Guardian Articles 2010
Shazia Mirza's Weekend Column
16 January 2010
I do admire my mother for her audacious hope.
Her friends and random women go out of their way to help her find someone for her children to marry.
They pass on the names of eligible men. She has a list of every single Asian man in Britain. We call it the Islamabad Yellow Pages.
She called yesterday and said, "A man will call you at 6pm. He's 36"
"Where did you get his number?"
"From a woman I met on the steps of the mosque"
I wasn't perturbed; I am used to phone calls from strange men. Some are great to talk to, some talk as if they're through to the Samaritans and others are good comic material.
He called at 7.30pm. "Hi, my mum gave me your number. What's your name?"
"I have a list of questions for you - is that OK?"
"Yes," I said. "Is it multiple choice?"
There was a silence. I made a note: Forget it. No sense of humour.
"He continued. "What do you do?"I wanted to say, "Sexually?" but instead I said, "Teacher."
"Where do you live? Any hobbies?"
Who has hobbies? I don't have time. I said, "Sleeping and eating."
"What are you looking for in a husband?"
"My mother will deal with that."He said, "That's all. Do you have any questions?"
"No."He said, "Right. I'll get my mother to call your mother."
It was like Pacino meets Bhaji On The Beach. My conclusion - it's a no.