In 2010 friends in Aman Ki Asha coaxed me to share my experiences as an Indian Pakistani cross border marriage.
The story of our marriage, of an Indian moi to an amazing Pakistani Syed Fasihuddin came to seen by most as an epitome of love and a great example of success. I always shared with honesty the bumpy ride that every marriage endures, especially when there is so much red tape of visas between the two countries.
Not being a Bollywood fan myself, I was in no mood to portray it a Veer Zara filmi story.
Even then I started getting many emails from girls in cross-border relationships especially those brewing on social media.
My advice, then and even now, to everyone was to be extremely cautious of barriers and know the real person well beyond social media, before deciding to take a big plunge into across border matrimony.
Over the years, almost 75% of these relationships fell apart, either for practical.reasons or when they got over the infatuation with time.
To my utter surprise I also came to be told first hand(by at least 5 girls).of how boys across the border were using their relationship to milk money from the girls. In every single case the boys were Pakistani and the girls were Indian.
Why am I writing this now?
Recently a famous Pakistani journalist and twitter activist was arrested for abusing and killing his wife.
About 8 years ago a girl from Delhi who was supposedly dating this guy wrote to me, “Baji how can i send money to someone in Pakistan” she was planning to marry.
She did not share the name or details.
Having already seen a few such cases i got alarmed. I told her, “Have you met him in person?”
She replied, “Baji he is a famous twitter activist.”
I still insisted you meet him first. Then decide.
I never heard back from her till 2 years.
Then she wrote to me 2 years later how she is recovering from the breakup. Because she did not send the money, he wrote back to her telling another story of how his mother is indebted to his Khala and because of that she is forcing him to marry his cousin with disabilities. I gave her a smack on messenger and told her to, “Hosh mein aa jaao. This looks like a drama. I told you first meet him.”
She did not respond to me for a few months.
Then one day she happily messaged me saying I was so right and revealed to me the name of the guy. She then emailed me the evidence. This was the same guy who has been arrested recently for killing his wife and for being a twitter blackmailer.
I did share this with a few close friends, one of whom had been asking me to write a book on India-Pakistan experiences both positive and negative including these social media stories.
In fact one of them was so annoyed that they taunted, “Kabhi mutt likhna ye kitaab, acha? “
When I shared these fraudulent stories with Fasih, and how many girls were infatuated by our story, he would often tease me with his million dollar smile and mild humor, “Tell them you dont find Fasihuddins very common in Pakistan.”
Indeed. Couldnt agree more.
Not just Pakistan, it is very hard to find such an upright man of values anywhere in the world.