Divorce is something that is frowned at in our society. Many don’t even consider it an option. Young brides are very seriously told by their parents that they are leaving their old house in a ‘doli’ and that they will leave their husband’s house in a ‘qafan’. As a result, many young, idealistic brides who had fantasised about a fairytale life after marriage set their dreams alight within the first few days of marriage. But let’s backtrack a bit to the phase of proposals and courtship. Some parents give their children the right to choose their spouse and they are free to meet guys at school, study groups, tuition centers, and friends’ wedding dance practice sessions for a suitable spouse. In a way, this absolves the parents of any responsibility should there be any turbulence in the marriage down the road or if the mother-in-law turns out to be a wicked witch. These parents love their children, but feel free of any sense of responsibility from the trials and tribulations of the institution of marriage. They will help and interject whenever they feel their daughter is meted out with any injustice but will always hold the final say just under their breath; you chose your spouse, not us! Then there are those parents, especially mothers who will go to the ends of the earth to get their ‘fresh-on-the-block’ daughter noticed by society. Every kind of effort will be made; from appearances in every Sunday magazine and high society Instagram page in a desperate search of a suitable ‘rishta’ from a family that is first and foremost wealthy. The wedding extravaganza is nothing short of a grand circus hitting town. Marquees are reserved months in advance, such as hall number 8 if you are going to do it at the Garrison Complex or a farm house on the outskirts of town. Entertainment is obviously booked from India lest society thinks you are skimping on the wedding Once the proposal is agreed upon and what the bride is expected to bring with her they embark upon the ridiculous task of the mega marriage. I think we should have a Debutant’s Ball in Lahore where all the eligible brides and grooms can congregate and have some short blond rishta-maker parked in the darkened corner to work out the details of putting couples together with a hefty commission. Of course the admission price to the Ball should be like some dollar committee, exorbitant so that the participants should think that if they are wealthy they are automatically prime candidates. Of course, Sunday magazine will cover the event and then those desperate mothers will hound the Taseer’s for strategic placement and maximum coverage of the event. The wedding extravaganza is nothing short of a grand circus hitting town. Marquees are reserved months in advance, such as hall number 8 if you are going to do it at the Garrison Complex or a farm house on the outskirts of town. Entertainment is obviously booked from India lest society thinks you are skimping on the wedding and if you are going to go the whole nine yards, you will have a bar tucked away for your guests who do drink, which incidentally are all the male guests expect the ‘moulvi’ sahib who is there to conduct the nikah! If you are truly want to show the extent of your illustrious list of contacts you will have spoken to some in the provincial administration to not have the police barge into your sangeet and enforce the 10 PM curfew and your events can effortlessly carry on into the early hours of the morning. A picture corner must be provided, lest you want your beautifully turned out guests posing in some random open space of the tent. Photographers will ask you which designers dress you are wearing along with your name but if you are regular on the so called circuit, they will know who you are the minute you step off your German sedan. The latest trend to hit tinsel town is your very own hashtag for your wedding celebrations. The morning after is when reality strikes or should I say, the week or month after. Not all fairy tale weddings end with the couple sailing off into the proverbial sunset. Some unfortunate couples are known to have not gotten along to the great dismay of their families. Since most of these families are the hyper rich, accepting blame doesn’t come easily to them. It is sad to see how once beloved new found relatives start ignoring each other at events and develop their own groups at mutually attended committee lunches, huddled and tearing each other to shreds. No effort is spared to keep the in-law’s skeletons in the closet, the darling old grandmother turns out to be of a questionable background and the fact that their flat in Knightsbridge is rented and not owned, becomes public knowledge. The writer is the Quality Editor at Daily Times. He can be reached at email@example.com, paichooblogs.com Published in Daily Times, November 16th 2017.