Most of us did not have an option other than to fulfil many of the societal demands
"Oh, girl! God must be crazy or you are cursed to have been left single when you are passing mid-30s."
If you are wondering who might have made such a remark, it is the infamous (and inquisitive) next door 'aunty' who never brings you Ramadan Iftar or Shab-e-Barat's Halwa, and never fails to pay weekly visits with a bowl full of something nasty you will never in a million years would want to taste.
All this effort to have a sneak into your room and to collect the latest scoops of your personal life, relationships and, or, marital status.
Believe me or not, other than your parents, everyone is all ears to know about your personal life. From your childhood, they have spent sleepless nights because of you.
They will be worried about you if you, for the first two years of your life, did not start forming your first words.
"Oh, my lord! Why is the kid is not talking? The kid must be dumb."
At social gatherings, you will be the victim of their insane and meaningless theories about yourself, despite being three years old.
You might be considered as a patriarchal being to the new-wave feminist aunties for saying 'baba' as your first words instead of 'ma'.
But, be sure of it, you will be labeled by the society at the age of three.
So, now, you have grown up, attending grade one and writing essays about your aim in life - which is, undoubtedly, the most worthless essay we ever wrote as children.
How many of us ended up as medical students or doctors? Or maybe an engineer? A lawyer, at least?
Some of us, however, who could escape that typical "Aim in Life" kind of stigma, were lucky enough to not have been peer pressured into choosing a career at five or six years old.
But most of us did not have an option other than to fulfil many of the societal demands.
The essays and peer pressure that forced you to study science, while you might have otherwise excelled in arts and humanities, are the bulldozers that run over your dreams with zero remorse.
Fast forward twelve years and somehow you graduated high school with flying colours. A few more years into the future and you have returned home after many grueling years of classes, assignments and research papers - with a master's degree in astrophysics or biotechnology.
But do you know what the topic of discussion after your arrival will be? Not your achievements.
Relatives and neighbours will start a conversation with a heavy hand on your shoulder, and remind you of how much weight you have put on or lost, or how dark your complexion has gotten despite living abroad in a land filled with white people.
You may have gone through immense changes. But who cares? Not them.
Next, they will certainly ask you whether you are engaged to a white person or not.
Subsequently, they will start pretending that you are going to get a permanent citizenship within a few days and they will use you as a stairway to climb to the airplane that will take them to their dream destination – abroad.
But why? Why so? I sometimes wonder if they are human beings or a stingray!
Why would someone's complexion or physical traits carry more value for them other than their achievements in life?
It does not matter what book you are reading, where you are going or what you are thinking - they will only inquire about your relationship status.
"Why did you get divorced?", "Why don't you post your photos with your other half anymore?", "Who was the culprit behind that 'forbidden' divorce?", "What was the amount for monetary settlement?"
Their questions seem to not have an ending, or a speed-breaker.
When they get to know about the next chapter of your life that is keeping you happy, their astonishment will cross every limit.
"Oh, somehow you are married now?", "You have been married for SIX whole months and still have not conceived?!"
They will never fail to remind you that it is nothing less than a crime to not have conceived since, obviously, marriage takes place only to bring a child in this suffocating world and only that child can legitimize your holy matrimony in the society.
They will suggest you 'pir babas' and 'fakirs' located in places like Shonir Akhra, Bhuter Goli, or any other creepy cave-like area. And as soon as you drink the magician's blessed potion, you will have another human being in you who will be ready to come out of you after nine months.
Eventually, when you get closer to your balance sheet after cancelling all the expenses, you will still not be able to cheat your way out of your stingray aunty's clutches who will remind you that the 69th BSC exams are on their way.
And with questions like - "Tell me, child, where is NATO's headquarter located?", "What is the capital of Mozambique?", these aunties and uncles will not let you forget that you are a human being and not an encyclopedia.
You cannot take your leave from this planet without answering such questions.
Wake up, wake up. Please, wake up!