VOF Week 4: (A path my own)
Zamanay kay andaaz badlay gaey
Naya raag hai saaz badlay gaey
Khirad ko ghulami say aazad kar
Jawanon ko peeron ka ustad kar
The ways of the world have changed
The tunes are new, the instruments are new
Free intellect from the shackles of ignorance
Make youth the teacher of saints
When prose fails you, it is best to take refuge in poetry. By the time, I sat down to write this assignment, my mind had blanked out and despite my best efforts, I was unable to muster a decent introduction. Rescue, therefore, came in the form of Iqbal’s verses, which encapsulated the struggle of an individual, a generation - pushing the envelope and striving for change. A verse that spoke to loftier ideals, aspirations and a vision that has the resolve to break through the various barriers one could encounter in life; be it a mundane existence, injustice, lack of compassion or simply apathy. This is how I want my life to be defined.
I don’t seek success in the conventional sense. There are no corporate ladders to be climbed or races to be run. Nonetheless, I do have a vision for my life, my community and the world in which I live in. A perspective that is dictated as much by the various layers of my identity as it is driven by events and issues, which populate the world.
I am an aspiring journalist/performing artiste/filmmaker and a human rights activist amongst other passions of my life. For me, these are not mere professions or slots in which I fit; rather an extension of my being, one which I want to couple with issues close to my heart – whether they are political or social, related to performing arts or culture.
While there are many, I would like to list some specific areas on which I want to centre my work, in the near future. Being a Muslim is fundamental to my sense of self, an aspect which supersedes and shades all other dimensions of my existence. Therefore, I am naturally inclined towards issues which arise within the fabric of this rich tapestry as well as those on its fringes.
The diversity of content within the specific context is immense. Be it the freedom and rights given to all human beings, specifically Muslim women as per Quranic injunctions - centuries before the word 'feminism' was even coined- and how these are being implemented (or not – as is the case is in several so called Islamic nations), the scientific, artistic and other intellectual developments that shaped the Golden era of Muslim rule, misinterpretation of Quranic teachings and committing heinous acts of barbarism in the name of Islam, or the unfair trend of ‘Islam bashing’ along with the indulgence in lies and propaganda that has come to characterize a lot of reporting within the Western media, when it comes to Islam & Muslims; are all issues that require further introspection and effort from all fronts -but especially and significantly by Muslims, in order for progess to be made.
Simultaneously, one of my major desires is to work for and within South Asia, specifically Pakistan in all my capacity; and lastly, with marginalized communities such as eunuchs, prostitutes, drug addicts, street children and even women.
As, I mentioned earlier, I plan on using a variety of skills and mediums, in order to effectively communicate and get the message across. Being a correspondent with World Pulse, is one such opportunity to do just that. I believe women are influential; even if their spheres are in some instances limited and therefore if I can engage, create awareness and positively impact one woman, my message would probably be able to make it to another set of individuals or even a generation beyond, and that is wherein the real test of one's worth lies.
Khudi ko kar Buland itna ki har taqdeer se pehle,
Khuda bande se khud pooche ki bata teri raza kya hai
Elevate your ‘self’ to such a level, that before writing your destiny,
God will himself ask you, ‘tell me what is your desire?’