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Ms JULY 8, 2012


Adnan Pardesy’s latest collection page What you didn’t know about the nikahnama


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drama mama

domestic goddess

hottie of the week

discipline can be harder for parents than for kids sometimes

add a touch of sophistication to any meal

whose political activism makes our heart beat a little faster?

7 annoying things my mother-in-law does



the buzz

With all the wedding preparations in full swing, it is easy to overlook the one document that actually matters till the final moments. That may be the biggest mistake of your life


What You Need to Know About the o Mifrah Haq



ou’ve booked the venue, arranged for the caterer, and picked out your make up artist. The invitations have been delivered, the dance moves perfected by your cousins and friends. It seems that you are perfectly prepped for the biggest day of your life. But have you even glanced at the document which will actually seal the deal? If you are like most brides, you will see the nikahnama only when you’re signing the dotted line, with relatives hovering over you and guests waiting impatiently for the dinner to be served. But, like I said, this piece of paper – and not all the elaborate arrangements you’ve made – may well determine the course of your married life. How many times have you heard of a marriage hitting the rocks because the couple was at odds over financial issues or found out that they were simply incompatible? A good understanding of the nikahnama can help a girl get her rights in such scenarios – and by forcing her to think of these serious issues prior n to t marriage, it actually works to circumvent unpleasantness later on. o When deliberating over the different clauses of the nikahnama, husband and wife have the chance to spell out their expectations h to t each other, leading to a happier married life. However what usually happens is that the bride-to-be plans a fairytale wedding with little other than a happily-ever-after situf ation in mind. Then, when issues crop up later on – as they ina evitably do in any marriage – the girl finds herself unprepared to e handle them, more often than not. In the not-too-rare situation h that husband and wife have irreconcilable differences, the wife t may m find herself at a distinct disadvantage. After all, it was the moulvi solemnising the nikah who filled out the nikahnama; the girl m had h hardly looked at the document before signing it. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this seemingly simple twopage document that requires as little as the testimony of two witnesses and the consent of the couple. At the very least, the nikahnama deserves some contemplation on your part, and an effort to gain a ba-

Right to divorce: If this is struck off, the wife will not be able to seek talaq from the husband. In that case, she is entitled to take khula from court, giving up her mehr Maintenance: The girl may specify her maintenance allowance or the dowry she brought in a document attached to the nikahnama

Polygamy: If the bridegroom has an existing wife, this clause has to be filled in the affirmative under Pakistan’s constitution, and he has to obtain official permission from his existing wife

If a portion of the mehr has been paid at the time of the nikah, with the remaining left for later, the amount or value has to be stated here



sic understanding of what all the clauses it contains entail. There are clauses you might not be aware of, that your moulvi would be tempted to cross out because he deems them irrelevant or contrary to tradition. But take note that they are provided by the law and designed to give you certain marital rights. No matter how strong an understanding there is between the couple and their families before marriage, the straightforward, business-like nikahnama preempts possible future misunderstandings and ensures a degree of constancy in an otherwise emotional affair. If relations get messy, that piece of paper will be one of the most important documents that the embittered couple submit to court. One of the most important clauses in the document that you should be aware of is the one stipulating the haq mehr – an obligatory gift given to the wife by the husband in consideration of marriage. When filling out the nikahnama, make sure you specify the form in which the mehr will be paid: it could be in the form of cash, gold, or any other item of value. If gold worth a certain amount is specified, the wife automatically claims gold of that worth from her bari (gifts from the groom’s family) as her own. Unless the

Age: The girl has to be at least 16 years of age to get married. But for a court marriage the girl should be at least 18. This clause is usually filled with the date of birth

Mehr: Over here the amount of mehr paid by the bridegroom to the bride is specified, along with whether the payment is in cash or kind

Property as mehr: If the girl is given her mehr, or a part of it, in the form of property, its value as agreed to between the two parties is to be stated

Timing of mehr: Over here you specify whether the mehr is to be paid promptly (mu’ajjal) or deferred until the wife demands it (mu’wajjal).

mehr is specifically stipulated in the nikahnama, the gold given by the man’s side is considered to be gifts in a court of law which have to be given up in case of a divorce. While the issue of mehr is often settled by the elders of the two families, there is no harm in women expressing their desire to ask for ‘mu’ajjal’ (when the mehr is to be paid at the time of the nikah), or ‘mu’wajjal’ (when it is to be paid at the time the wife demands). However, if the clause about mehr is left empty, the wife may have to make do with an amount set arbitrarily by the husband. Here is the catch though: if the mehr clause is left empty, the wife can actually challenge the husband in court, stating that he has not fulfilled his obligation. The burden of proof then falls on the husband and he will have to show that he has in fact paid up the mehr. For this, he would have to produce evidence regarding the form of payment and produce witnesses to testify that he made the payment. The most abused clause in the nikahnama – which, by the way, is routinely crossed out by moulvis without so much as consulting the bride – is the one stating the right of a woman to initiate divorce. If this clause is struck off, you lose the ability to file for Suit of Dissolution of Marriage by Way of Talaq. You may still file for khula which means that you lose the right over your mehr. While khula gives you the benefit of not needing to record evidence against the husband, it places you at a financial disadvantage and for many women giving up that financial security effectively means forgoing divorce. You need to decide whether you want to retain the clause which would entitle you to receive your mehr in case you ever need to initiate a divorce. There are clauses and documents you can even attach to the nikahnama. You may set an amount of money that you want from your husband as allowance every month. This could be any amount decided between you and your prospective husband. Interestingly, the girl may challenge in court years down the line that the allowance spelled out in the nikahnama is not sufficient to meet her expenses and be revised keeping in mind inflation and her growing needs. Some people go as far as to include a clause that in the case of a separation or divorce the husband will pay her a certain sum of money, or a clause regarding who is going to get the custody of children if there is a breakup. So long as the documents do not run contrary to law, such clauses are acceptable in the court. The nikahnama is one of the few things that are left to the last minute, when there is hardly enough time for the girl to deliberate over it - even though it is the one document that ensures your marital rights. Hence, the best advice to would-be brides would be to take charge and read it. Know what rights you have, and ask for what is rightly yours.

7 annoying

things my mother-in-law (MIL) does

MIL never picks after herself I’ll cook you dinner, I’ll clean your loo but for God’s sake at least throw your old teabags and tissue papers in the bin.

MIL never respects privacy She’ll walk into the room when you’re breastfeeding, pick up your bank statement and stare at your finances and can launch into questions about your sex life with her son. Ewww.

MIL knows how to lay on the charm She knows how to perfectly mask her criticism of your baby rearing skills, cooking or cleaning with a sweet compliment. Take for instance, “Don’t you look lovely today ... for a change!”

MIL has advice on everything under the sun She has advice on looking good, raising babies, aging well and keeping her son happy. If she knows so much, why didn’t she raise a decent human being instead of a monkey who is incapable of finding his own socks?

MIL thinks I’m out to steal her son Mothers-in-law love taunting daughtersin-law that he was hers before he became yours. To that we say, “Keep him to yourself, old lady – he’s not that great anyway!”

Questions Couples Should Ask (Or Wish They Had) Before Marrying


Published in The New York Times, December 17, 2006 1) Have we discussed whether or not to have children, and if the answer is yes, who is going to be the primary care giver? 2) Do we have a clear idea of each other’s financial obligations and goals, and do our ideas about spending and saving mesh? 3) Have we discussed our expectations for how the household will be maintained, and are we in agreement on who will manage the chores? 4) Have we fully disclosed our health histories, both physical and mental? 5) Is my partner affectionate to the degree that I expect? 6) Can we comfortably and openly discuss our sexual needs, preferences and fears? 7) Will there be a television in the bedroom? 8) Do we truly listen to each other and fairly consider one another’s ideas and complaints? 9) Have we reached a clear understanding of each other’s spiritual beliefs and needs, and have we discussed when and how our children will be exposed to religious/moral education? 10) Do we like and respect each other’s friends? 11) Do we value and respect each other’s parents, and is either of us concerned about whether the parents will interfere with the relationship? 12) What does my family do that annoys you? 13) Are there some things that you and I are NOT prepared to give up in the marriage? 14) If one of us were to be offered a career opportunity in a location far from the other’s family, are we prepared to move? 15) Does each of us feel fully confident in the other’s commitment to the marriage and believe that the bond can survive whatever challenges we may face?

MIL forces her help on me, when none is required “You’re planning a wedding, I’m coming over. You’re having a baby, I’m coming over. The baby has left for college, I’m coming over.” Don’t they realise that instead of making things easier for us, they make it just that much harder?


MIL always finds a way to make it about her Whether it’s your child’s birthday or your anniversary, MIL knows how to get the attention back on herself.



drama mama


An Undisciplined Hiba Masood is a stay-athome mother to 3-year-old Beta and 7-month-old Beti. Writing about parenting affords her time away from actually doing it. Find her on muddling


Not all the doubts of parenting can dim the joys of indulging our children by Hiba Masood


hildren need to know who is boss. They are like baby animals who need to be trained to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable. The most important thing in a child’s life is routine and predictability. You should not allow your children to speak loudly to you. They must do what they are told when they are told to do it. Expressions of rage should not be tolerated. Such is the flavour of generally accepted parenting wisdom that surrounds me these days and, in a nutshell, my three and a half year old son is the exact opposite of each of the nuggets of wisdom offered above. You see, Beta’s the kind of person who can occasionally take a few moments to gather himself — even if that gathering looks like the flailing, twisting and flippering around on the ground of a beached fish. The cause of these outbursts is usually some unthinking selfishness on the part of his parents, like say, taking away the cup of juice that is being used to bathe the remote control. And when I carry him away, still arching and twisting, in to another room, I wonder, as I wonder writing this, will this pass? What if he is always like this? I resolve to myself some strange and foolish notions of discipline and at the next opportune moment, I am calling his name sharply and glaring at him from scary, angry-mother eyes. When his mouth turns downward in an umbrella of sadness, I am confused between being triumphant — ‘I am in control as a parent!’ — and desperate — ‘I don’t want to be this kind of parent!’ We have so much power, don’t we? We can change the expression of their feelings with a single command — but oh, it’s those feelings themselves that I worry about, that silent turned-down mouth, the stifling need to be good, the way dependency on ap-

proval can humiliate them. This is likely a big joke to the more seasoned parents out there but with our first-born every action seems to require meticulous weighing out — like we are measuring diamonds on a jeweler’s scale. “What do you think?” my husband, Hums and I say to each other a dozen times a day. “Was that the right thing?” we ask each other every night, our worried heads bent above the comforter tangled around browned little summer legs. “Should we have done this or that?” Just like it’s hard to choose the right course of action when it comes to ‘discipline’, it’s hard to describe the happiness within parenting – this love affair that goes on and on. When I first got married, I used to spend all day with this little tucked-away joyful certainty that, come nightfall, whatever the day had been or brought, Hums and I would be turning on the lamps, turning down the bedcovers, and just being together in our private little world. I have the same joyful certainty with my kids – that, come the end of even the craziest of crazy days, I will stop what I’m doing to brush baby teeth and change diapers and put on little pajamas. It doesn’t sound very sweet, listed like that (Oh the washing! The lovely bum wiping!) but the tenderness of this tending moves me and gently prods me to forget my fretting and be with them as they are. As the stars come out, no matter what, I will nurse Beti till she drifts off to sleep. And then I will turn to my Beta and sing his song and press my nose to his nose. We will look at the shifting lights of sleepiness in each other’s eyes and he will stroke my cheek with his deliciously soft, still pudgy, little fingers and I will rest my hand on his sturdy ribcage and thrill to the magic of his beating heart.

domestic goddess 5




method Prepare the mascarpone mixture Beat the egg yolks and sugar with an electric beater. Add mascarpone cheese in the mixture and beat well. Then add whipped cream and mix well.

ingredients Coffee 2 tbsp

Make the Tiramisu Add coffee to two cups of hot water and mix well. Soak half the sponge in the coffee mixture. Place the sponge in a serving bowl and spoon the mascarpone cheese mixture over it. Now layer the remaining half of the sponge cake over it and spread the remaining mascarpone cheese mix on top. Chill for at least two hours.

Mascarpone cheese 250 gms Egg yolk 4 Caster sugar 100 gms

Before serving, dust lightly with coffee powder.

Whipped cream 150 gms

This dessert by Chef Bilal Ahmad of the Royal Palm Club will give any meal a touch of sophistication

Vanilla essence 2 drops Water 2 cups Sponge cake 1/4 pound



fashion shoot

Adnan Pardesy’s new collection is inspired by the Guggenheim Museum. Here, the designer talks about the philosophy behind this particular shoot

- What is the inspiration behind this collection? The inspiration behind this collection was the Guggenhiem Museum. It was based on the architectural structure of the building. In order to create structure, a lot of quilting techniques were used along with other fabric manipulation techniques like cross-pleating, braiding etc.

- What is the theme behind this fashion shoot? Since this collection was couture, we wanted to put the rough textures of the location in contrast to the fine detailing of the garment. This, I think, complemented the clothes.

- Where is this collection retailing? This collection is available for order only through our studio. This was pure expression for the ramp. We do a defuse version of the collection for clients, making it lighter in terms of fabrication, adding embellishments and removing certain elements which makes it more wearable, while retaining the essence of the pieces.

steel and stone



Credits Designer: Adnan Pardesy Model: Fouzia Hair & makeup: Zara’s Photography: Fayyaz Ahmed



hottie of the week 8 Status Single (or so we hope) Born Wembley, London Birthday



December 1, 1982

Who is he? Riz Ahmed is living proof that not all British born desis are merely confused – some are sensitive, artistic and politically aware. This lad caught Micheal Winterbottoms’s attention early on and was cast as one of the Tipton Three in the docudrama The Road to Guantanamo. But it was his role as a conflicted terrorist in the Bafta-winning film Four Lions that was the bomb. This year, he wrapped up working on The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the film adaptation of Mohsin Hamid’s bestseller, in which he plays the lead character Changez opposite Kate Hudson. Riz is also a rapper and has just released his debut album, MICroscope. The tracks “Post 9/11 Blues” and “Sour Times” brought him much attention and revealed his politically aware artistry.





Why he’s droolworthy A profile like a Roman emperor’s, a monkeyish grin and a reticence that makes him utterly charming. ‘Riz Ahmed girlfriend’ appears to be a popular search term on Google, but it is a search that leads to naught. We love him because we’re absolute suckers for great cheekbones and dreamy Brit accents. He takes up thought-provoking roles in films with substance, churns out songs with such controversial lyrics that they promptly get banned. His political activism makes us hold out hope for a better world. Why pick up a newspaper when you can follow Riz’s musings on Twitter?

Total Packge


What you didnt know about him Not only does he have a degree from Oxford in Philosphy, Politics and Economics, he also studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His parents are good ol’ Karachi walay.

Riz Ahmed

The Express Tribune hi five - July 8  
The Express Tribune hi five - July 8  

The Express Tribune hi five for July 08th 2012