Understanding

'As a rule, Pakistanis do not believe in privacy... Now, there is one thing that is particularly important for Pakistani elders after the marriage of their children, their niece and nephews, the children of their friends, their acquaintainces and just about anybody's children. They lean over in a show of secrecy, assuming intimacy, feigning privacy, and ask a question - in earnest - that is out of bounds of all reason, of all propriety, of all respect for the privacy of two individuals (granted to them by their religion, mind you, which for all purposes is conveniently used to shut children up). A question that is preposterous! A question that leaves one baffled, confused, speechless:
"Kya tym donon ki understanding ho gayi hai?"...
"Have you reached an 'understanding'?"
Confused, the newlyweds reply, "What do you mean by 'understanding'?"
"Oye, understanding, yaar?" says the friendly uncle. "Understanding beta, tumhain pata tu hai," repeats the chatty aunty.
The couple betrothed just minutes ago remains baffled.
"Oh, You know what we mean. Husbandly-wifely understanding! You understand each other, no? You know..."

Khadija Hassan, The story of Heer and Ranjha

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Qasim Aziz said…
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