Many people get awards for any number of achievements and triumphs, so what is it like when one of your parents gets a big award. Well, it feels great. That’s the short answer. For all the readers who have the time, here is the long answer. It is great to see someone’s effort and success acknowledged. Especially, if you have been a witness to the adverse conditions under which the success was achieved.
As a child, I remember my mother was always at work. Having become a parent myself, I know now how hard it can be to raise children and work full-time, and that too at a job that has no fixed hours. For me the award is not just for her professional achievements, but also her great success as a mother.
She was not the perfect mother, because really, that mother exists only in our school textbooks — the sooner we can get rid of that clichéd woman, the sooner we will be able to appreciate the hard work our mothers put in to raise us. As a real person my mother was always there as a friend and ally. There was no topic too big or too small, that could not be discussed with her. Despite the hours, I never felt that she was not there for me.
She was often late for picking us up from school, till we got a school van to pick and drop us, and then she was often not home for lunch. If she was too tired in the morning, then we did not have to go to school. The afternoons and evenings were spent at rehearsals at the Alhamra Art Centre or at recordings at the PTV. Naps were taken on set, homework done (or not) sitting backstage. It was an exciting and excellent childhood for me and my sister, but I am sure it was hard work for my mother.
As a professional, she has worked as an actor, a director and producer for the stage and television, but perhaps her most under rated triumph is the setting up of the Alhamra Puppet Theatre in Lahore. With officialdom agreeing only reluctantly to the idea of regular puppet shows for children at a permanent venue at the Alhamra, the puppet theatre has now been entertaining children for over 25 years. She was the moving spirit behind the idea, getting people like Shoaib Hashmi and Salman Shahid to write the puppet plays, getting her friends (who just happened to be famous actors) to lend their voices, training the puppeteers and then being there every Sunday, with us in tow, for many years to make sure it all happened.
In a country where so many people give up so easily and chose not to fight the good fight, she has stood up for her principles and taken a stand to try and preserve some sanity and order in this increasingly chaotic country. She is a role model for me for her optimism and energy and desire to improve the situation we find ourselves in. She was forefront in the PTV actors strike for better pay and working conditions in the late 90s and she is a founder member of the United Producers Association of Television with the mandate to improve the state of the television industry in this country.
She has succeeded in her chosen profession without compromising her principles and, as her son, I am proud that her accomplishment is being acknowledged by the state of Pakistan.
This article has been written by the winner’s son. Zain Ahmed
The Pride of Performance awards are announced annually on Independence Day (August 14) and distributed to the recipients every year on Pakistan Day (March 23)
Gulzar Ahmed Sheikh Engineering (Underground Mining)
Muhammad Khalid Zahid Engineering (Electrical)
Dr Muhammad Arshad Nuclear Engineering
Amjad Pervez Laser (Optics)
Ishan Ullah Qazi Chemistry
Muhammad Aslam Engineering (Mechanical)
Javaid Ahsan Bhatti Vacuum Science & Technology
Syed Tajammal Hussain Nano Technology
Sumeera Ikram Chemistry
Muhammad Nzar Physics
Iqbal Javed Khan Engineering (Experimental Aerodynamics)
Muhammad Ahmed Electronics Engineering
Dr Mubashir Ahmed Metallurgical Engineering
Dr Shafqat Karim Science (Physics)
Dr Shahzad Mahmood Science (Plasma Physics)
Muhammad Afzal Arain Science (Agriculture)
Prof Dr Muhammad Rasul Jan Chemistry
Dr Khalida Inayat Noor Maths
Saleem Akram Ansari Nuclear Engineering
Tajdar Alam Information Technology
Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz Pharmacokinetics, bioavailability &
bioequivalence of Drugs
Suhail Akram (Suhail Ahmed) Art (Drama Acting)
Wazir Afzal Music
SH Qasim Jalali Art (Drama Production)
S Amjad Bukhari Art (TV Producer)
Ustad Hussain Bukhsh Gullu Art (Music)
Khan Tehsil Art (Folk Singing)
Ustad Sharafat Ali Khan (Late) Music (Classical Singing)
Samina Ahmed Art (Acting)
Ustad Muhammad Alam Art (Blue Pottery)
Habib Film & TV Artist
SB John Art (Singing)
Abdul Rahim Nagori Art (Painting)
Zafar Kazmi late Art (Painting/Sculpture)
Manzoor Akhter (Dr Tehsin Firaqi) Literature
Ishfaq Hussain Literature
Ghani Parwaz Literature
Ahmad Saleem (Muhammad Saleem Khawaja) Literature
Hashim Nadeem Khan Literature
Saifur Rehman Saifi Literature (Poetry)
Shamsul Mulk (Late) Literature (Journalism)
Anwar Saleem Ahmad (Late) Literature
Khalid Ahmad Literature
Shahid Pervaiz Butt Sports (Wrestling)
Goshpi Byram Avari Sports (Sailing/Yacht)
Naseem Hameed Sports (Athletics)
Aleem Dar Sports (Cricket)
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2011.