I live a privileged life—there’s no doubt about it. My father is a general in the Pakistan Army, which is a class in itself. And in times of peace, it’s a decadent lifestyle. Except, of course, that your father is a military man, which means deadlines are sacrosanct, and things are done according to a plan. Dad was tough; not so much on me as on my brother, though we could always turn to my mother, who showered us with all the affection we could handle, and was soft where my father was stern.
She was tough, nevertheless. I guess you have to be to live with a soldier. When I wanted to study in Iran, she was the one who stood up to Dad. She fought for me, and for my independence, so maybe it isn’t really my independence?
I don’t know. All I know is that it was tougher than I had imagined. I knew Farsi (my mother taught me—she is half Iranian), but living alone was a revelation. I had never washed my own clothes before, let alone my bathroom. But I’ve adjusted. It irks me now, to have someone pick after me, even though it’s a godsend after a long shift at the hospital.
See, I’m a doctor. I am doing my residency in Tehran, and now that I am self-sufficient, I love it. Despite its reputation, Tehran is a modern city, a cosmopolitan city, and I can walk around on my own without fear. I’ve made friends here, but I am normally a solitary person, and don’t actually have a best friend.
People who have known me for a while call me analytical and distant, but my closest friends know that’s not true. Those who don’t know me call me a bitch and it really doesn’t bother me. Sometimes you have to be a bitch to get what you want. I just crave new things—adventures and drama that just don’t seem to be available to a single Pakistani girl in Iran…