By Shelina Janmohamed
WeNews guest author
Sunday, October 17, 2010
In this excerpt from Shelina Janmohamed's new memoir, "Love in a Headscarf," the author offers an ode to the all-important role of nylon-tunic-clad Aunties as networking powerhouses behind arranged marriage.
Nylon naani: "That's your mistake. Boys are never ready; you have to just surprise them. Show them a few pretty girls and even the one who says no, no, no, he will fall for one of them. Boys can't resist a pretty girl. You might need to encourage and persuade him a little bit or perhaps even push him. But he'll thank you in the end."
Nylon naani pauses, and then looks furtively in all directions, Godfather-style. Even with no one in earshot, she leans in conspiratorially.
Nylon naani: "I'm going to tell you everything you need to know about finding a daughter-in-law. Only four things and you will be laughing, laughing, so happy. First, do not involve your son. He does not know what he wants and will only complicate matters. Next, avoid girls who are oh-so independent. This is not a good quality for a daughter-in-law. They will not be committed."
Wannabe: "Hmm, yes, hmm. So wise, so wise, yes, you are right. Such wonderful wisdom."
Nylon naani: "Three, make sure she is pretty and she can cook. And the younger, the better. And last, look for a girl from the same culture, so that she can 'fit' with you."
When I am older, with many sons, fretting about finding them wives, I will write a sequel to my book. It will be called "Love in a Nylon Dupatta."
Reprinted from: "Love in a Headscarf" by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed. Copyright 2010 by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed. By permission of Beacon Press, www.beacon.org.
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Shelina Zahra Janmohamed is an award-winning author and blogger. She is a columnist for The National, EMEL Magazine and writes for The Times, The Guardian and the BBC. She was named by The Times newspaper as one of the U.K.'s 100 most influential Muslim women. You can follow her blog at spirit21.co.uk. "Love in a Headscarf" is her first book.
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