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Bangles, Betrothal & ‘A Good Pakistani Girl’ - Expatlog

Bangles, Betrothal & ‘A Good Pakistani Girl’ - Expatlog

Mummyji’s churian fit snugly around her warm, smooth arm and I thought they must have been in place since she was very young, but she showed me how she could inch them over her knuckles, fingers stretched straight, tips peaked together. The bangles were solid gold and the softness of that precious metal meant they were pliable and ‘gave’ a little. As a ‘bahu’, or new bride, I yearned for churian of my own, but our union lacked the blessing of my father in law and his wizened, toothless sire. In their eyes, their eldest son’s marriage to a white girl was a stamp of public shame, a personal failure, a blow to their family izzat (honour) and a lost opportunity to engineer a union financially beneficial to them personally. We learnt to rub along with a self-conscious stiffness, uncomfortable in shared space, like afflicted bodies in a doctor’s waiting room...

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