Whoever I am, and whatever I have become, I realise it is they who have brought me here. It is the love and respect that my own have always shown me that has empowered me and made me stronger each day. I don’t owe my strength or recognition to America, India or any other nation, as my people are the ones who have blessed me and bestowed on me a name and a national identity that I can be proud of.
If one lacks the ability to recognise what or who has enabled them towards their journey to success, it is unfortunate and the biggest loss is to the person him/herself. I personally believe that thankless souls ultimately end up unfortunate and lonely. I have, through my own life’s experiences, found that by giving back, I have enriched my own existence, as with each step I have taken in the direction of my own people I have discovered more about myself.
My children have also picked up on my nationalistic sentiment over the years and my eyes well up with tears of joy when they say that they prefer to live here rather than anywhere else in the world. My son loves travelling all over the countryside to discover his heritage and my daughters delight in everything truly Pakistani. As much as they like to carry foreign brands once in a while, they will carry a Khadi, Jafferjee’s or Thredz handbag with just as much pride, if not more.
Over time, I have converted very quickly from mainly using foreign products to using more indigenous handmade goods whenever I can, realising the endorsement impact I could lend to locally manufactured goods by doing so. I recently came across someone trying to sell smuggled shawls from India and decided not to participate in this illegal activity and purchased handmade shawls from Swat instead.
Over the last few years, whatever I have earned from producing television software, I have given into the hands of young Pakistani talent to help them launch their careers. Never have any of my earnings from television gone overseas in any form. I don’t own a home or property outside Pakistan and have no desire to ever do so either.
The happiest life I could ever hope to live would be one amongst my own and in my own country. How quickly we forget that death is a definite and when I go, I hope my country will bury me with as much love and respect as it has allowed me to live with.
My sweat, blood and tears shall always be for Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2011.