Having just poured myself another cup of black coffee (I drink about 20 or more a day) I started to browse through the Asian Image problem page before thinking about doing something different with the day. Like ask the future Mrs Green Arrow to come for a few beers and watch the rain through the windows of the Anchor Bar and maybe play some music from the 60's on their juke box.
But I put that out of my mind when I found this letter from a young girl asking for advice from their problem page editor. I have highlighted some of her comments you may find interesting and also included some links.
About two years ago just before I turned 16, my dad took me to Pakistan to get married. I didn't even get to do my GCSE exams, I was still at school.
Before we went to Pakistan my dad did not have anyone in mind because there wasn't anyone older than me from our relatives so we had to do it outside the family.
My dad just took me to Pakistan hoping that he would find someone whilst we were there.
It's not as though I had done anything wrong e.g had a boyfriend or anything he just thought that a father should get his children married at an early age.
What really upset me was that he went looking around asking people he didn't even know in different towns for a rishta for me.
I wouldn't feel this upset if I was a guy or if I had lots of sisters and I knew my dad wouldn't be able to cope with all of us, but I'm the only daughter and he's got 3 sons.
So I don't know what the rush was.
About a week later he went to a college in a different town from ours and found a guy he thought was ok, (the guy is from a poor family) he asked him a few questions and told him to take him to his house.
Which is about 1 half hours away. He spoke to his parents and told them to come to our house the next day asking for my hand in marriage.
Then on the third day those people rang my house asking for my rishta and my dad told them that we accepted and that the wedding would take place in a week's time.
I had to go along with everything because I knew I had no choice. I felt so depressed and alone. I just used to hope and pray that the wedding didn't take place.
If the rishta hadn't been done the way it had I would'nt have felt this bad.
But when ever I remember how it happened it makes me cringe. The way his family used to look at me I could tell they were thinking has she done something wrong that's why her fathers giving her away like this, to people he doesn't even know and not even ever heard of.
Most of all I think about what the guy must be thinking, I didn't talk to him whilst I was there so I don't know what he's like.
I don't think he'll value me much because if you go somewhere and you ask for something you value it more than if someone throws something at you and says "here have this."
So I'm always thinking that when he comes here and if we have an argument or something he can say use it against me and say "look at you the way your father gave you away, he didn't have much respect for you so why should I."
I won't feel comfortable around him so what kind of life is that going to be.
This was a big life decision that my dad made for me and I think a person should think about it carefully not treat it like a game Im the one who has to live with the guy for the rest of my life not him.
If we had to go back to Pakistan and live there I would have to be in a different town separated from my family, where I will know no one. I know it is not that far only an hour and a half, but my parents won't know what's going on if I needed help or something.
I would understand them doing this if I was divorced or if I was getting old e.g in my thirties or something or if they had lots of daughters, but Im the only daughter and I was only 16 at the time.
It's not as though I have ever done anything wrong to bring shame on our family or upset them in any way. All my life I have done everything the have told me to and respected them.
I have tried to be the way every Asian parent wants their daughter to be and this is what they go and do to me.
I am lucky that I didn't get rukhsat (given away) we just did the nikah. So I could still change my mind if I wanted to.
I have tried talking to my dad but he said that he thinks that he has made the right decision and the guy is really good (even though he's only seen him about 3 times) of course the guys going to act good in front of my dad - he's getting a free visa entry to the UK, people be willing to give thousands to come here.
My dad said even if I wanted to change my mind it's too late and that I should have spoken to him about it before the nikah took place.
I'm 100% sure that if I had spoken to him then he wouldnt have listened to me.
If I had said it there it would have made a lot of problems so I didn't want to cause any trouble. He thinks that he knows better than everyone else and that he should always have the last word, so theirs no point talking to him.
I feel really confused and don't know what I should do. I cannot leave my parents, I could never do that, even if I wanted to I wouldn't be able to because I do not have much qualifications to get a job so I have to rely on them. And I don't want to bring shame on the family.
I have only spoken to one friend who said that go ahead with it but if something happens you can always divorce him. But I don't believe that because we all know that once a girl has been divorced people talk and it's harder for her to get married again.
I have heard a lot of stories about guys who from abroad and get depressed because when they are in Pakistan they think its going to be so easy to earn money in the UK, but when they get here they realise how hard it really is, especially if you haven't got any qualifications or anything.
They have to work so hard in factories day and night. Also he hasn't got any family or friends living here so he's going to feel worse. It's going to be like a different world for him because in Pakistan he lives in a really poor village and people over there are different compared to here. We both have been brought up differently.
If I say I don't want him to come I know everyone's going to start thinking that I have got someone else on mind that's why I don't want him to come.
His family will start thinking my dad was in a rush to get rid of me because I had another guy or something. Even though that is not true. I have been doing as I have been told for the past 18 yrs, now I would like to and think for myself and do what I want to do.
Get a good education and a good job so I can stand on my own two feet so i don't have to depend on anyone else. Then after that I want to start thinking about marriage.
I feel very confused and have no idea what to do.
A few weeks ago my parents applied for his visa but I don't want him to come.
Massi says, This is indeed a major decision in your life and not to be taken lightly. It seems your father has forgotten about your feelings and is more concerned with his own.
He has forgotten that he has a wonderful daughter and is treating you like some sort of possession.
Your unselfish persona and willingness to be a good daughter has been taken advantage of.
Regardless of what you might feel other people are thinking in this situation you need to think about yourself. This is not about shame and honour anymore it is about how you feel and what you want.
If you don't want this man to come over then it is your decision to tell the authorities that you don't want this happen.
You may not think of this is as a forced marriage as such but you are being emotionally blackmailed and being left with no other decision than what your father wants. That can be just as serious in my books.
At times like this you may well be feel confused and scared but there are people who can help.
If you want to speak to someone who may be able to assist you then you can call the Muslim Women's Helpline on 020 8904 8193 or the Forced Marriage Unit Helpline: 020 7008 0151.
Interesting glimpse into the mind or lack of mind of a young female Dalek and her father and indirectly the girls mother. East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet. Go waste ten minutes reading some of the other problems our guests are having and Massis advice. Leave some advice of your own if you so wish. There is a comment section.
Only the British National Party will outlaw these arranged marriages and investigate and deport all people who have taken part in these barbaric, forced, false ceremonies.