The morning show host, Nida Yasir was invited by the First Lady Samina Alvi and her husband, President Arif Alvi, at their residence for an exclusive interview where they shared the reason behind their cute yet strong bond. The couple not only shared hilarious stories but also gave an insight into the spark and connection necessary for a marriage approaching 50 years.
A dentist by profession, President Alvi, first stepped into the political arena during his academic years in Lahore. With young energy of a dedicated budding politician, he led student unions and even got shot during protests. Writings on his career are abundantly available but the support he always had was his wife.
“She provided valuable support to me in my political life, even though she was not cut out for it. Since the party [PTI] was established in 1996, and in fact even before that, we’d have 20 people coming over for a meeting on very short notice, sometimes 50. Even with such urgency, she always hosted the visitors well.”He explained.
“I’d be informed hours before that Imran Khan was coming with a bunch of other people, and I would just tell her, never having to worry about her getting annoyed,” the president said.
“I love meeting people. Even on days I’m tired and not feeling it, I enjoy being among people and he’s just the opposite.”The extroverted first lady added.
With president’s little to no knowledge about decorating the house, the first lady takes care of it all.
“I trust her completely with that, I will never tell her that something is kept in the wrong place, or should be somewhere else,” he said. Confessing that there have been times he points out a new decoration piece only to learn it’s been there for months or even years.
The president praised her wife’s tolerance of his jokes often while teaming up with his kids. Since the first lady is quite the opposite which reminds us of every older desi couple.
The couple also shared how they tied the knot. The two were distant cousins, we learned, and hence they had frequently met even before marriage.
“I’ve never had any wishes for how she should dress. She wears what she likes, I don’t have much to contribute there. But she, however, often tells me to change a certain piece of my clothing, and then I have to remind her, ‘Have I ever asked you to change something you’re wearing?’ I have never.”The president also said.
His wife confessed this is where most the couple’s differences occur, though saying it’s not really a big deal. “Its because I dress well,” she said confidently.
The First Lady, who is by all means a socialite, said people often ask her to invite her less social husband to their events, confessing it’s not easy. “It’s become difficult to manage that now, to his benefit.”
The first lady noticed that her husband is big on fitness and exercise and asks her to do exercise and diet where she lacks consistency.
“To be fair, I was never much into exercise,” said the president, “but I’ve always been into sports. I played squash till 2005, when my political career got in the way.”
“I work out five days a week, and on the other two, I take long walks of 12 to13 kilometers. Yes, I have to do it in hiding, but that’s easier these days, and I sometimes even go to the trails for a hike.”Of his own habits, he said.
“All my elders have always told me I was a mischievous child,” he said, “I have nothing but fond memories from school.” The president shared a story from his childhood when he came home to tell his mother the school was off the next day, trying to be intelligent and making up a story, but he confessed in hindsight his lie was too obvious. His mom also didn’t buy it, and he had to go to school the next day.
The couple’s interview showed great energy and was truly heart-warming.