My insides are still reeling with anger over a seriously Desi invasion of privacy incident that happened to me a couple of weeks ago. We’d been invited to a wedding function - a Mehendi to be exact - and a random unknown aunty decided to go paparazzi and started taking our photographs.
“Zara pose tou banayen apni doston ke saath.” she said to our friend whom she knew, and insisted on us striking a pose to which our friend reminded her that we wear the Hijab and were currently without it. That should have been a cue for any literate person. Even my chiropractic doctor who happens to be non-Muslim knows that she should lock the door when we are in her office and having ourselves treated without the Hijab. This particular lady did what Desi ladies would typically do when they run out of their intelligence and moral quota and continued being the jackass paparazzi. I don't really know what pose was she exactly look for?
“Haan tou beta meinay kaunsa kisi ko dikhaani hai?” she said when Sara and I said very sharply that we wear Hijabs and don’t like photos taken when we are without them. To our not-so-surprising-surprise she followed us with her smartphone and kept snapping photos for the rest of the evening. I really wanted to raise the question "Agar dikhani nahi hai tou kia aap itni shauqeen mizaaj hain ke akelay mein baith ke humari photos dekheingi?"
I cannot say that I fail to understand these Paparazzi Aunties because I totally understand their needs for photography in such circumstances. They feel that they have hit a jackpot when they capture a Hijabi girl without her Hijab. And most of them are from the Kuwari Kudi Marriage Bureau and tend to maintain "archives" (alphabetical sometimes) in their smartphones of girls available for marriage. They use these photos as a social ticket.
Another time, at another wedding function, an aunty wanted me to get up and walk around and suggested that I do not ‘stick’ to my mother all the time. "Zara uth ke ghooma phira karo, kia har waqt ammi se chipki rehti ho?" I had an exceptionally hard rest of the evening because I really don't know how to walk around like a runaway camel at someone else's wedding. Apologies, but I can only eat like one when I am attending such 'strange' gatherings.
“Tasweer banwaati ho tum?” she asked, if I liked having photos taken and before I could have responded to the apprehension she had already clicked a photo of me which I am sure looked like a taken aback Professor Snape.
Thankfully I was in my Hijab that day and my blood boiled only a degree less. My mind’s wisdom had failed me temporarily but then when she snapped my photograph forcibly I understood what her strategy was. I’d gotten up to get dinner from the buffet and she grabbed my arm! Apparently she was snapping my photograph to show around to her family and in particular an eligible bachelor son! You find out eventually, because such fine specimen aunties have the Kuwari Kudi Marriage Bureau working in their favor. They spread the word real well.
They practically find me to be a prospective Simran for their Kuljeeta, but they should know better. Cheesy dialogues --- specially at wedding buffets --- will only make me angry. Casting more-than-frequent looks at me will only freak me out. And asking my entire bio data/resume/life story will only make the effort too obvious.
Be kind, let me get to the buffet and no one gets hurt!