Determined to Succeed?

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Lately, I’ve been hearing complaints from people settled in Pakistan that today’s generation of Pakistanis have selfishly settled abroad and should now start making their way back “home” to help the country in this time of need. Taimoor Farouk, however, has a different point of view and in his recent submission on Dawn Blog discusses those Pakistanis who rush back home to their convenient lifestyles right after being educated instead of entering the “real” world of employment and struggling to earn a decent living abroad. I guess this is a sensitive topic to most of us as we all know people who represent both sides of the argument. Interesting read so you can check out the Link that I have pasted at the bottom.

Having attended University in Boston, Massachusetts myself, I have come across people from all walks of life. There were those who would come on scholarships from Pakistan and would be slogging away in three different jobs on a daily basis to support themselves during their student life. And then there were those, of course, who would be driving the latest sports cars and spraying bottles of champagne on each other in the middle of night clubs wasting away their parent’s money.

In today’s climate, I think it is easy to overlook the fact that there are those even in Pakistan’s middle and upper classes who are facing some tough times and hardships. Personally, I have recently come across two Pakistanis, from upper class families, whose commitment and dedication through some of the tougher times have impressed me and left their mark.

One guy was fortunate enough to have parents who were able to pay for his education while he was studying in the UK a few years ago. However he was left with the responsibility of covering his living expenses. In a city like London, this is a substantial cost and he really struggled to make it on his own. I sat down with him at dinner a few days ago and asked him about his experience. We discussed the obstacles that were thrown his way when he first arrived in the city. The guy told me about how he was living with a stranger and found it really difficult to find a part time job to support himself in this foreign country. He used to eat a loaf of bread every day with a ton of butter as it was extremely cheap and a good way to fill up his stomach. Although there would be good days & bad days, he went through an extremely low point when he got fired from an electrical shop that he was working for as a part time employee. His exact words were – “I’ll never forget that day as I was fired for no apparent reason but the fact that my boss wanted to hire his nephew. I couldn’t believe that I had come to this level where I wasn’t even able to retain a job as a bulb-changer and I just sat on the sidewalk for hours staring into space wondering where my life was heading.” At this point, I stepped in and reminded him of his subsequent journey to success as he became a bit emotional while remembering those tough days. We both share a love of good food and I couldn’t help but laugh when he said “I always used to dream of having a stocked refrigerator and finally, I have it all. I can’t look at that damn lonely loaf of bread ever again in my life”. Today, he has a successful job, owns his own home, has a gorgeous car, and is happily married. Some people may have to struggle more than others but this just proves that it’s possible to make it and one has to remember to be confident, determined, and have that hunger for success.

On the other hand, I have also met several Pakistanis based in London, Dubai, & Pakistan in the past few months who have managed to inspire & motivate me to a whole new level. Being typical Pakistanis from a certain class, we may take it for granted that while growing up, we will live with our parents, have good food on the table, blow our weekly pocket money, drive our parents’ cars, and have a personal tutor come to our drawing room if we aren’t able to focus enough in school. Unfortunately, these guys don’t have those luxuries that us fortunate few tend to use & abuse while acting like spoilt brats in our school years. However, instead of whining, complaining, and blaming the world for having what some of us take for granted while growing up, they take matters into their own hands and make it happen for themselves. Today, they are mature adults, who understand & appreciate the importance of education and hard work. They have positive attitudes & are good hearted individuals and on the right path to success.

It just goes to show that, despite popular opinion, the drive and determination to succeed can be found amongst all levels of our people regardless of their background.

Anyway, check out Taimoor’s piece below, which was published in the Dawn Blog.

http://dawntravelshow.com/dblog/2009/05/04/affluent-yet-unemployed/

The picture above has been taken from – http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3269/2354184427_37fbdc2e50.jpg

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16 comments

  1. Wow!Beautiful picture. Great post. I really mean it.Have a great weekend.

  2. Hi Gigi,
    I must admit, I’m very new to this whole blogging thing as it’s only been about 5 weeks. I don’t even know who reads it and what people enjoy and don’t enjoy about the Blog. I do it for myself.. and am slowly enjoying it! You’re very consistent in commenting and I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate it. I didnt even know you had a Blog. I didnt even know that I could click your name and it would bring me to your page! I just figured it out. I’m a bit of an idiot but am slowly learning more about this whole blogging thing.
    Anyway, have a great weekend. I tried to post this note on your Blog but it keeps on saying “error on page” so not sure why it’s doing that.
    Have a great weekened.
    OUH.

  3. I can relate to a lot in this post. Being someone who is living away from Pakistan and being from a working class family where mom and dad have literally thrown their life savings at you, life is tough everyday. Your friend’s story is greatly inspirational.

    and yes, gorgeous picture.

  4. Hi Omar,

    Thanks for visiting my blog.Do Keep visiting and posting comments.I will do the same. Have a great weekend.

  5. Thanks for your message, Sadaf. Where are you based? Are you studying as well or have you moved on to the working world?

  6. I was fortunate enough to educate myself through several scholarships while I was in Uni. My parents had sent me what they had and were more than willing to support me but I had an urge to succeed on my own. I wanted to live on my terms and earn my hard earned dollars with my own sweat. It was upsetting to see others not give a care in the world but I got used to it after a little while. Your example of friends are motivation for us all and they have now left a mark on me also.

  7. it is not easy to make it on your own and people who are fortunate enough to live off their families and not even apply for jobs will find it difficult to understand. fortunately or unfortunately, i was one of those ones who had to make it on his own and i have no regrets. Why go back to Pakistan if all I’m going to do is watch cricket at friends houses all day long? I prefer to sit at my desk at work and watch it online.

  8. The loaf of bread is a good example. I was stuck on a cheese sandwich which was the cheapest on the menu. I cant bear to look at it again ha ha ha ha

  9. reader · · Reply

    Let’s not pass judgment too quickly on those who were supported by their parents while they were young and are now working hard to build careers and help Pakistan in their own way. As we all grow older and think about starting our own families we want to provide our own children with all the comforts possible. All we can hope for is that they make us and our country proud.

  10. Dear Reader,
    Thanks for your comment. I don’t think we’re anyone to judge on those who were supported by their parents. I was supported by my parents as well and didn’t mean to look down upon those who had a good base/foundation to start from. However, yes, I do admire those who started from scratch and worked their way up . You’re right, I guess all we can hope for is that everyone makes our country proud and use their education & hard work positively.
    OUH

  11. Great post (I could totally relate to this one!)… I’ve been a silent follower but I wanted to let you know you’re doing a great job 🙂

  12. Zafar · · Reply

    I do confess. I have sprayed champagne before in night clubs just for the fun of it but I was immature. The bank even owed me 450 dollars and I was too lazy to claim it and didnt bother. As U grow older you do learn from mistakes and appreciate hard work and money and it’s ok to have regrets as long as you dont repeat them moving forward.

  13. Oms, think this is your best post yet. Really good work, am proud of you. I think your blog is fantastic!

  14. Thanks guys! Hope to see you oontinue chasing these random thoughts with me..

  15. Silent reader here. This is my favorite post though and wanted to tell you!

  16. Thank you for sharing this blog. Not only pakistan but we can relate to it in Srilanka as well.

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