Why is Tehmina’s decision right?

Tehmina Durrani, born in Lahore, Pakistan, debuted with her autobiography, ‘My Feudal Lord’. Her mother was a light-skinned beauty and a dominant person who controlled everything and everyone in her household without even raising a hand. She faced a lot of discrimination from her mother during her childhood because she was darker than her other siblings. The stigma in society at that time regarding dark complexion and her mother’s behavior towards her rendered her with inferiority complex. She only received love from her father and maternal grandmother who loved her dearly and did not discriminate her from other siblings.

When she was in school, she fell in love with Anees Khan. Anees wrote letter to her which she found to be really affectionate. She tried to convince her mother for marriage as well as Anees’ mother came with a marriage proposal several times but her mother was reluctant to it because Anees did not come from an influencial or high class family. The reason behind her agreeing for the marriage was when she talked to her friend, got suggested that she should get Tehmina married because, of her dark complexion, it will be difficult to find a man for her and it is good if a man is ready to marry her, just do away with her before it’s late. Her family was finally convinced but few days before marriage, she got cold feet and tried to stop it saying that she was in love with the idea of love and didn’t really loved Anees. Her father and Anees, calling this a sign of stress due to preparation of marriage and grief of leaving her home, brushed away this argument of hers and she married Anees knowing she didn’t love him. Two and a half years later, her marriage reached a saturation point birth of her daughter, Tanya, was a breath of fresh air for her. She dearly loved and cared about her and devoted her life to her because the marriage she had with anees held nothing else for her. Inspite of this, she was bewildered and puzzled at having become a mother, understanding little of the woman into which she was developing. Initially, she was hopelessly immature.

Tehmina leaving Anees for Mustafa Khar inspite of having a child with him is a controversial and debatable topic.

We can argue that Tehmina was right in leaving her husband and kid for Mustafa because, initially, the image of Mustafa that she had in her mind was that of a misunderstood gentleman. She thought she can see the real Mustafa beneath the strong front he puts. She believed Anees to be a nice and kind man who trusted and loved her greatly but it wasn’t the case for her. She did not love him. When she saw Mustafa, she realized what was it that she was missing. She had legacy of her mother without even realizing it and Anees feel short of it. Anees was inconsequential and she did not hold any faith in his abilities or respect for his intellect. She did not wanted a marriage like his parents in which her mother dominated every decision of her father’s.She wanted a strong man. Not only for her personal self but she also thought that her mother’s eyes that screamed how inadequate she was would then be more acceptable of her or rather, not affect her because she was with a strong man like Mustafa.

But her leaving of her husband and child for another man, a married man, invite a lot of criticism on a lot of aspects. She claimed to be a loving mother, yet she was ready to let her child go through something as disturbing as divorce just because, as she claimed, she was falling into an abyss called Mustafa Khar. At a number of places, she even blames Anees for not being a vigilant husband and stop the advances of Mustafa and lead her back to a virtuous life and thoughts that did not point to her infidelity. She says at one part in the book that, “Common sense vanished along with caution, morality and decency: my emotions overwhelmed me”. She herself was very aware of her act being indecent and how immoral it was to pry and want a married man. She did not care for her child, she did not care for the emotions of a fellow woman and instead blamed her for not being understanding of Mustafa. She did not care for her loving husband and supportive in-laws who gave her a family environment that wasn’t toxic and dominating on her. She left the place she was respected at, cherished at, blinded by emotion, inflicting pain and hurt to numerous person in the wake of it. She was at that time young and immature, but the way she handled her situation is still too much too be covered up by that.

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