Sure. Join me at tea break tomorrow.” He agreed pleasantly.

“Done!” Her smile was infectious.


Terrified, he entered his home. His wife was busy as usual; instructing the servants, disciplining the kids or on cell phone. Her confident manly voice was spreading every corner of their home.

“Again this masculine voice?” He felt irritated.

“Today, late again? Remember today we are expecting Baji (your elder sister)? I was going to remind you.” She put the cell phone on the side board.

He smiled sheepishly.

“Ok, today, I sent your resume to the Candy-Ate, the multi-national food chain. And, asked my cousin to pursue it strongly. Hopefully, you will get a managerial job there.”

“Why? Did I ask you to do so?” He got upset instantly.

“Oho, why are you making so much fuss? I am doing it so that you progress quickly.” She explained.

“But I am happy with where I am.” He resisted.

“Don’t be silly. Just realize how fortunate you are to have me. Now just see how I make you successful even beyond your imagination. You should simply thank me and grab the opportunity.” She said proudly.

He turned his annoyed face away and put his car keys in the side-table drawer. There was silence for a while.

“Don’t worry, everything will be all right. Just change yourself and be ready for Baji.  And listen, wear your blue embroided shalwar qameez. It suits you a lot.” She instructed and left the room.

He felt that his star came under the ruling planet Venus!

  1. Good thought, but dear Kausar Bilal I wonder why did you choose a genre of essay or article to write this way. Why do not you use fiction as a genre? You could have written several stories or one full length novel with different sub-plots.
    You have all rights to disagree.

  2. Thanks for your lovely comment Sufia. Sometimes I think your way, but for know I want to blog my observations this way.

  3. Hmmm. Nice read. Human is a puzzle.

  4. Good topic
    Well highlighted
    At times life is really miserable for men
    Totally in agreement with you

  5. Relationships have always been complex and complicated due to human nature, and each one of us is unique in our own sense. Each gender have their own uniqueness but males often suffer more from loneliness however they pose as if they are completely in control of their life. Lets try to understand each other.

    • Thank you Ayesha, I agree with you that men have to suffer loneliness quietly. They can’t voice their misery to anyone, not even to their kids. Still they stay committed to their role of a provider n protector to their families. Hats of to them!
      I believe, we should build a culture where both the genders should be taken as humans first and their individual and common needs should be best taken care of.
      We should first start with understanding our own feelings and should learn how to communicate them to each others in a polite and nice way.
      In fact, a gender-biased culture is in no one’s interest. Rather, it should be a human-oriented society.

  6. You have touched a very complex and sensitive issue. Yes this happens because most men ‘meet’ a woman for the first time in their lives other than their mother/sisters. This really creates a dilemma for them to handle their matrimonial affairs. As pointed out, unlike women, men cannot confide their problems with friends as they themselves are ‘ill-equipped’ to respond to such situations.
    In the absence of any formal education, which I do not think is forthcoming in our society, the dramas on various TV channels are providing a fair platform to show to the men how complex their relations can become and how to get out of these.

    • You are absolutely right. Wish we have a formal education right in the beginning of our college lives where students gets opportunity to interact with the opposite gender outside their families for the first time. It can make a difference.
      Thanks a lot for your insightful comment.

  7. Well said and worth reading. I fully agree with you. Unlike women , men don’t have the habit of sharing their worries, or fears with others and what ever they have they keep inside.
    But yet, life is complicated they say …….

    • Yeah, life is complicated for them as well.
      Thanks for sharing your view.

  8. Enjoyed the flow 🙂 Understanding human being requires centuries of studies and experiments.. But some of the mysteries revolving our personalities and lives are always under cover- blocked corner of our personality. You actually can’t perfectly predict anything about human- irrespective of its gender and cast.. !!!

    • Thank you Tahir for your insightful comment. What we commonly observe in our society is that our human aspect of life has always been overshadowed by our gender roles, ins’t it? I think we should look at both the genders as humans first and then determine their needs and roles. What do you think?

  9. Dilemma… well whenever I felt like was ready to love someone, I knew its a girl’s thing. I couldn’t show off as a boy so I never loved. That’s how a usual boy raised in Pakistani society in 80s and 90s.
    Tears… oh no way. I couldn’t show them to anyone else but only could feel their salty taste in my throat. Because I’m so strong… I’ve been taught boys don’t cry.
    So to some extent I don’t feel its wrong but to some yes it is. But I’m happy I raise my kids in a different environment. I think the best friends a child can have is his parents.
    Every kid should be taught to express and must have power to say “No” and “Yes” in life.

    • You are right Naveed. The best thing about you is that you gave your children more than you got as a child. Life is an ongoing learning, where not only our sweet but ‘salty’ experiences also make us a better person. Thanks for your contribution.

  10. very true, especially here are the glimpses of the western culture and its influence on our so called elite class where the female has a more powerful social circle always busy in functions, gathering, and consider herself very energetic clever and educated… from the western culture I mean…. where the female has been depicted as having the rightful opportunities as man, but man has the same opportunities are more than that! it happens where woman often has the leading role, having a very active circle of friends, clubs, society, and so on. she can become an easy prey to be morally corrupted … and always ready to taunt her husband who has no place in society… God save us from such torture … it is agony… In our society it is a complex when women with such an authority power and education become self centered and do not care her so called husband.

  11. Actually, I think it is matter of class differences and incompatibility in our married relationships that we are forced to continue due to our family and social pressures. This way, man and woman, both can’t understand each other’s desires and expectations from each other, though they both can be right on their individual ends.
    Moreover, we don’t take our marriages as living love relationships and companionship but mechanically as routine work.

  12. this is very nice work as usual , and not agreed to some peoples opinion specially to change topic like fiction or some other issues , i think this is very unique and different work from u?
    keep it up

  13. …………………………. : ( still wondering how to start. i was here to say a lot,, rather i was confident enough that there would be so many things where i would be sharing the experience with more precision and depth.. but Kausar…… you know?……. i am going back speechless. you left nothing for me to explain better than you described. enjoyed your selection of words and command over the subjects.. wish to get more from your side.. Allah bless you and your family..

Leave a Reply