The story of my life

By Nazahat Shakir
Life is a beautiful name of struggle. Struggle to accomplish our dreams, struggle to deal with the hardships of our lives and most important, struggle to overcome the faults in our stars.

The story of my life begins in the beautiful valley of Chitral, which is one of the peaceful valleys of Pakistan. Being a calm and humble person, I feel as Chitral has placed a deep impact on my nature which gives me immense pleasure to connect myself with the valley I adore the most.

A flashback to my childhood reminds me of my odd nature among my siblings and cousins. My mom usually tells me, I used to sit in the front stairs of my home’s entrance noticing people busy with their lives giving a node of yes or no without talking to them directly. She teases me with the fact she thought of me as a dumb girl which for sure I am not. It was my introvert nature which distanced me from the people around.

The episode of my childhood which is completely different from my present is my lack of interest in studies. It is usual with children but my case was more complicated. Being the daughter of a teacher I was expected of more which always irritated me. The worst experience was studying from my dad. I used to find pretends to escape studying from him.

Fortunately, he has inherited a short temper which I feared the most while studying. I used to pity myself on one side being weak in studies and on the other side monitoring by a person playing a double role of a father and a teacher. I considered him the cruelest teacher of my life but to be very much honest he is the one to shape my life. He is the first person in my life whom I credit the most not only for being my father but my as my first teacher. He brought me up as a strong girl both morally and educationally.

His support as a father means a world to me. He is not only the best teacher and the best father but more appropriately the best friend of my life. He is such a nice and friendly dad that we can share anything with him. We can talk about any topic which I have seen other girls being not able to do. In a nutshell, my dad is the best person in general and the best father in particular.

My story would be half revealed if I don’t consider my life changing experience at the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Kuragh (AKHSS). Memories can fade with time but my days at the AKHSS would be alive forever. It was a matchless life which I spent at the AKHSS and made me able today I can express myself. Excitement was on its peak on the very first day of schooling at the AKHSS apart from attending one of the best schools of Chitral to meeting different students throughout Chitral. The inspirational session with Madam Sultana, the principal of AKHSS, was the key towards our success. She holds the position of one of the inspirational women of Chitral. She always encouraged us to do our best and played the best role of changing our lives. I feel so blessed to have her as a part of my life.

My teachers’ description would be the miracle workers in my life. It will not be an exaggeration to say I would require half of my life to be able describing them. They polished us in such a way that we started believing in ourselves. They inculcated in us the wings to fly towards our destiny. Their purpose was not more into making us a literate person but educated. We started learning at the AKHSS. It proved to be a trampoline for us where u stand and can jump to a better place. Those five years at the AKHSS would be cherished by me as long as I have this life. I am grateful to AKHSS, Madam Sultana, my every single teacher and my friend who are the greatest part of my microcosm.
With a glee in my eyes and a smile on my face, I stepped into the University of Peshawar which added another chapter to my life. Being surrounded by Pakhtoons was an entirely new experience for me. I found the Pakhtoons very respectable and caring people and I made very good friends for lifetime.

I spent my one year at the UOP but staying there was a bit challenging for me. Coming from a liberal environment of AKHSS to Peshawar, I felt like I was caged. I couldn’t express myself and thus I could not study. When limitations are put one cannot do her best no matter how studious one is. I was not happy and dissatisfied and in that condition what exasperated me the most was when people expected me to cover my face. Once I went out with my dad he asked me to cover my face with my duppata. I did not accept that, I told him I go out without my face covered so today in front of you why should I pretend. I have to live my whole life and I can’t maintain it and especially when I don’t believe in covering the face can make any difference . I am not intended to offend anybody’s emotions but I was not meant to hide my identity. I know my dad wanted my safety but just because of the bad intentions of some people we cannot stop living. Women have always been the symbol of sacrifice but common man, how long we will scarify things! Instead of caging us in veils why don’t you change your bad intentions? I will not hide my identity rather I will shine as the brightest star in the sky. We need to change our society where freedom of women is forcibly taken away. We should not wait for the change to come but be the change we want to see.

I was in a constant quest of adding colors to my life. Suddenly, a twist came in my life in the form of Asian University for Women (AUW), Chittagong, Bangladesh. The AUW is a liberal arts university having students from different countries of Asia. It is best known for its diversified environment which gives more opportunities to learn more. It was a hard decision for me to leave my family and friends back in Pakistan and come to a different country. We know these types of hard decisions can lead to success. Here at the AUW, I feel much satisfied and look forward with a great hope to become a successful woman after all I have a big Pakistan to serve. I believe that a woman with dreams and determination is always powerful, thus with a determined mind I have a dream to better serve and bring credit to my valley chitral and my beloved country Pakistan.

It would be injustice with her great self if I don’t consider the contribution she made in my life. It feels strange to talk about her in a very formal way because that great personality is my sister, Rakhshinda Shakir. There are very few people I am inspired of and she is one of those few. The way she cares about people, no matter how much people hurt her, I have never seen harsh feelings in her regarding those people.

Thanks for being one of the greatest support of my life. One reason I am here in AUW is you. The people who are part of my life no matter how far I am you are always special to me. You are the reason of my smile. Thank you for being the beautiful episode of the story of my life.

59 Replies to “The story of my life”

  1. Well done @Nazhat. Go on and on dear. Best wishes with you.
    Dear you are oUr pride. Symbol of encouragement and guidance for junior sisters. We expect mature comments from our elder brothers and others.Don’t worry time is changing,you are the change agent.This is just the beginning. There may be other grudges too but stay calm and try to climb the mountain to get your target.It is also true in sometimes that a bad workman blames his tools.
    Go on….

  2. Dear readers,
    An interesting but unpleasant debate took place here. Nazahat has very clearly mentioned that it is the “Story” of her life based upon her own experiences and perspective. Why are we being judgemental here? A “Story” doesn’t have to be of a particular style rather it is usually in a style which the author chooses. The problem arises when we look at such things from our own understanding and perspective. Here the author is talking about her life experiences. You may differ with the style but you can’t argue about the content as this is her story in her own words and she has decided to write it in her own style.
    In my personal opinion getting admission at a foreign university is in itself a great achievement and we must give that credit to both the sisters. I feel that it is indeed a great effort and we should take it that way. May you all stay blessed!

  3. ‘Nan Doshi’ and ‘Begal’ are two eternal songs written by a Woman of Chitrar in early 20th century (I wonder if someone then said it isn’t our culture??). Today deep in 21st century you don’t see a Chitrari girl writing poems, singing songs or making any form of art. How did we reach ‘here’ from ‘there’ is something to ponder on. Between these two times, radicalization and a new form of culture engulfed our society which has left us with hate/restrictions for women and other sects. The slightly older men who have only lived this new culture are naturally strict and won’t accept any change and the women have lived a culture of submission who despite hating it won’t think of changing it. It is up to the young generation of both girls/boys to strive it for the next generation by being open and challenging the current culture. More power to them and hopefully a persistent challenge will change it. It is not about right/wrong but it is about what you have lived/believe and can that be changed or should that be changed? To all the girls out there, keep writing whatever you like, keep expressing and keep challenging and you will transform the whole society.

  4. Salam ma xur.
    ”knowldge is the life of heart,it is like a burning torch, in the light of which the darkness of ignorance withers away,,ma shirin xur tan howsalo paast moko,ava paidal chitrala b sabaq rasum,ma xur va xav d hami mushkil marahilan phar shokhsi sabaq ratani haya shegro fallow ko.{ut band kamar kya darta hay “phir dakh khuda kya karta hay} ma dua ta bachen Allah ta kamiab korar.vatanot khadmat ko (Ameen)

  5. As far as”the story of my life” is concerned wishing the subject good luck and congrats for her achievements.while going through above comments related to culture earlier some days i visited Bumburet where a famous kailsh who has hosted many dignitaries cried when inquired about the customs and way of life .he said Education is the ghost which has Sabotaged our culture and traditions by giving the example of her own daughter who has just graduated from down town,reason is she no more wears her cultural dress neither look after the cattles and the list goes on.i think so is the case with whole chitral where every person wants to educate their girls which in return will disturb the conventional way of life as it happend to be,so what to do not to educate themmm???

  6. @ AFZAL AMAN
    First of all judge your own character. How you arguing and showing disrespect in your comments. You even don’t know how to behave with your own daughters and sisters.
    2ndly I prefer to spend one minute with a learn person rather than spending whole life with an ignorant person like you. Wearing pantalun and marrying with Punjabis and dancing according to you is behayayi. A well said by Iqbal:
    Tum Haya Aur Shariat Ke Taqazon Ki Baat Kartay Ho,
    Hum Nay Nangay Jismon Ko Malboos-e-Haya Daikha Hay,
    Hum Nay Daikhay Hain Ihram Mein Chupay Kae Iblees,
    Hum Nay Mai Khanay Main Kae Baar khuda Daikha Hay.

  7. Well I will say, nicely written. Powerfully jotted words and story full of emotions. Nonetheless there is always room for improvement. Hope next time it will be much better. Good luck.

  8. @Sehrish: Look, you seem a complete duffer to me and it is useless to talk to a person if she does not know how to argue. I am proud of the gorgabi, kon, gonj, etc of my ancestors. It is people like you who feel shy about these thing and feel comfort in wearing skin tight pajamas. But remember one thing we will never allow characters like you to spoil the image of Chitral. It is people like you who have tarnished the image of Chitral by wearing pantalun and marrying with Punjabis. I am sorry to say girls like you who considers their forefathers as backwards are called ‘kyagh no poshiru nao dolatia’. They feel comfort in wearing jeans and dancing in order to prove themselves as mordern but that’s is not education rather extreme of ‘behayayi”. And yes stop replying to me or else I will expose enlightened miderates like u. Muhe sharam aati he ap se bath kwrte huwe, ap jaise logon Chitral ko ruswa kuya huwa he. Shame…..

  9. A MA BRAR TA BAP CON ANJAWOSHTAY. TA SHOMA KAHAKMAL BAWOTAY,TAN GONJI LESHO AWERAWOSHTAW,SERAI SHAPIK XEBOSHTAW..HANS D HE KORMAN KO NA KI TU QASHQARI BERAW..TA TAT BAPO HET KORM OSHONI…HANS TU DON KARLOS ANJUSAN,HANS TU AMERICAN GOM SHAPIK XEBOSAN…TA LAYA D AMERICO SHAPIK JAMA BETI SHER.
    TU TAN TAT BAPO HE KORMAN SORA AMAL KORI MAT PASHA AWAW D QASHQARI BOM.

  10. @Sehrish: Yes, I live in stone age. Yes, I am a qashqarian. Yes, I am a typical Chitrali. And I am proud of it. I will never copy others. I will take pride on anybody elae culture. I will condemn the liberals like you who declare themselves as very modern by wearing pantalun and skin tight pajamas. What do you want to prove by saying all this? Do you think to some natural creature? Don’t try to impose your bloody lifestyle on the whole Chitral. I have every reason and proof to cobdemn the dressing of the moderinised Chitrali girls here in the cities. I am sure it is clear to you???

    1. Now Afzal bro, tell me one thing. Do you think we care about you and other like you people criticizing. Trust me we don’t have time to even bother. Cultures are meant to change. They have changed, shaped and reshaped over times. There is no way we can get hold on to it.

      1. @Rakshinda: I know these things won’t have even a ‘SLIGHTEST IMPACT’ on you, because in “Farangi or khori war”, such characters are called “LOSER”. Do what whatever you like as you are proud of your modernism. And a Qashaqarian like me will always take on my ancestors, their values, and the rich civilization. For girls like you, I am a Qashaqarian because your forefathers were born at Chittagong while fishing who then migrated to great to great Briton, while some got settled in Washington DC. I eat siryai, tathori, shaftal shakh, khista shapik with troq chai. And you eat burger. I take pride in Shuqa, plastic made 555 boot, Muza, Kon, paitawa, etc while you are happy with your jeans and skin tight pajamas. I have a lot more to say if you are interested I would to shed light on it in more detail. And yes thank you very for calling me bro, as you referred here as “Dude”, which is not acceptable at all in Chitrali culture especially when you are talking to a stranger.

  11. Xoro Xur xhagha tu alti tu punjabo mushante dusan,het ta lowa bonia. Angrizi tatn no gyak brai the lo kyut dosan, kya hosh aro hera kya nweshi shr re. E xor e mazmon nweshiko Chitrar tabah bak brai, ta socho tn ma salam jama. Ma khiyala ta ghn jahil royan wajhn chitrar tabah boi.

  12. Getting birth in an ignorant society as a female is a blunder. A caveman named “AFZAL AMAN” is criticizing the dress; please come out you can see where the world has reached and tell me what your contribution for the upliftment of the society is?
    I regret to say that why such people criticize and try to pull down their own daughters in every step.

  13. SimpLy OutstandinG Nazahat !!Brilliant Struggle toward persuing Your Dreams..May God Bless You in Every way Of Life,,,,Ameen

  14. Malgiri ustadan shagerdanan gani garum artami khai..maten kya angrezi mangrezi dino goi. Ispa khai qashqaro roi kya hush kosi farangiyo zubano. Baherhal Khow pakhor tafa nayuran ispa xhur kayo sum. Akhir zamana kimeryan mosharan libasa bao ghechi gika prani…khair her kos tan merzi baherhal awa itifaq koman hami royan sum xhuro xhur xhagha xhawo xhao xhaga belik werna Chitral batan di ikama sala Europe gherur ager ispa ustadanan rawaya haya ki behchitai. Shagertanan te ma gila niki ma gila he royan te kaki hetan liberalismo laaneto weshki mayil konyan. Khudai khair korar Chitral bo tez tabahiyo weshki biran.

  15. For all those who gave time and efforts to read my story, who liked it and disliked, for all your comments both negative and positive I say many many thanks. I never thought it would get this attention but gave me much to learn.
    Regards,

  16. What you have achieved from Chitral to Chittagong is appreciable but what you have written is just called an advertisement. From AKHSS TO AUW you have crossed the stages in education not knowledge. I think its too early to expect something mature from you at this stage , my advice for you is, focus on learning, you will get time to write once you gather some sensible content for it.

  17. Expression of one’s ideas must be encouraged. Educational achievements of our daughters, may be small, deserve high appreciation. Securing scholarship for a foreign university study and having courage to step out for the purpose should not be underestimated. However, we expect from our daughters to be ambassadors of our unique culture, because we can’t compromise our Chitrali civilization.

    1. Chitrali civilization??????? Sher Wali Khan sahib!! what kind of civilization is it? Is it to suppress women? Is it to respect people on the basis of their Qomiat or positions? People like you should strictly condemn such IDIOT men. We all know how hard it is for girls of Chitral to reach a university travelling to other cities of Pakistan. Again I don’t know this brave girl here.
      If people like you or Dr. Inayat sahib start teaching girls about “Our chitrali civilzation or culture “”coz we can’t compromise our chitrali culture” what kind of culture is this? Is it Asmani culture which can never be changed? How many cultures are out there in the world that have never changed? Is woman covering herself the only thing of our chitrali culture? Is women respecting men only core subject in the so called “most civilised world of Chitral?” Please tell people that in our society Men and Women are never equal. Man is majazi God. Tell people that in our society and best chitrali civilization ameer gharib not equal, Meetarxao is more respected than a yoft. I have many meetarxao friends. They should be given respect. I am not against it. They are from the family of Rulers of chitral.. no doubt. But I don’t understand why educated people are continuously telling lies???….The last saying of Holy prophet has never fitted in this society. Why people like you or other respected teachers/writers hiding the truth and misleading people with wrong notions. These things look small but they have huge impact. The current state of our country is nothing else than these small mistakes. Half of our population’s job is to give birth to kids, nothing else. and i hear some IDIOTS talking about fighting with America etc. and whenever women stands up for their rights, tell few words against man “”THE BEST CIVILIZATION, MOST CIVILIZED CHITRALI CULTURE”” comes along.
      I should say here that I am also not a big writer. Sorry for rough writing. Also don’t assume that i am some kinda related with the ladies here. Ispa deha e bechara mosh talaq dero kemerio alekar ache haty aurat mosho no khosheyak b t rado ki “”tasar dowran tan jam oshoi” doran hato prushto mosh o name berai….reko hey nogh mosho qahr geti rasur ki “awa dowran no koshtek mosh” hato makhsos andaz sher lu deko..Video besera guzara ongolesam d…..Lol hey bachen).

  18. The reaction of some people are so outrageous. When a few days back, the achievements of one chitrali student Farhan Salik was mentioned, no one targeted him;. Why are you targetting Nazhat?

  19. I have gone through your write up,very well done,keep it up,you are the super star and inspiration for other AKHSS students as well.”Bless you”

  20. Worth reading write up and as well the comments were. The discussion shows that there was something in the story.We have the right to speak as well as other have the right to react… yes, i agree, action and reactions need to conform to the societal norms…even if they are not,still We need to develop the culture of acceptance as well as of tolerance. Putting it simple, i request readers to be generous to accommodate views against, or different to, our mental schema and the “writer team” to be tolerant. This is diversity and we need to survive with diversity. Changing or trying to change the diversity and making all thinking in the same line will make the world dull and our live tasteless. Acceptance of, and appreciation for, diversity is the only way to survival rather a “happy survival”.

  21. No doubt AKHSS is a prestigious institute in chitral.personally i appreciate those students who work hard and achieve their goals.it is better if this institute give full scholarship for poor talented students who have the ability but owing to financially problem they cannot try to become the part of this AKHSS.I saw so many students who were feeling depressed and only thing in their mind here the tuition fee is high.so try to identify and need to encourage the poor talented student and fully support them.
    My second opinion is that it would be better to describe the social issues in chitral rather than thoroughly express their biography .

  22. Mr. Mustansir, it seems your comments are full of jealousy. why don’t you write about ur life instead criticizing others.

  23. Hello Nazhat, good to hear from you. Great write up.Pls carry on, you’ll be a great writer someday In sha Allah.Pls make time to visit us. Best regards.Uncle Aziz.

  24. If you make art people will talk about it,few nice and some won’t but to me a great writer is alive in you,and simply wow for the thoughts.DO continue it ,every time it is going to be better than the best.thumps up for being proud Hssian .

  25. Up to somehow i realize that you, young Pakistani womens are trying your bests to bring change and maturity that has to be one day. With our isolated thoughts we can not compete the west. I am feeling pleased to predict a revolutionary change in our society which will be fist step towards our success. No matter how society reacts, you are the proponents of that movement which can change our society like a revolution. Proud of you, Brave Sisters.

  26. @ Mutasim, the writer has selected right time for the story… it is April, 1. Also, it seems either she is very impressed from the first story published in the same online titled “proud to be a girl” or AKHSS and particularly the the lady principal devices new way to marketing. Now a hype will be created and every one will share it on social media…

    1. Now I see male dominant society fearing the change that girls can bring in the community. Madam Sultana is the greatest and bravest lady in Chitral for the courageous and responsible work she carries out. While presenting girls and ladies of our community in forums and gatherings and conferences, we at least have some one like her but trust me representing young man like you is very challenging and depressing too. Firstly, you are male dominant freak secondly you are violent and very little accepting. Its time for you people to get a life!! Its at least showing that they are doing something not like you having nothing to do but criticizing. Jealouslyy!! Pity pity and only pity for you.

      1. now See What Nazhat says about her sister “she cares about people, no matter how much people hurt her, I have never seen harsh feelings in her regarding those people”. then see her Sister’s reaction on the comments of mine and Mutasim….isn’t is harsh??? we two disagreed Nazhat’s viewpoint while three other male supported… but Rakhshinda blamed whole male folk… کیا یہ کھلا تضاد نہیں ہے؟؟؟ ….

    2. Hello Nazhat, good to hear from you. Great write up.Pls carry on, you’ll be a great writer someday In sha Allah.Pls make time to visit us. Best regards.Uncle Aziz.

    3. @Sharif . . Get a life man. For a minute if you let hatred go, I am sure you will see the positive aspect of life. But According to TahirulQadri sahib, Maghrib k kutton ki life Pakistani awam ki life say behtar hay.. . . ek lol is dialogue k lia. . :))
      Seriously, Change your lives bros. . Once you “”Get a Life”” than please try to follow my suggestions mentioned in the first line. 🙂

  27. Mohtasim u r right. Its like playing football alone. Rakhshina and nazaht and all those plz grow up now. Do some thing new and stop advertising urself plzzz. Posting pics and these types of essays are not the way to tell others u hv gone abroad. shows urself thatceveryone shoukd realize u

    1. Hey dude!! as far as going abroad is concerned let me tell you one thing if you haven’t been yourself yet. Its not very easy living in another country and represent your own especially when you are from Pakistan and every one is trying to pull you down by mentioning you terrorists. Secondly, about doing something let me list down the achievements so far.
      One of our students is selected as the top 25 excellent writers and her book is soon going to be published.
      second of our students is going to Japan as she has been selected for a two months internship program.
      Third of our students has been selected competing for an international volley ball game and she is going this July.
      Fourth of our students has just came from a tele-conference with world bank.
      Fifth of our achievements is a student selected as a rising star after 4 panel interviews in a row by WEDU leadership. Now if you don’t know what WEDU is please google it.
      Now tell me what else do you want from us??

      1. Its very good all those who represent pakistan and especially chitral should represent our culture also. No doubt she has been selected in a well known unoversity we all prooud of her, and we also proud Akhss plays the role in a positive maner to educate our society especially girls. I m talkng abut posting pics in facebook.

        1. That is very personal Mr. Ali!! I am glad that you at least said something readable. Much appreciated 🙂
          Cheers!

          1. No doubt sister. as far as her writing is concerbed Atleast her futur is bright inshallah, and we should appreciate the parents role who allow their children to go abroad.

  28. Well done, Nazhat.
    You story is inspiring, as being from GB I know how struggling and hard working you must be to reach the destination where you are today.
    And Mr Motassim Billah! I am surprised to see your comment, the article ain’t childish but what you have written. Instead of encouraging your struggling sister you have written few critical lines in such a way that shows the negativity of your mind. And you’re displacing your own complexities and negativity through this esteemed paper.
    Cheers.

  29. Hahaha…there is a saying that maturity comes with age but these girls out there in BD may never become mature. Once you are in the university, you are grown up. And penning down whatever comes in your mind without giving it a second thought reflects AKHSS Koragh still need to go a long to groom their students. There is nothing in whatever the girl has written rather it is like a kindergarten kid showing excitement after writing a small essay for her teacher. Forgive me for being a bit blunt but I have nkthing to say except “POOR”. My advise to those out there in BD is that the world does not revolve around Patsun only. Just come out from the shell as the world is too beautiful and too large.

    1. Poor you! Its very sad to know the level of mentality that your wordings have explicitly explained about you. Its useless arguing with you because you have very limited level of understanding. I pity that level of thinking.

    2. Thank u so much for going through my writing. Well, as maturity is concerned I can see immature comments from u So I would recomend you to look before u leep. Let me remind that AKHSS is a revolution in the history of chitral, still if u doubt Akhss I must say there is some problem with u…Since I did not mind it all because I know how to respect people’s opinion there is no point to opplogize…

    3. @Mottasim BIllah, Bro I completely understand your concern. You didn’t like her emotions about our societies wrong perception about women. Your every single word is full of hate. Grow up Man. Get a life.
      I don’t know her personally but I believe that she is a student and you should not expect her to be perfect with how to put ideas on paper. I am away from Pak watan too and by comparing the people, cultures, systems etc I would say that Pak Watan is standing still at some 5000 years BC.
      Just wait and see how people like you will get dumped by powerful women like this one here. Gone are the days when women were oppressed by men hiding behind misled religious and IDIOTIC cultural norms. Get a life Man. Feeling too bad for you really.

      1. Stay blessed beyond your expectations dear sister , I think there is a lot to learn from there criticism ,the word that these people are using reflect their background and their attitude towards there owns .Don’t be dis heart and move onward with your vision, just damn care about these.
        Follow Iqbal,,
        ‘Tundeay Baday Mukhalif Sa Na Gabra Ay Uookab’.
        ‘Yaa To Chalta Hay Thumay Uncha Uranay Ka Lia’ .

    4. Well indeed maturity comes with age but where is your maturity?? They way you have criticized her you have made a big poor yourself. Just look at her story how inspiring it is for us. Nazhat keep it… We should continue our struggle no matter how hard the circumstances are, People like Mottasim will never bear your success and this shows how mature he is. What a pity! Wish you lot of success ….Best of luck … TC.

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