This Pakistani woman may change your mind about arranged marriages

Published: March 18, 2016
"I was literally crying 'Oh I have to stay with this man for my whole life. Till death do us part? No way!'"

"I was literally crying 'Oh I have to stay with this man for my whole life. Till death do us part? No way!'" PHOTO: HUFFINGTONPOST

Canadian airport reality TV show Hello Goodbye tells the story of a Pakistani woman at Toronto Pearson International Airport, who is eagerly waiting for her husband’s arrival from Pakistan. Her eye-opening account presents a refreshingly beautiful perspective on arranged marriages.

As the show’s Facebook page writes, Hello Goodbye is an unscripted show that aims to uncover “the touching stories of people travelling through the arrival and departure areas of a vibrant, international airport.”

“This unscripted series examines topics and themes universal to us all, such as: love, loss, friendship, family.”


The show’s host Dale Curd meets a woman named Uzma, who is waiting with her daughter for her husband Kamal’s return from Pakistan.

After four months apart, she can hardly contain her excitement, as she tells Curd, “My heart is pounding.”

They’ve never been apart for this long. “It’s the first time actually, that we’ve been away… I’ve never left him for one night in all these 18 years.”


A Pakistani-American couple opts for a self-arranged marriage

She explains that her husband had to go home to take care of his sisters, due to the death of his brother. “It’s our culture to take care of our family.”

When asked how she met Kamal, Uzma explains that her husband is also her ‘mamu‘ – her mother’s second cousin.

“My mum just asked me that day, ‘That family is proposing. Do you agree?’ And I had no issue because he was becoming a doctor.”

At the age of 18, she agreed, despite their significant age difference. “He’s eight years older than me, but I’m okay with it.”

She had a hard time transitioning from calling him ‘mamu‘ to calling him by his name.

“He’s your fiancé,” her mother had to point out.

Dale Curd then noted, “Sometimes we hear arranged marriages are difficult.”

“I don’t think so,” Uzma explains, “In arranged marriages, you are backed by your whole family. In the times of ups and downs, they are with you.”


Marital bliss: 30 couples tie the knot in mass wedding ceremony

She had her apprehensions, however. “After four days of my wedding, I was literally crying ‘Oh I have to stay with this man for my whole life. Till death do us part? No way!'”

She learned with time that communication is the key to a good relationship. “When you get married, and you’re living with a person 24 hours a day, the main thing is communication. We had a lot of communication, a lot of feelings, and shared everything… everything.”

These marriages may start off arranged, but they have the capacity to grow into something beautiful with time. “It’s good to have an arranged marriage. But that arranged marriage grows into a love marriage.”

After four months apart, Uzma concludes, “We can’t live apart. We can’t… It’s the real deal.”


Watch the reunion here:

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Reader Comments (4)

  • vinsin
    Mar 18, 2016 - 6:32PM

    Arranged Marriage is a Hindu Culture and should not be promoted.Recommend

  • Aamir
    Mar 18, 2016 - 10:08PM

    Being a 2nd Year Pre Medical Student of F.Sc, in the past I really liked to do the love marriage when I was not rejected by the girl to whom I really loved, more than any thing else in the world. After her rejection, I really don’t like any girl it doesn’t matter to me how much she is beautiful or wealthy..With the passage of time, I’ve realized that arrange arrange it really good as compared to love marraige. People think that the first love is the first and the last love of me…but acaully…50-60% first love fail…As per my view, if you do love marraige, you’re the salve of the girl…whatever she says, you do! as well as the whole family doesn’t back you…!! but if you do arrange marraige, you’re the king, and she is the salve..!! whatever you say, she does!! :P (please take +ve)Recommend

  • Hasan
    Mar 19, 2016 - 12:28PM

    @Aamir: Bro, if you have not married, then better forget the master-slave concept. Otherwise it will badly affect your married life. Good Luck!Recommend

  • Chacha Jee
    Mar 20, 2016 - 10:33AM

    @vinsin. Most of muslim marriages between cousins rather first cousins. Even Pakistani dramas promote that. Dr AQ Qadir nuclear scientist wrote about it. You can google his article, he and modern nations are against it as there is very high probability of children being born with birth defects. You mentioned arrange marriage is a hindu custom then tell us what is muslim culture. How will parda keeping ladies/ burqa wearing muslim ladies will marry if the there marriage are not arranged by their families.Recommend

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