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Shakeel Ahmed & his Daughter Abir: Who gets the cream?

  • IWB Post
  •  September 1, 2014


Let’s continue our series of dialogue on women equality. We met perky Abir at her beautiful home, accompanied by her quite yet ‘always smiling’ daddy, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed. This time we wanted to discuss the marriage issues and know if equality (freedom) is given to the girl while finalizing her groom. Since, our dear Abir has reached an eligible age, we asked her father what is the role of a girl on marriage issues.


The series has an interesting take. As you know, we are asking each pair to twist open a Britannia Jim-Jam cream biscuit while the chat goes on. By doing so, we wanted to know who gets the creamy side! That is, which gender is privileged in their case? In this particular dialogue, let’s know if it’s the father or Abir who gets the cream!


Abir – Oh, do both of us have to twist open it from both sides? Wow, papa which side do you choose?


Meanwhile, Abir’s mother brought hot tea for all of us. Served in beautiful tea-set, the tea seemed one of the favorite drinks of the family. The father-daughter duo then separated the sides of Jim-Jam, and Abir gets the creamy side!

Abir – Yayy, Papa, I’ve won! Ha-ha.



Mr. Ahmed (smiles) – Yes, beta.



JWB – Abir, you are a journalist. You seem to have all the freedom in the world since you are in a daring profession.

Abir – My parents get the credit.

JWB – That’s wonderful. So Mr. Shakeel, tell us are you searching for a groom for Abir?


Mr. Ahmed – Yes. She is 23. We have started looking for a match – and it’s not an easy task. It is going to take a couple of years anyway. For now, she has to make it big in her career.


Everyone paused and enjoyed their first sip of the ginger tea.

JWB – Abir, do you trust your father’s choice?


Abir – Definitely.

JWB – So will you obey what he will decide for you and shift the cream to his side?


Abir – I will. Parents know what is best for their child.

JWB – And will you speak up if you don’t like his choice?


Abir – Why not?

JWB – Mr. Ahmed, will you take her consent?

Mr. Ahmed – That’s the prime thing. She is to get married; her choice is the priority for me. For us.

JWB – How important is it for you?


Mr. Ahmed – It is her life. I don’t want my child to marry someone in pressure and suffer her whole life. That way, I will fail as a parent. So if she says no to any boy, we are definitely going to consider it. Does that show the cream is on my daughter’s side?

JWB – Do you have any rules for her? Or shall we say any dating rules?


Mr. Ahmed – No rules. It is the discipline that makes a man and I know, Abir lives the values we have given to her and I trust her. You know, she is the only person in our whole family who follows Islam minus the delusions & disbeliefs. She understands the ideals well.

JWB – Yes, we want to compliment how beautiful she looks in Hijab.


Abir (smiles) – Thank you.

JWB – Abir, what expectation do you have?


Abir – Foremost, my groom must be respectful towards me and my family. Everything is after that. Also, if he knows his religion well, that will be icing on the cake!

JWB – Do girls expect too much from their marriage? Talk about Abir.

Mr. Ahmed (smiles) – Girls tend to. Abir do you?


The father and daughter exchanged a glance and giggled. By this time, we understood this family is open-minded and the way they have nurtured their 3 daughters is commendable.

JWB – Abir are you looking forward to get married?


Abir (laughs) – NO. Not before 26. My parents too say ideal age is 25-26, I am glad.

As we spent these 45 minutes with this family, we came to know about the word ‘Iqra’ – the 1st word of Quran that means ‘Padho’ (study). Abir’s mother said: “We believe that woman’s education plays a crucial role in shaping her life. Decisions related to career, marriage, children, etc depends on what kind of education she has got. If we have set our daughters free in making decisions, it is just because of the kind of education and values she has got. This is what my parents and in-laws have also taught to me.”


Yes, the cream is on daughters’ side. And what about your family?

The interview has been taken by Lavanya Bahuguna, the Blogger.

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