Laila, Oh Laila

<< Disclaimer: This piece contains strong language, reader discretion is advised. >>
Summary: A prose piece about South Asian men who leave the women they claim to love in order to conform to cultural patriarchal norms and succumb to family pressure.

Hai Laila – I am sick and tired of hearing your Majnu story. Don’t get me wrong, babe, but your boo hoo he and woe is me act does not suit your dark curls, olive skin, daring eyes and seducing lips. Frankly, he thought he was man enough to freely fuck, love and live as if he was the captain of his own destiny. But the end of the day, he was only fucking around.

Baby doll, I know you thought he would be different from the rest. After all, you let him into your world. You bared it all—emotionally, physically and mentally. How could he not be intrigued? I am intrigued.

But let me break it down for you. This Majnu and that Devdas were just boys who were trying to find their manhood in you. Don’t take it as an insult. If anything it is a compliment: You are so much woman he thought he could find his man in your wo. But what these Desi guys don’t get is that their manhood is held captive by their amijaans and abujaans.

I know, I know —he is in as much pain as you. After all, he sat there last night holding you, crying, confessing his love —all while explaining that he could not go through with it because his family heard from so-and-so that you supposedly did such-and-such and now his ami and abujaan will be disappointed if he married you. Hurts real bad how so-and-so altered your world, doesn’t it?

Yeah. We can blame this so-and-so or his ami/abujaan for being to blind sighted. But at the end of the day it is he, himself, who insists on becoming a Majnu. It is he who doesn’t see that you would never be a disappointment. If anything, you would be a blessing to any family. So merijaan, don’t Laila it up just because he wants to Majnu it up.
(Photo Credit: Aga Slodownik)

Keran Chaudhry has a M.A. in Social Science and M.S. in Justice Policy. Her research focuses greatly on alternative Muslim lifestyles and marginalized communities. Her writings often are reflections of gender strains and feelings of anomie based on prescribed mainstream cultural norms.

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