Like all children I had aspirations of becoming someone when I grow up. But unlike all children who want to be engineers, physicians, surgeons, pilots, or as a friend of mine said “sucking up to his boss dreams”, my aspirations were pretty unorthodox in their nature.
In primary school days, when nobody thinks of their career in terms of amount of money or salary they are going to earn, I had done all my calculations. Based on the average height of my extended family I had mentally calculated how high I would grow and how big a garland made of ten rupee notes I can wear. Add to that the money filled envelopes I will get for my endeavours I would be raking in money while my classmates would be making pittance as doctors, engineers, or shop assistants etc. However, as I grew older and became more mature, I realized that with inflation as it was, this strategy might not work. I would have to wear a garland made at least of fifty rupee or hundred rupee notes…
But by the time I finished my school, three things changed. One, I became more mature. Two, the inflation increased. I calculated that at current rate, I had to surrogate up five-hundred rupee note garlands to maintain the lifestyle. Three, a change that shattered my dream, rupee note garlands became outmoded in the middle classes of Karachi. I was devastated. I might have gone into depression had I known what depression was. Because of naiveté, and not knowing what else to do, I picked the broken pieces of my dream. As sailors focus on distant objects when sailing to keep from feeling sea-sick, I decided to focus on a (superficial) career like everyone else, while turning the pieces into a flame and burying it deep inside my heart where reality can never extinguish it. Even dead bodies don’t remain below the sea for long and here dream was broken yet alive. Time and again, the dream would break to the surface.
The current generation of young men has mapped objectives as milestones in their life such as complete higher education, find a job, make a career, earn some money and then get married. Being a non conformist since childhood I had no such road map. My top most priority was to get cultivate the shortest ways to derive instant cash whereas other objectives were secondary in no order or priority. When it came to money, Just Do It was my motto.
Whereas during childhood fate had acted indirectly against me through rising inflation, changing fashions etc, now it had declared open war.
In my first year of my high schooling, I had a crush on a girl who was in second year. It was not that she was very beautiful. She was ordinary looking but the way she carried herself made her very attractive _ not in catwalk like manner rather in a very dignified manner. Those of you who can relate to Junaid Jamshed’s “Sahib-e-Dil” can understand what I am saying. When my mother came to know about it, she said the usual stuff about completing education, finding a job etc.
As the saying goes, first crush dies hard, the flame flickered on. Time passed, I finished my education and started looking for a job. Meanwhile, I got to know that she got married to one of the closest friends at my school. All the flames , that I had managed to keep alive for sometime, died down instantly. The job to which I had lingered on for some while, didn’t actually motivate me much,since it didn’t offer me the exact recipe of becoming rich.
Soon afterwards, I left to US for further studies as nothing was materializing on local front. When I had completed my studies in US…