Bushra Ansari talks about marriage, address societal judgment

SuchTV  |  Apr 16, 2024

"Today, I will make you meet someone about whom you have many questions," said Bushra enticingly, glancing off-camera and gesturing to the individual in question to reveal himself. "Come, Iqbal Hussain Sahab," she said with a smile, as he joined her for the video.

Explaining how many people close to her kept asking questions about her partner, Bushra shared that she felt the time was right to address queries that had stayed with her loved ones and followers. Both Bushra and Iqbal seemed keen to talk about the issue of marrying a woman slightly older than the man in the equation. Despite the age difference, Bushra credited Iqbal as being more mature. "You have a sense of patience," she remarked.

"The matter is that this topic is discussed in a strange manner in our region," Iqbal shared. He traced back to how, whilst shooting for Seeta Bagri, he suggested to Bushra that they both live alone and should tie the knot. Bushra seemed to harbour the same hesitation that is seen in society at large, highlighting elements like societal and familial reactions as possible hurdles. Iqbal expressed his gratitude to Bushra's friends and family, who pushed her to make the decision in which he otherwise would have been solitary. "We would not be together in this frame otherwise," he said with a laugh. Bushra added, "The first year-and-a-half, I had to convince myself."

Explaining how she had been living alone for quite some time, without expressing any obstacles she was facing, Bushra revealed how Iqbal was her "senior" in terms of divorce, given that her divorce took place after his. The couple also shared how, once discussions spread to their families, many outsiders caught a whiff of the same, spreading baseless rumours about marriage and children before anything had even materialised.

"There was the issue of an older woman marrying a younger man," began Bushra. "From my own point of view, I had no plan or evident reason to get married. Obviously, when one spends many years in a marriage and exits it, one is not prepared for another trial. I had no special - not even special, I had no acceptance that I would get married one day, nor did I have anyone in my life." She joked about how no one had approached her either, even though she was the one who had kept mum about her divorce.

Asserting that she had already wrapped up her familial responsibilities, given that her children were also married, Bushra claimed, "I was happy with my life." She added, "I have great friends, I have a lot of work, I've always been busy. I was never economically dependant on anyone - not in my previous marriage, nor outside of it." Understanding the many reasons why women do choose to get married, given their circumstances, Bushra reiterated that she did not have any specific reason as to why she would settle down once again.

"We want you to take this as an example," said Bushra, speaking for Iqbal as well. "And it's not necessary that, by force, you marry off someone who is 50 or 60 years old. Should the option arise, [involve the family.] I had to think for myself first. I spent a year and a half convincing myself." Talking about how the duo came together, she said, "We became friends first. Then, I convinced myself. It's quite difficult. Then, I told my mother and friends. They met him and fell in love with him."

Bushra also shed light on Behroze Sabzwari's intervention, calling him "humare sab se barey abbu." He would scold Bushra for not making a decision and Bushra admitted that she was afraid. Grappling with the persistent fear of what people would say, Bushra eventually started telling her friends about her and Iqbal. Her friends adored him and, consequently, kept asking Bushra when she would tie the knot - a question that was always met with reluctance on Bushra's part. "You're explaining it quite easily, but you made me beg and request," said Iqbal. He also urged her to explain the toll it took on her to see rumours being printed in the news, even though the duo were just friends at the time and shared a "mental compatibility."

Praising his patience, maturity, and their shared interests, she doubled down on how well their personalities gelled. Bushra exclaimed, "Should such situations arise and you have options, especially women who are left alone for any reason - if their husband leaves them or they are widowed - and if they have an option, what should you say to the men in their house?"

Iqbal added, "Whoever has this option, there are no objections, they are free in their matters, and they live alone, like we had been and we had an option which Allah brought to fruition, then you should go for it. However, if there are disturbances in the family and an issue is created because of the relationship, then refrain."

"Families should not create issues," said Bushra. "There are many children who get their fathers remarried, which is great, but that same acceptance is not afforded to their mothers. A mother is also a human." Iqbal, too, stated that a woman should be seen as human. "If you feel the same way and are silent or judgmental, lives become hard, problems are birthed, families are disturbed, and a human being is unable to marry because of her womanhood," said Iqbal, once again explaining how this is a problem spread throughout the region.

Bushra also revealed that she had, at one point, suggested another friend to Iqbal for marriage, illustrating just how unaware she was of his feelings and how unprepared she was for marriage. "Another thing is that when a man marries a younger woman, no matter how young she is, society appreciates the move," said Iqbal poignantly. "Some don't anymore. But if a woman is slightly older, why is she criticised for the same?" Bushra quipped, "People also dictate the appropriate time for a woman's marriage." Addressing questions that asked what was the need to remarry, Bushra asserted, "There was no need. There was a mental requirement."

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