This Pakistan Day, we decided to talk about you. Not activists, not politicians, not visionaries, not motivational speakers, not the change-makers. But you, the common man. Accomplishing the extraordinary by being perfectly ordinary, striving each day to become better, more productive versions of yourself. It is you who reflect the spirit of being Pakistani in its truest essence. Also, doesn’t hurt that you’re also activists, visionaries, motivational speakers and change-makers for those around you.
This one’s for you, Pakistan:
“My father is a driver and my mom is a public school teacher so I am from a very humble background. My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. I wish to give the message to the lower middle class students: don’t think money is the way to success. It’s not. Your dreams are valid, no matter what your background is. You can’t help the conditions you are born in but you are responsible for the life you lead after that. Make it worthwhile.”
“My name is Hadiya. Working as a freelance writer with a few NGOs and a final year med school student, I have had less time to worry about things like marriage but as I come to an age where the notion of matrimony is undeniable in this society, many harsh realities have unveiled upon me. There is a dire need to change this specific mindset,that promotes the marrying away if girls just for the sake of avoiding any social taboo.”
“I’ve noticed that poor/economically challenged people have relatively bigger hearts. Two men sharing a plate of ‘daal’ while sitting on the floor will offer you their share of food, but the rich will only offer you their leftovers, once they’re done with their food.
Its not about whether you share your food or not. It’s about how you treat others.”
“My dad is my best friend. We are inseparable. Even on Sundays, we have this tradition where we go for ‘chaat’ and ‘paani puri’. Every Sunday- without fail. Our bond is special because we connect over sports. He taught me how to play everything; basketball, football, baseball. He broke his collar bone once while coaching me and my friends. Now I coach and play football and it is all because of him.”
“I’m retired from Pakistan army. I worked for supply chain as a driver.Now i run a Suzuki to supply food stuff from one market to another. Life is so tough & i barely pass my time doing this work.sometime i stay for the whole day in search of work but all it depend on fortune.”
“Being a Pakhtoon i have observed many parents squandering the talent of their children, specially girls in Pakhtoon families. And to remove their insecurities I wanted to set an example. That’s why, my friend and I went to Khunjerab all the way from Islamabad on cycles and proved that Pakistan is our safe homeland.”
“My job is really a very difficult one. In summers, the nights are too hot to bear. In winters, they are freezing cold. Then there are the sleepless nights. I have to sleep all day to stay awake at night and that means my day goes to waste so can’t really do any other house chores. I have to do it, though. I have to do this job so that my children can stay home in the warmth.”
“From the moment I could understand things as a child, I sensed people reacting differently to me. I have a disease called achondroplastic, also known as dwarfism. But my parents always said that I’m not different. They made sure that my brother and I participated in whatever activities we wanted. My family cared for me and at the same time they never shielded me from the world. That is how I was raised.”
“Everyone thinks I am a drug addict, here I wash cars all day if someone lets me and my physique is like this because I recently recovered from Tuberculosis.”
“To me, the most important thing about being a woman is supporting your children and encouraging them to gain an education. The second important thing is that along with keeping your home well and according to your tradition and values, you need to keep up with the changing times. The world is moving ahead so fast and everyone is placing so much importance on education you can’t remain stuck with outdated ideas such as not educating girls.”
“I am visually impaired but I didn’t give up on hard work and was determined to make a name for myself. I was able to do well in school due to this resolve and received the High Achiever’s Award. I then graduated with a gold medal. It was a proud moment. It is my belief that if you have faith in yourself, nothing can hold you back.”
“Joined the Pakistan Army’s medical corps as a captain after doing MBBS from the Khyber Medical College Peshawar in 1977. During her stint, she served at the CMH Rawalpindi, MH Rawalpindi, CMH Kharian and elsewhere in the country in different positions.”
“I love her so much. For the first four years, she didn’t even know that I’m in love with her. But then she got engaged to someone else. When I heard the news, I was unable to resist telling her that I loved her. She also started crying while listening to me. I told her that I don’t need anything else in my life – just her.”
“I’m 16 and a photographer by profession. I am proud of what I do and have worked with very famous brands. My work has never affected my studies because I am clear about my direction and vision. I know what I want from life and how to achieve it. Nothing can stop me from reaching the stars.”
“Beti doctor baney gi aur humara naam roshan karegi (Our daughter will be a doctor and make us proud.) My parents always said this to everyone but they told me that if you don’t want to be a doctor then it’s okay. I was always afraid to tell them the truth because I didn’t want to disappoint them. Today, I’m studying Psychology and am very happy with my subjects and I am doing very great in them. My parents are also very proud of my progress. I consider myself very lucky. I will make them very proud one day.”
“I was imprisoned in the 1971 war; it was one of the hardest times of my life. Relentless torture and being locked up in a dark room for six months can cause psychological damage to even the strongest person. I managed to turn the worst time of my life into something that benefited me and taught me. So trust me when I say that everything that happens to you has a purpose.”
“I am 18 years old and am a graffiti artist. I am proud to say that I didn’t take any art classes to learn what I do, I let my love for art take me where it wants to. When I was 8, I started drawing pencil sketches of faces, but my parents guided me that drawing faces is a sin, so to fulfill my penchant for art, I started making tribal tattoos on paper. I am the first Pakistani female graffiti artist – women in our country are not usually encouraged to do this kind of art but my parents fully support me and my father accompanies me to every project.”
“What is the craziest thing you have done in your life?
– “I met a stranger at a wedding and we had a quick chat, after that we spent next two days together. We met again and it was because of this series of meetings we became best friends. I named her ‘Polar Bear’.”
Have you got an extraordinary story to share? Let us know.
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Cover image via: Humans of Pakistan / Facebook