Habba Kadal. #Kashmir #Vintage
The ancestral neighborhood.
Imran Khan and Shaukat Khanum.
#imrankhan shaukatkhanum pakistan
Imran Khan. The name brings up many thoughts. The world cup winning cricketer, the naively optimistic politician, and worst of all the playboy turned puritan. But wedged between the world cup and the tumultuous political career is Imran the philanthropist.
Inspired by the loss of his mother’s life to cancer, he pledged to open a cancer hospital that would treat the majority of its patients for free. This would be no mean undertaking. He started fundraising in 1989 and went on doing that till the hospital opened its doors in December 1994. The hospital is named Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center in honor of his late mother. Fundraising is hard enough by itself, but much harder when done on a tight schedule due to the ongoing construction of the hospital. According to Imran, construction did not stop for a single day during the three year process. It did come close enough once though and that brought out a different side of Imran. Ever shy and proud, he shed all inhibitions to embark on a whirlwind tour of 27 Pakistani cities to collect 120M Pakistani rupees (1.2M USD @ todays rate). There are videos of tea boys giving out their entire tips, stories of women donating their deceased husbands’ estates, elites giving land to a Imran standing on top of a van with nothing but a smile, a wave and a donation box.
The mere existence of such an institution is nothing short of a miracle. Year after year, it generates enough revenue by charging 25% of patients to treat the remaining 75% for free. That revenue sustains 50% of costs. The remaining 50% of an annual budget of roughly $60M is made up by donations that come in from all over the world.
I recently came across a clip in which Imran was on a tv show with some of the patients treated at Shaukat Khanum. He says it was very hard for him to initially understand why Allah put him and his family through the trying time that ended with his mother’s death. This hospital and its many success stories remind him that he had to feel all that pain to be inspired to build this hospital in order to relief many thousands of future pain.
Imran the cricketer gave short lived joy. Imran the politician’s story is yet to be written. But Imran the philanthropist is the one whose legacy might be the most important one ever.
Below is a video from Shaukat Khanum’s inauguration in 1994. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHRWyRY27ss
#faiz poetry urdu gem
Mujh se pehli si mohabbat meray mehbub na maang
Don’t ask me for the love I once gave you, my love
Mein ne samjha tha kay tu hai to darakhshaan hai hayaat
I had thought if I had you, life would shine eternally on me
Tera gham hai to gham-e-dahar ka jhagdra kya hai
If I had your sorrows, those of the universe would mean nothing
Teri surat se hai aalam mein bahaaron ko sabaat
Your face would bring permanence to every spring
Teri aankhon ke sivaa duniya mein rakkha kya hai
What is there but your eyes to see in the world anyway
Tu jo mil jaaye to taqdir niguun ho jaaye
If I found you, my fate would bow down to me
Yun na tha mein ne faqat chahaa tha yun ho jaaye
This was not how it was, it was merely how I wished it to be
Aur bhii dukh hain zamaane mein mohabbat ke sivaa
There are other sorrows in the world than those of love
Raahaten aur bhi vasl ki raahat ke sivaa
There is happiness other than the joy of union
Ab bhi dilkash hai tera husn magar kya kije
Even now your beauty is tantalizing, but what can be done
-Faiz Ahmed Faiz
“Jis khet se dahqan ko mayassar nahin rozi, us khet k har khosha-e-gandum ko jala do.”
(If a field does not provide a peasant’s livelihood, burn every last bit of wheat on that field.)
“Girte hain shahsawar hi maidaan-e-jung mei…
Woh tifl kya girenge jo ghutno ke bal chale.”
(Only the rider can fall on the battlefield…
What fall will the ones who walk on their knees suffer.)
“Tundi e baad e mukhalif se na ghabra ae uqaab…
Yeh to chalti hi hai tujhe ooncha udane ke liye.”
(Oh hawk, don’t be scared of these gusts of wind…
They are meant to make you fly higher.”)
If you happen to live long enough to read this in 10 years, know this.
The older I get the more I realize how little I understand about the dunya. A lot of the so called truisms I held close to heart have had to be reevaluated.
But, some of them have held true all along. Know that, the love you seek is elusive. Because the love you seek, the one Shakespeare muses about, cannot be given by any human. Be that a mother, a wife, a brother, a girlfriend. Whoever.
“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds. “
That love only Allah is capable of giving. Hold steadfast to him. He is the only constant. All else changes, moves on and gives up on you.
"You should have friends, but never need them. You should never test their friendship."
"Do not take someone’s silence as his pride, perhaps he is busy fighting with his self."
"Tell people about your religion without the use of your tongue"