Jab We Met: Ayesha’s Story, the telephone Nikkah

Every day as you go through your ordinary tasks, you meet all sorts of people going about their daily routines, but behind their everyday existence, there are stories. Extraordinary stories about how they came together, how they fell in love and how they came to build up a life together. OR maybe not.  Not all love stories have happy endings, some are better off without each other, but nevertheless a love story is a love story and who can resist?

Ayesha’s Story: Nikkah on the telephone

I was a small town girl from Gujranawala, number 8 of 10 siblings. I was a good student and my parents sent me to Lahore study medicine. At that time it was a big deal for my parents to send me to medical college, I just wanted to study hard and make them proud.  I met him in college, he was a party guy, always having fun, good looking and popular.

He was good looking and popular with lots of girlfriends

He had loads of girlfriends, and even started modelling in between. We knew each other, but we weren’t friends. I was sensible and stuck to my studies, and was one of the first people to pass the USMLE and landed up in NYC for my residency. He contacted me during this time, because he was also preparing for the USMLE. So we discussed studying, exams, and moving to the US. He ended up clearing his exams as well and also got a job in the US. During this time we never met, just spoke on the phone and via email; mostly keeping in touch about our perspective careers and exams. He asked me to meet up a few times, but I refused. I was a single Pakistani girl living on my own, and my parents trusted me, I didn’t want to do anything that they wouldn’t have liked. We didn’t meet, then one day he told me he wanted to marry me and asked what I thought about it.

I focused on my medical career
I focused on my medical career

I didn’t say much except that it was really down to my parents. He went back to Pakistan, spoke to his parents and convinced them to meet mine. Our parents didn’t like each other, they were so different; my family was really liberal, his was really conservative. A few months later, I went back to Pakistan, and talked to my parents, and they were still really against it. But for some reason, my mother was for it, she was scared about me living on my own in the states, she didn’t want people to bad mouth me in the family. She insisted that the rest of the family go through with it, so we met his family and they decided that they would do the Nikkah now on the phone.


He was still in the States and I was still in Pakistan, and we still had not met. So we had the Nikkah on the phone, and I went back to the States and he came to pick me up at the airport. My mother passed away a couple of months later, she wasn’t able to attend my wedding reception. Maybe that’s why she wanted me to settle down, she was the only one that drove the whole process.

Maybe my mu knew she didn't have much time left - I wish she could have been there at my wedding reception
Maybe my mum knew she didn’t have much time left – I wish she could have been there at my wedding reception

Ayesha is now a Psychatrist, and resides with her husband, an Oncologist, in a suburban town in the US, with their 2 kids. They have been happily married for 6 years and are extremely supportive with each other in their respective careers and family life.

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