Zaleela Apa advice: Dealing with parental pressure for marriage

Dear Zaleela Apa,

I am a 18-year old boy completing my O levels privately. I’m upset and writing to you because my parents are forcing me to get married. They say I’m good for nothing and should get hitched before I start looking any older. My dad told me that my age is the only thing going for me.

My mom wants me to marry my 44-year old cousin whom I’ve always thought of as an older sister and grew up calling aapi.

My mom wants me to marry my 44-year old cousin whom I’ve always thought of as an older sister and grew up calling aapi. I just don’t see her that way. Recently my parents sat me down and told me I’ll be marrying aapi in June and I should be glad any woman would agree to it, let alone one with aapi’s maturity and salary. Aapi’s two children—6 and 16—from her previous marriage, used to call me maamu but recently at Eid the youngest came up to me and asked, “Maamu, abu ban kay Eidi ziada do gay?”

On top of it, there’s a girl I love at my tuition centre. She loves me too but she’s the same age as me which means she won’t be settled for another few years. She’s also going abroad to study. My mom caught me talking to her under the comforter last night and got so angry that she threw my phone off the balcony. I’m just so upset and don’t know what to do.

— Young Male

Dear Young Male,

I’m sorry for your troubles. No one should be forced into making life decisions as big as these by anyone. That said, not all marriages are supposed to be love marriages and your parents want what’s best for you. The tuition girl is likely just stringing you on so it’s best to just forget that relationship and move on.

As for your aapi’s age, in our society everyone’s a sibling till we get married to one so I don’t think that’s much of an issue.

As for your aapi’s age, in our society everyone’s a sibling till we get married to one so I don’t think that’s much of an issue. Good luck with everything.


Zaleela Apa is the Daily Fikar’s in-house expert on life. Her only passion is advising people on how to deal with life issues and maximize their happiness. Send your questions to Zaleela Apa at dailyfikar@gmail.com.


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Fighting injustice: Pakistani donkeys come together to form union

A historic vote by donkeys nationwide on Friday has led to the formation of the Dhobi ka Gadha Union Pakistan (DGU-P).

Dhobis took to the streets in protest as the vote passed and the police had to set up a barricade at Teen Talwar, Karachi. On one side, an emergency all-party dhobi conference was being held and on the other a huge mob of celebrating donkeys jammed the streets.

“It was pretty tense there for a while but our officers have been specially trained for these situations,” said sub-inspector Rao Khusdaar.

Asif Masroor, vice-president Sindh Dhobi Association called the donkeys’ union absurd, saying dhobis will not give in to threats and warned the government against intervening.

“This is a domestic issue and we will solve it there,” he said.

The donkeys, however, remain defiant. In a written statement to the media, DGU-P president Chupa Rustom presented the demands of the unionized donkeys.

DGU-P president Chupa Rustom has confirmed the donkeys will not back down unless all their demands are accepted. 

“Despite being one of the founding members of this country, donkeys have yet to receive the respect they deserve. Our demands are simple: a reserve seat for donkeys on every city council; a government-mandated two-day weekend for all donkeys; and the right to file an FIR against abusive owners. If these demands are not met in three days, we will call for a paiya-jaam hartaal and march on Islamabad,” the statement read.

The government has so far refused to comment but as the donkeys’ deadline approaches, tensions simmer on Pakistan’s roads.


Sana Mudeer is a former award-winning journalist who burned out early and now has to write for the Daily Fikar. Forced to return all her awards, she can now be found sulking around the office brooding over what could have been.


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