Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Odds Of Cousins Part Two


I have had many male and female cousins in my native town . Most of them were friendly,  few of them( females only)  were fast friends. 

My mother had three elder (step by father side)  brothers and one younger brother and one sister . In my prior to two previous posts  The Odds Of Cousins i mentioned how the only son of my aunt kept troubling me from childhood to till my late teens.

Today's post is about another cousin who never  bother me directly though created issues in my life indirectly. He was the eldest son of my uncle (mom's elder step brother). His name was Liaquat .Sorry i forgot to mention name of cousin i mentioned in prior to two previous posts His name was Farid .

Liaquat had many family issues due to his mostly quarrelsome  parents. My uncle was considered rich man as he had two transport trucks running in Rawalpindi city. He also had many pieces of lands within and around the village including farms. He never took part in ploughing personally but had workmen to do it for him. He  would like to spend his days with friends leisurely at home in men's room or at hotels . I learned from mom that his wife belonged to another city and could never adjust with her in laws. She was pretty woman with golden color and sharp features. She was smart and active . Her cooking was popular in family members. But she was quite tough wife to live with terrible mother for her children. Despite the abundance of money in the house fight among husband and wife was part of daily routine .My aunt would fight on little things with her in laws too on daily bases almost. I grew up watching their fights. Consequently all of her children suffered with this habit and grew into quarrelsome people. sadly. That led them to many complications in their lives .Taro baji ,the eldest daughter of my uncle was only child who was saved from such harsh nature. And i see her only son she left behind is living a peaceful and successful life with nice family (i met them after long during my recent trip to attend my cousin's kids marriage )

Back to the story ,my eldest cousin Liaquat was kind of lonesome and confused man with sad eyes and less words. He would drive one of his father's truck and would return from his long trips after week or two. Whenever he would come to home his mother would fight with him ruthlessly. My uncle would not try to make her stop and escape away instead. He was afraid of her anger everybody said so. 

Liaquat would visit our house sometimes and sit with mom to share his domestic issues . I realized even as little girl that all the children of my uncle had special affection towards my mother because of her kind and loving nature . I feel they would seek refuge in her attention. It was natural reaction from children treated at home violently. When they grew up into teenage  i heard often from one of my female cousins(same family) that she would love to be daughter in law of my mother . I am witnessed of their tears they shed when my mother apologized both of her nieces ,because she was afraid to make such tie with her sister in law who was known for being so cruel and combative . My mom felt sadness for her whole life but she knew it was correct decision for her only son. 

When my cousin would come to home he would behave nicely and show respective behavior towards me such as greeting properly(putting palm of hand on head as greeting gesture that means i consider this girl my respectful relative and will never look at her with bad eye)  .He would take corner away from where i would do any chore or he would sit in separate room away so i don't feel uneasy. I mean i saw no hint of vulgarity in his behavior so i could ask my mom to ban him from our house. The other reason for ease could be that he was older than me at least one decade or more. He was the only male cousin allowed into our house because of his melancholic and decent nature. But there was something going on behind the curtain actually.

 I was in grade five or six when i realized that eldest sister of my uncle (eldest sister of Liaquat ) Taro baji started to take special interest in me . Taro baji was totally unlike her mother and had very gentle and wise nature .She was married to an aggressive man who had drug addiction and would beat her sometimes .She insisted to stay with him despite her parents wanted her separation. Taro baji was twelve to fifeten years older than me. Taro baji started to visit our house often now specially when i would get  back from school and do my homework. She would drag me with her home often and mostly talk about how bad it is for girls to study instead of learning cooking and other skills at home that are important for running household and that looking after husband and kids is the only thing a girl should learn to do .According to her studies spoil girls mindset and mislead them from actual path of life. She would cuddle me and speak such things daily almost. I thought she is being just herself and that is it. Then she would sometimes take me to her elder brother's room in his absence and show his things and would say nice things him. One day she opened a cupboard and showed a note book with pink pages. It had my name written on it with in red decoratively. She said Liaquat has written your name with his blood and he wants to marry you. I felt shocked and puzzled suddenly. I ran back to home and told the mother whole story . She seemed annoyed but not that much i expected. She told that my cousin liaquat had been showing his interest in you since long but she has no such thing in mind.

 In short my cousin did not seem to stop on convincing my mom only but secretly he was brainwashing my elder brother as well so he can pressurize my mother. My brother had  quite flirting  nature and wanted to marry since he was fifteen hardly . It was tradition exchange cousin marriages. So He  would always ask mom to get him married one of his cousin and give my hand to one of his cousins in return. Actually my brother always showed hatter towards mom's decision to send us school . Now my cousin's fuel made him burst out loudly. My brother had started to fight my with mother for this cause once in awhile .To make his point he first time burnt my poetry note books alongwith my school bag when in ten i think . This memory is among most painful ones !

While burning my poetry notebooks and school books he shouted and mentioned name of Liaquat that he does not like her to go to school and wants to get married with her but you are refusing the proposal of boy to whom  others will give their daughters happily. 

In short such things kept happening and if anyone can ponder a little can understand why i could never concentrate on studies fully. The fear of falling into any such dungeon kept my soul occupied all the time. (The second time our school books and bags were burnt when i was in eight .This time my poetry notebooks were spared because i had kept hidden already). 

My mother stopped meeting my cousin Liaquat . He would not come and if he would mom would not allow him inside and meet with him outside the house as she could not push him away completely because of her gentle nature. Once when i was in grade seven or eight Liaquat knocked our door and showed my mom set of jewelry and asked her to keep it for him for while as he will explain later because he is in trouble. My mother refused first but on his insistence she kept it with promise that he will come back and have it back in two days. most. She had no idea he was jeopardizing ,because she trusted him like her own son. Next day when  my mother went in village below ,her friends congratulated her for my engagement with Liaquat. My mother in shock ran to my uncle's house immediately and asked why they spread such rumors . My aunt replied that Liaquat told he has given you the necessary things for the engagement already and  today we are coming for the engagement ceremony. My mother searched for Liaquat ,found him and returned his jewelry back instantly. She was crying while saying him that he must have not cheated like this as she loved him like son. This was last scene of that drama though needless to say how badly my aunt reacted on this.And we faced that storm for few next days.

My mother later said that Liaquat was nice boy but he had bad habit of taking drugs which he finds impossible to give up because drivers who drive for days taking drug is necessary. My mother said if it wasn't the case she might have consented on this proposal. She felt he was loosing himself in the darkness and this marriage could have save him. I secretly thanked God for Liaquat insisted on drugs Sorry if sounds selfish but i have to be honest) . 

After that soon liaquat got married to one of his divorced cousin Yasmeen who lived in Islamabad alone and work in different places as domestic helper or babysitter since she her early teens . They had three boys together. Yasmeen had one daughter already from first husband. Their marriage could not last longer than few years (five to seven probably) and Yasmeen decided to take divorce because Liaquat was fighting with her all the time. According to her Liaquat fights and during fights he piles up everything in the house and burns it . After the divorce Liaquat increased drugs dose heavily and died soon because of it. I think he was in mid or late 30s .

I heard about his death after my marriage.I felt sad genuinely because he was my cousin. Long before this when i was in school Liaquat had hit two children while driving under the affect of drugs. The accident took place in Peshawar city where Pakhtoon people  live with their old traditions. This accident had killed two innocent children on the spot .The men of the area stopped the truck and attacked by throwing rocks and beating Liaquat by hands and stick . He was injured badly. Men were about to kill him with axes when some of their older ladies came between and put their head shawls on the feet of angry men and asked to forgive the Liaquat. He was lucky to gain pity of those mourning families surprisingly. This old tradition of  pakhtoon people that oldest ladies head scarfs are most respectful thing after the Holy book (Quran)  saved him that day miraculously. They did not even report against him and left him alone simply. I don't think there can be any justification or excuse that makes taking drugs normal . 

The life he was given back that day by the God was wasted away once again by his thoughtlessness unfortunately !

Thanks for bearing with , i try harder to keep it short ,there are so many things related but i will share them in future hopefully in slow pace .

God Bless You All!


  1. How fortunate you didn't marry Liaquat, your mother knew because of the drugs. Such a sad life for that man Baili.

    1. dear Margaret as i am getting older i realize more that my mother played most important roll in life ,specially the peace of mind i have today .I wanted to share that how she tired hard fight back with old strict customs of village and faced not just wisely but bravely all the opposition from her own blood relations . Her life remained a continued state of war first against her first husband a little younger than her own father ,than second husband who could not support her as he promised before getting married to her and thirdly against her beloved brothers and son who disappointed her greatly with showing anger towards education of her daughters .
      She was hardly well physically yet she stood for us and fought for our rights constantly .if she had have given up life for both of us would have totally different and disastrous

  2. I am sorry to hear how things turned out for your cousin. God blessed your mom with wisdom to keep you safe. Is it the mothers who decide who their children will marry? You didn't mention your father.

    1. it's not like only mothers decide to whom their children will marry dear Sandi .
      in villages like mine women has strong roll in household but when it comes to decide about kids marriage it differs house to house honestly . men are incharge of decision making over all in many houses and their words are considered final .but there are also houses where husband and wife both decide mutually for their kids. remember i am talking about times when i lived there . although some parents would prefer whom their child likes to have as life partner but such case were rare.
      there were also few houses where women had leading roll and only they would decide about future of their children as absolute authority .
      our family was different in case that my parent had lived in big city for more than decade and had developed broad minds and flexible approach regarding life and their kids .
      when my younger brother died out of tuberculosis and my mom went into deep trauma and depression .she first time took huge decision of moving to her native town. the death of my younger brother kind of shrink my father's decision making power because mom blamed my father for the death of my younger brother . that created cold war within the house which remained till they lived .still we were lucky to find some tips of their true selves once in a while whenever the ice melted because of something that bothered them as family .
      i did not mentioned father here because he was away most of the time . he wanted us to get education clearly but he hardly turned his thoughts into words for us sadly .even when we tried ,he pulled himself in his shell more .our mom was trying to things work i every corner of life and we were blessed to have her.
      i think things have changed much more so far and what children want is more important for parents for many parents though not for all sadly

  3. Sorry to hear of your cousin, a terrible life.

    1. dear Christine drugs are a way to escape from reality .drugs dim it for short term and at worst cost .
      whenever we are back the monster is still there and because we aren't ready to face him things turn so dark unfortunately

  4. Your cousin had a sad life with addiction. I am happy you didn’t marry him, Baili. Your mother looked out for you where he was concerned for sure!

    1. he could not figure out how to deal with his life issues dear Marie . it requires understanding and courage surly .he lacked it probably and mistook drugs as his temporary hiding out sadly .
      my mother loved him genuinely because she thought it could help him to feel normal and accepted . but he lost that treasure either

  5. A sick person, obviously, baili.
    Have a great weekend

  6. cure is always right there with sickness Pedro but we overlook

  7. Life can generate bad habits. I am glad you mother was so insightful. Thanks for your story. I am glad you are remembering the past to write down. Wishing you a beautiful weekend.

  8. i agree Ellie .
    i was fortunate to have wise and loving mother who had courage to stand against stablished beliefs of family system

  9. Hello,
    I am sorry to read about your cousin and the drugs. I am very glad your Mother kept you safe. Take care, have a great day and happy weekend.

  10. Your mother was an amazing woman who truly loved you and protected you, Baili. It takes courage and determination to go against traditions and customs, what society expects of you. It was sad to hear the tragic story of your cousin, Liaquat. Drugs do terrible things to a person. I'm so glad that you weren't forced into a marriage you didn't want. Sometimes fortune shines on us (or God's blessings). I often think, why me? Have a good week! Hugs to you!

  11. Acontece nas histórias da família haver alguém que foge às regras e acaba por tornar mais difícil a vida dos outros.
    Uma boa semana.
    Um beijo.

  12. dear Louise when i say my life is beaded with so many miracles ,my mother was one of the most amazing ones honestly !
    i am grateful how she kept me away from all possible harms and today whatever i could achieve as person ,wife and mother is only because of her .

  13. Baili what a story of how you were protected from a very bad situation. Your mother sounds wonderful and how much she loved you is very apparent. Take care and thanks for sharing this part of your life. Hugs!

  14. Drugs cause so much harm, I am pleased that your Mother kept you safe.

    All the best Jan


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