For those who don’t know, I am getting engaged. To the love of my life. I am to get my ring on Thursday, 5th January 2012.

Anyway, this post is to share my experience of arranging for a dress to wear on my engagement. If you must know, our engagement was decided 2 weeks ago. So we did not have ample time. Also, with my sister’s wedding at the same time, my engagement was naturally over-shadowed. Not that I am complaining. It is her big day and she deserves all the attention possible.

Anyway. So, same day last week, I went to Gulf Shopping Center to order a dress for myself.

Why I chose Gulf? I had already ordered two dresses from the same place for my sister’s wedding. It was convenient, and I liked the work. 
After going around the market, I liked quite a few pieces but most of them needed at least 2 weeks. I was extremely short on time. Finally, we found something that I liked and could be delivered within a week. We got the raw cloth, placed an ordered (on Tuesday) to be collected around 3 PM on Saturday. 
Satisfied, we went home.

Days passed by. A million errands were taken care of. Work dominated by days and brains. And then, finally, Saturday arrived. All excited, I went to Gulf to pick up my dress with Fattu (one of my dearest friends, aka Fatma Khalil). We inquired about my dress and were met with a blow-it hasn’t arrived yet. The shop keeper explained that due to no CNG, public buses weren’t going around the city and the guy who did the work could not travel from North Karachi to do-talwar otherwise. I got furious, screamed uselessly and left with the promise to return at 6 to collect the dress. Okay, I am exaggerating a bit. I did not scream. I understood it was not his fault. He promised that the guy will arrive by 5 and I can collect the dress by 6.

Again, I spent about 4 hours going around the city, getting jewelry and shoes, and returned at 7. There was no one at the shop. I inquired from the neighboring shop and was told that the guy is off for Namaz. And will return in 30. By that time, I was on my own, yes ALONE, at Gulf only for that dress. It was New Year’s Eve. Any time, traffic around the city could come to a standstill and I could get stuck for hours. Frustration got to me and I was on the verge of tears. To make things worse, I had weird Pathan men ogling at me. I felt so terribly alone. I got myself together, sat down and waited.

10 minutes later, I called the guy up on his cell phone. He answered on the 4th ring and told me what I just could not hear-the dress was not in yet! It took all I had to control myself and not sit and start crying. I told the guy, very sternly, that I needed the dress. It was to be delivered today and I had come all the way just to collect it. He said he will come in a bit and we will talk. As if I were at some 5-star hotel’s conference room, waiting. I hung up and called Nouman (my to-be fiancé). He could sense the level of frustration and despair in my voice, tried his best to calm me down and asked me to forward him the guy’s number. We hung up. And I sent him the number.

Finally, the guy came. He was apologetic. I was angry. He called his embroidery guy to ask what could be done. In the meanwhile, Nouman called. He told me he got no number and if he could talk to the guy. Two men got their heads together to placate the angry damsel in distress. They decided that the embroidery guy will come half way through a rickshaw and Nouman will collect the dress from him. Too upset to talk further, I got the card with embroidery guy’s name and number, and left.

5 days before the engagement, I had nothing to wear. All hell broke lose…

(To be continued…)