Dowry at desi weddings

Ali Xeeshan’s “Numaish”: A Pledge Against Dowry And It’s Just Amazing

by Ayesha Sohail

No doubt our desi weddings are a blend of love, glamor, food, emotions, drama, décor, attires, and celebrations, but do you know what we can’t see at desi weddings? Probably this can give you a hint

Ali Xeeshan's dowry photoshoot
Source: Ali Xeeshan’s Instagram

Dowry a ‘Curse’

I think this one picture depicts our cursed societal tradition, “Dowry,” which we have created ourselves. Over the years, this has taken a form of a vicious cycle. Some willingly want to remain trapped in this while others who want to fly off, this vicious cycle don’t allow them to even think of leaving because of the consequences.

To highlight this issue, and to put an end to this dowry culture, Ali Xeeshan, one of the leading names in the fashion industry, showcased his 2021 bridal collection entitled “Numaish, a pledge against the old-age tradition of Dowry” at Pantene Hum Bridal Couture Week happening in Lahore.

Ali Xeeshan's  recent dowry photoshoot
Source: Ali Xeeshan’s Instagram

His collection used the ramp not only to showcase his beautiful collection but for awareness also. However, the females carried the trollies and carts loaded with tons of dowry things that have changed the happy moment into a tense one. It also showed how it has caused too much destruction to our socio-economic culture.

As we know, dowry is a social evil that has affected our society. Very often it is accompanied by transfers in the form of payments and gifts, but now, it has started to consume the lives of the people. The fear of not fulfilling the demands has increased the suicide and depression cases. While, not carrying it with you are causing cases of domestic abuse, acid attacks, and marital rapes. Thus, this blunt video by alixeeshantheater studio described it beautifully.

Another issue is, bride’s parents fretting over saving money for the dowry rather than saving for their daughter’s education. It is also because they are a part of this vicious cycle. But there are exceptions, also. If her in-laws are good enough saying, “Hmen Kuch nahi chahye, Allah ka dia sb Kuch hai.” So, don’t be caught in your fears and ego, and load your daughter with everything that is not even usable in daily life.

desi weddings dowry
Source: Ali Xeeshan’s Instagram

Ali Xeeshan did not include any celebrity as his show stopper. He preferred to bring his beautiful wife, Myrah Xeeshan, dressed in traditional yellow attire. They walked the ramp together at Pantene Hum Bridal Couture Week 2021.  Although it seems the part of the awareness campaign as his wife was mommy-to-be. While some say that they announced the good news, but altogether it was a cute idea. 

Ali xeeshan family
Source: Ali Xeeshan’s Instagram

Despite the dowry practice being deemed illegal in Pakistan in 2020 as per the tenets of Islamic Sunna. Moreover, there were many camapaigns against dowry, the biggest one was, “Jahaiz Khori Band Kro.” Sadly, it is still instilled in the minds of the people. I am not blaming any particular party. I would say the responsibility lies on everyone, the ‘groom,’ the ‘bride,’ the ‘in-law’s and ‘we’ as a society. So, end this vicious cycle because Thori si soch Badal leny say Kuch nahi jata!

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