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The Change Within
|by Farah Shafqat|
When I completed my HSC from the Pakistani College in Abu Dhabi I had the daunting task of choosing my university lying ahead of me. The choices for me with in U.A.E. were very limited. Nonetheless, by the grace of God I was both academically and financially strong enough to pursue my education in U.A.E.
However, out of my admiration for my dad, I decided to follow his foot steps and attend the same university as he did. The university was situated in Pakistan and I had to move to Pakistan along my mom.
I was lucky enough to get admission in to the renowned university and that also the department of my choice.
From here begins the dismal change in my life. Being born and bred in the lap of luxury, it was very hard for me to adjust to the typical government environment of NED university.
No, I m not trying to complain about the un-shaded long desert paths leading to the department or the chalk that settles on us the whole day making my hair silver temporarily. All I had to struggle against wasn't the physical conditions around me '.it was all about the kind of people I had to be with.
Being a part of the culture that exists in NED can shake your values and morals to an unbelievable depth. A few months perhaps I tried to be myself but then the desire to blend in overwhelmed me and I lost my all distinctive, distinguishing characters. With in a few months I was shouting at the top of my lungs during normal conversations, I had forgotten the words like excuse me n sorry even existed. (the list goes on & on).
Years passed by and by now I was a typical 'Nedian'. Nevertheless, I was never happy with the change in me and somehow 'Yaar, I wasn't like this prior to joining NED' had become my pet sentence. I always kept complaining about the attitude of teachers & students around me, never realizing I wasn't any better.
When one day whilst I was switching channels I heard a guy saying to his friends 'Either don't whine about the way things are or do something to change them' (later on I came to know it was the Indian movie 'Rang de Basanti')
I wasn't in the mood of any preachery then but it struck to me like lightning. It was so appropriate to my own situation that for a moment I felt as if it was God's message sent specifically for me (so what if the medium was pretty unusual!). I decided then & there that I would try to get back to my real self no matter how hard it is.
From then onwards my endeavor to restore 'myself' begins .Just as fast as I had picked up the 'norms' of the place, I was quitting them. Just that the change earlier was brought without much effort and now I really had to struggle.
But during that period it was endowed upon me that the world is perhaps not as bad as we have presumed it to be. We have turned extremely cynical as regards behavior. The only problem is initiative. Once you have taken the first step people will reciprocate and respect your acts .As soon as I stopped interrupting anyone else's conversation and started saying sorry even when I did unintentionally, people stopped interrupting mine.
So to all you people out there all I want to say is that you should be the change you want to see in this world. Lilly grows in a mud pool and just as the flower can preserve its beauty and fragrance under unfavorable conditions, so can you. Just give it a try today!
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