Marriage – The final destination in Chughtai’s work “Chauthi ka Joda” is antithetical to Colleen Hoover’s “It Ends With Us”.

Women’s issues are quite homogenous culturally, although they can differ in custom, society, ritual, and many more. One thing, however, will never change: marriage. In western society, young girls were taught the ‘art of coquette”—flirtatious action (Lady Susan and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen)—not by strangers but by their own mothers. In Eastern society, young girls were confined to house chores because it was believed that feeding and cleaning after your husband was a woman’s ultimate duty. Only if Amma bi in (Chauthi ka Joda by Ismat Chughtai) thought Kubra more worthy and invested in her education would her story have been different.But, Amma Bi instead raised her daughters around the desire of marriage, she was so engulfed in it that she started to prepare for Kubra’s dowry from the beginning, stitching the “joda” and selling her gold for the preparation. Upon hearing of Rahat’s arrival, Amma Bi began to think that he was not coming for his duty but to marry Kubra. The preparations began, Amma Bi gave strict instructions that there should be no lack of hospitality towards Rahat, lavishing him with food that they could not afford.

Hameeda was asked to keep an eye on Rahat and inform Kubra of any shortcomings that he mentioned. Eventually, he started molesting her. Helpless Hameeda took all the molestation, she could not share her pain because Kubra had already envisioned a life with Rahat. Once she mentioned Rahat’s behavior, her own mother neglected it. Instead, she said, “When the time comes, you can make up for all this—Rahat will not be able to forget your revenge!1“. Even Bundu’s mother justified his behavior, stating, “My word, girl, you are good for nothing!” “When we were young, we made life miserable for our brothers-in-law.’’2 However, if they were not so nearsighted, they would know that this “playful act” was actually harassment. All their efforts still went in vain, Rahat left without even mentioning an interest in marriage with Kubra or even being questioned or punished for molesting Hameeda. Only if Kubra had acknowledged her existence and, instead of being extremely hospitable, taken a stand for herself or Hameeda, her end might have been different. She would not have ended up being wrapped in a white shroud.

“A woman at a certain age who is unmarried, our society teaches her to see it as a deep personal failure. “And a man who, after a certain age, isn’t married, we just think he hasn’t come around to making his pick.”3

This quote explicitly describes what Kubra and Amma Bi were thinking: that she is a great failure and no one has yet stopped at her sight to pick her up. Such taunts of society and the endless persuasion of Amma Bi made Kubra think that Rahat was her final destination and that he would help them out of poverty. Society never lets a woman live peacefully without questioning her about marriage. Whereas a man is never questioned about his marriage, similarly, Rahat was never directly asked by Amma Bi to take Kubra in marriage. She was just trying to create the scenario in front of him but did not dare say it directly. In the end, she was left with neither a daughter nor a son-in-law.

All of the women’s suffering, according to Marry Wollstonecraft, stems from a lack of knowledge’’4.

If she is educated enough, she can stand up for herself rather than follow the dictates of a chauvinist man’s ego. She was first obeying her father and brother, and after marriage, the burden never decreased; rather, it increased to the point where she lost herself because the one person whom society claims to be the most considerate is the ‘husband’, and it is him who burdens her with the laws of marriage. She completely submerges herself in her husband’s possession, never thinks outside of it and shapes her world around him. She overlooks a lot of her husband’s family’s outbursts. She never speaks out or takes a stand for herself because if she does, they will throw her out, and where would she go? to her parents? No, because they saw her as a burden, and by marrying her, the burden was released, thus, they are unlikely to retain her again.

Women’s roles in society have evolved over time. Education enhanced their position in the social structure. A woman can no longer depend on another sex for her livelihood. For Lily in ‘It Ends With Us’ getting married was a choice, not an option. She was educated enough and did not need support to meet her basic needs, she knew her stance and worth. She never cared what society would say, whereas Kubra in Chauthi Ka Joda made society an integral part of her life. It hindered her vision and lowered her self-esteem. Lily never imagined Ryle as the person who would lift her out of poverty, whereas Kubra believes Rahat is the only man who can lift them all out of their misery and poverty. Lily did not have to be extremely hospitable or polite to make Ryle fall for her; she stayed neutral with him and eventually fell in love with him after a series of ‘naked truths’ (a verbal game she played with Ryle where they had to be completely honest about the issue).

Unlike Kubra, Lily did not make any extra effort to impress Ryle. She did not feel the need to dress up because love grows between souls, not between appearances. Kubra, on the other hand, did all the things to make Rahat fall for her. She was suffering from a high fever, yet she cooked “rotis” for him. She even gave him a hand-knit sweater, though she needed it more. She slept on an empty stomach just to make his stomach full. She wore her bridal dress, brought malida for him, and washed his dirty clothes, providing all the facilities that a man needs. Although they were not married, she still did everything that an obedient wife is supposed to do. “Your faith must be submitted completely to your husband; only his lapses cause darkness in your house, and you should feel blessed that it was just a threat, not a slap, and if it is a slap, you should be thankful it is not a shoe, because rebellion is not what good women do,” they preached to their daughter.whereas Lily, having had a traumatic childhood, knew her limits. Having seen her mother become the victim of domestic abuse, the rebellion in her differentiated between the struggles she should bear in a marriage and the struggles she should not. Luckily, she also had friends that gave just advice, Alyssa, Ryle’s own sister, advised her when she was abused by him, “As his sister, I would ask you to forgive him, but as a best friend, if you take him back, I will never talk to you6“. Eventually, Lily puts herself and her daughter first. She divorces Ryle for his abusive behaviour despite their love. She ends the chain of abuse that started with her mother so that her daughter does not learn to live with it. She sets an example of how, despite the turmoil of love and abuse, women should put themselves first.



  1. Chughtai Ismat. Chughtai Collection: Trans. By Tahira Naqvi, Women Unlimited, 2004.
  2. Chughtai Ismat. Chughtai Collection: Trans. By Tahira Naqvi, Women Unlimited, 2004.
  3. Ngozi Adichie Chimamanda. We Should All Be Feminists: Fourth Estate, 2014.
  4. Wollstonecraft Mary. A Vindication of The Rights of Women: UK, 1792.
  5. Song: Dua-e-Reem
  6. Hoover Colleen. It Ends With Us: Atria Books, 2016


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