DESI HUMOUR

After spending a month in Pakistan, I thought about how desi people (look it up if you don`t understand that phrase, but it`s basically a word especially Pakistanis and Indians use about themselves and the things they do) tend to do things in their own styles. Different cultures have different ways of doing things, and I find some of the things we do funny. So here`s some desi humour. I`m sure most Pakistanis/Indians will relate to some of this. PS: Sorry to those who don`t understand everything that`s written. I would translate it to English, but then again; that wouldn`t make a proper translation.


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EVERYTHING, BUT NOTHING

During my exams, I thought about everything I was going to do after the exams, when I finally had a three months long vacation.

I was going to make sure I got the room I wanted to and get myself a place to live in Maastricht in the Netherlands.

I was going to get everything sorted out for my stay there.

I was going to watch movies and documentaries.

I was going to read some of the books I had borrowed from the library and that were waiting for me.

I was going to celebrate Eid with my family here. I already knew what I was going to wear for Eid – one of the two white kurtas my mum had bought for me when she was in Pakistan. I was going to wear it with either my pink or white palazzo.

I was going to meet Sara when she came back from Australia and spend some time with her and Thea.

I was going to apply for some summer jobs.

I was going to clean my wardrobe, put clothes out for sale online and give my desk a makeover.

I was going to visit my cousin on his birthday, which was the 26th of May.

I was going to visit the library to explore it and borrow some new books.

I was going to sleep more during the mornings and not have to worry about having to go early to bed because of school.

I was going to chill.

Who knew I wasn`t going to to do any of that, but instead end up in Pakistan to meet my grandfather one last time. 

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LONG TIME NO LIST

♥ Pakistan is different than Norway in many ways. The way people live, the roads, the houses, the way of thinking and looking at things, the atmosphere. I`m glad I spent a month in Pakistan. I know I`ve said that my life`s in Norway, but I sort of miss what people are like in Pakistan. There`s more hospitality there and people will be nicer to you in a different way, even if they don`t know you. Norwegians are… weird. There are many nice people in this country too, don`t get me wrong, but there`s a difference that I notice.

♥ The heat didn`t annoy me as much as I thought it would this time – yes, we had two air conditioners most of the time and two air coolers, but it wasn`t that bad? It was quite bad when we were outside, though, but I tried my best not to complain, haha. Going to Pakistan during summer isn`t that bad, hopefully I`ll be able to visit my family there very soon!

♥ Weird to think that I only have a grandfather left. I feel like I`ve been “luckier” than many of my cousins when it comes to that – some of my cousins are 5 years old and younger and haven`t spent that much time with their grandparents. Two of my cousins are less than 3 years old and only have a grandmother left.

♥ I want to say a huge thank you to aunty Bano and aunty Samina (we call almost everyone either “uncle” or “aunty” there, haha) who came to our house most of the days and did the dishes, cleaned the rooms, washed our clothes ++. They managed to do so much work so well in the heat, especially aunty Bano. She got ill the last day, so I didn`t get to say bye to her, but I really hope she`s doing okay. May God give both of them and their families peace and an amazing life.

♥ I have so many great memories from this trip, even though my grandfather died. Many of my cousins, my uncles and aunts were there and we had a great time, despite everything. It all would`ve been even better if my grandfather still was there, but I wanted to think that he would`ve wanted us to have a pleasant time, which I know I at least did. Throwing water on each other, having a pillow fight (which ended with a cup getting broken, ooops), conversations, several rounds with ludo (that game never gets old) and eating Iftari together. It was very nice to break the fast and be together during Ramadan too.

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♥ I don`t know if I`m enjoying the fact that I`m off to the Netherlands in less than two months as much as I did before my grandfather died. I`m happy that I`m going, but I don`t know..? Speaking of that, I received my letter of acceptance from the Maastricht University the other day.

♥ On my way to Pakistan there was this couple in Istanbul. During the boarding something was announced, but I didn`t really understand what they were saying so I asked them. The lady looked at me and asked “are you travelling alone?” I said yes and I could tell she didn`t quite like my answer, haha.. The same happened to me two times on my way back, and I just wonder: why did I as a women receive that reaction? Why can`t women travel alone? I get it if I was going to a country which isn`t that safe, but imagine if I had stayed at home and not been able to meet my grandfather one last time? That woman can shake her head as much as I want to – I`m off to the Netherlands very soon on my own anyways.

WHO THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAPPEN

God, where do I even begin. Who knew I was going to spend a month in Pakistan with my family? And who knew my grandfather was going to die?

The past month has been sad, weird, nice, tragic, beautiful, strange, pleasant, heartbreaking. I can`t tell you enough how happy and relieved I am that I went to Pakistan just on time and got to meet my grandfather. I can`t express how relieved I am. I still wish I had went earlier, but God had a plan and at least I got to meet him one last time. Oh, I was so lucky. I`m sitting in my room as I`m writing this and it`s as if I can feel the relief in my bones.

In the middle of May my mum came home and was worried about my grandfather. I never wrote about this, nor did I really tell much to anyone, but he had cancer and was getting treatment. Despite his age and the fact that he travelled back and forth from Mandi to Islamabad for a couple of weeks for his treatment, he was doing fine. My mum was in Pakistan in March and when I said “I wish I could go too”, I was talking about my grandfather. But he was doing fine, until his condition got worse in the middle of May. I was ready to visit him during summer, but then the awful news came. To me they were enough – I got scared and started thinking “I should go. I have to go”. I was in the middle of my exams and meanwhile my mum decided to leave for Pakistan. I wanted to go too, but didn`t say much until the day before her flight. With tears in my eyes I told her I want to go too, and my ticket was booked. I`ve already told you guys this, but I can`t say it enough times: My flight was on the 28th of May. On the 26th we noticed that my Pakistani passport had expired and I had to get an urgent visa. Thanks to my dad I got it fixed, but meanwhile my mum changed the departure date to the 31st of May. My visa got fixed and I got worried – “isn`t 31st of May too late?” I changed it again, because I wasn`t capable of waiting anymore. I packed my suitcase and went.

I landed in Pakistan 29th of May.

My grandfather died the 30th of May.

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My grandfather recognised me, even though he was in so much pain. He put his hand on my head and hugged me. I don`t know if he knew, but I think he knew. He was in so much pain. The craziest part for me is that he died in front of me. I was right there when it happened, he took his last breathe in front of me. I still think I`m in shock, it makes me very sad to think about everything that happened. How everyone was crying and how it felt like time stopped for a few moments. It was… weird to see him dead. Tragic. Unbelieveable. One minute he was there, the next he wasn`t. His empty room, the silence, the emptiness. Nobody will be able to fit his shoes.

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I was there during all the religious ceremonies. My flight home was on the 10th of June, but thinking about it brought tears to my eyes. My uncle paid quite a high amount to change the date, which I`m very thankful about. I got to spend more time with my uncles, aunts, cousins, other family members and other people there that I spent time with. I`m very grateful about that. We went out a few times, to eat ice cream. I did a little shopping and got to visit some family members. There were 9 kids living in the house at most and all of my mum`s siblings. It was nice to be together again, eat Iftari together and be together on Eid, even though the atmosphere was different. I got to meet four cousins for the first time, which was amazing. I miss everyone so much, I wish I had woken up in Pakistan today.

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I`m back in Norway. Right now I`m sitting in my room, which is weird. I say this after each trip, but really – yesterday I was there, now I`m here. Life`s so weird, I can`t get over it. I had other plans for this summer, but life happened. Who thought all that would happen? On top of it one decision I made has so much to say. It`s shocking to think about it, but everyone`s on their way back home now and the world doesn`t stop for anyone. This chapter is already over and all we can do now is look forward to another one. After all, my grandfather want us all to be happy and to always stay together.

THINGS I AM GOING TO BE MORE THANKFUL FOR

❤️  Fresh and clean tap water. We don`t need to bring it from anywhere, we go straight to the kitchen and drink as much as we want to whenever we want to.

❤️ My own room. When you see with your own eyes how little others have, you start appreciating the things you have even more, even if you consider it normal to have those things. So many families don`t have a proper house, many kids have to share rooms with their grown ups. I`m not saying that`s necessarily a bad thing, but everyone needs a little space and everyone deserves a house with a proper roof.

❤️ Money. I appreciate it a lot already and don`t waste it, but staying in Pakistan this time has made me realise how much money we actually have. To us, 500 NOK is an okay amount, but to people here it`s quite a lot. The world works in a weird way.

❤️ The fact that I have more freedom than many women in Pakistan. It saddens me a lot that so many women don`t get to follow their dreams.

❤️ My stay in the Netherlands. I hope I`ll be able to enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to enjoy it. I`m so lucky to get this opportunity and I`m excited to find out what this journey has in store for me.

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❤️ That I have a bed to sleep on every night.

❤️ My wardrobe. I`m lucky to have travelled to Germany and the Netherlands so much the past few years and bought as much as I have there. In Pakistan so many families barely are able to earn enough money to buy some food.


Every time I`m in Pakistan I see so many things that make me realise how lucky I am. I feel so sorry for so many here, especially the kids and the women that are suffering. I feel like I shouldn`t be thankful “just because” others don`t have what I have, but I can`t help but feel lucky. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who don`t have enough food, a home and are struggling to make a living.

WOULD I LIKE TO LIVE IN PAKISTAN?

I`ve been asked whether I would like to live in Pakistan or Norway a few times now, and I think it`s an interesting question. Mainly because my opinions are divided. Norway and Pakistan are different countries in so many ways, that I don`t know where to begin. And yes, I haven`t lived in Pakistan but I`ve spent enough time here to know that my life in Norway suits me better.

I like being in Pakistan because of my family. Two of my aunts and their families live here, along with other family members as well. But the way of looking at things is too much for me… I like some things with the Pakistani culture, like the food, clothes and the idea that family`s important. But there are many things that annoy me, as well. One thing that has gotten to me for quite a long time now, is the phrase “what will people say?” God, that one sentence ruins my mood, because I know it kills more dreams and ideas than people will ever realise. It`s worse in small towns – people are more tensed about what people will think about your dressing, appearance and the way you act. As a “foreigner” in one way, it sometimes looks like everything`s okay on the surface, but I know that`s not completely true. I`m glad this idea isn`t stuck that much in people`s minds in Norway, because I don`t care that much about what people say. I`d be wrong if I said that I don`t care at all, but I believe in individualism more than many people here and I value feelings, thoughts and emotions more than what dress someone`s wearing.

This might look like a negative post, but I just want to share another thing that bothers me and makes me appreciate my life in Norway more. The women`s situation here in Pakistan makes me very sad… Women that get married when they`re 17-20, without having a little of their lives sorted out. Some want to, but many don`t and I know that. Don`t tell me women in Pakistan are living a good life because many more study now, because education is only a part of it. I`m glad more women seem to attend college and university now, but there`s still this idea that it`s more important for men to study. Some can`t leave the house without their husbands. There`s this idea that woman should stay at home and take care of the house and their kids, and act a certain way. Pakistan`s one of the worst countries to be woman in, according to some research done by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. I guess that says a lot.

It`s not that I absolutely can`t live in Pakistan, but I don`t think I could live in Pakistan AND live the life I`m living in Norway. I`m more free in Norway and it`s where my life is. I`m able to go to the mall alone and I can finish my studies. Also, the way of thinking there is different and makes it easier for me to live my life there as I want to live it. 

I don`t know what to say, which explains how I`m feeling right now. maybe I don`t even know what I`m feeling.

in three and half years, I`ve lost three family members. all due to cancer. almost two days ago my grandfather took his last breathe. I was right there.

it`s weird to think about that. my ticket was booked for Monday, but when I found out my Pakistani passport had expired, the departure date was changed to Thursday. I got my Pakistani visa and had at least a houndred conversations with myself about whether I should change it or not. in the end I made the telephone call and changed the departure date again.

let`s just say I`m glad I did that. if I hadn`t, the plane would`ve arrived today and it would have been too late.

it`s weird and shocking to think about how much difference one decision can make. I`m glad I at least got to meet him one last time, but I`m also in shock. when did this happen.

rest in peace, my Dear Grandfather. you`re deeply missed.

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