A Pair of Jeans by Qaisra Shahraz Summary

“A Pair of Jeans” is a short story written by Qaisra Shahraz. The story revolves around Miriam; a Pakistani- British girl who’s life drastically changes because of a mere piece of clothing. The story starts with Miriam coming out of the bus after hill walking with her friends in the North West of England. As the occasion demanded she wore a pair of jeans with a short vest and jacket. Miriam after a hectic trip reaches her house and gets the shock of her life when she is coldly welcomed by her future in-laws. Her in-laws after witnessing Miriam in Western clothing are also surprised as they never saw her before in such clothing. They were disgusted at the sight of her future daughter in law whom they thought was a perfect eastern daughter in law. Miriam tried to recover from this shock and greeted them but was only replied with a mumbled greeting “Wa Alaikum Assalam” by her future mother in law. All three of them are welcomed by Fatima, Miriam’s mother who never thought to see Miriam in such clothing right before her future in-laws. 

Fatima generally would never question her daughter if she tells her about where she was going and with whom she was going. But now Fatima was viewing things from a different angle. She was viewing it through the lens of Miriam’s future parents in law who never saw Miriam in a western dress before. Fatima signals her daughter and she rushes to her room to change the dress which created havoc. After changing her clothes to what her in-laws preferred i.e. a Shalwar Kameez, she comes back downstairs. Fatima tried to entertain her guests who were appearing to be quite displeased and failed to do so. They soon after the arrival of Miriam insisted to go back saying that they had guests. They left the duo of mother and daughter bothered without eating anything. 

They had come on the account of setting the date of marriage between Miriam and Farook. Ayub and Begum after leaving Miriam’s house soon reach their villa where they start discussing Miriam’s dressing and question her modesty. After a long discussion, they decide to break the engagement off. Fatima is informed of this decision by a phone call from Begum. Begum decides not to tell about the real reason why they broke off the engagement and instead excuses herself by saying that they wanted to marry Farook with his cousin (the daughter of Begum’s sister). Miriam after hearing this news is baffled. She quickly goes into her room and, takes out the pair of jeans, and starts to ruin it in the same way it had ruined her life. 

Interesting Thing!
Did you ever read about the Greek gods, their powers, and myths? Ezra Pound wrote a poem, A Girl, where he vividly described the myth of Apollo and Daphne. Let's start reading! 
Contributed by,  Syeda Areeba Fatima