Tuesday, August 02, 2016

On "Bright side of migration"

I met one of my cousins after 32 years. As family went to sleep under jet lag, we sat all night in the backyard of the house with nice breeze blowing, lights off and some moonlight. We puffed hukkah, sipped cups of chai after chai and tried to catch up on stories of our loves, lives and fortune.

RaatoN se bhi lambe ye piyar ke qisse
Aashiq sunate hain jafaye yaar ke qisse

He said something very interesting: "32 years ago when I landed at Perth airport, I had only 200 dollars in my pocket and didn't know where to go. As life unfolded, my first job was to clean 400 urinals and WCs of a 22 storeys' building. I did it with all my heart. Later I flipped burgers, drove taxi, took care of old people, cooked in restaurants, collected trash for a company - went to college - Eventually I found my opportunity and my luck clicked as Louis Pasteur said: 'Nature favors prepared mind' - my one man company grew beyond imaginations transacting thousands of dollars a day. Do you know why? Let me tell you what I think. My family migrated multiple times in last 100 years - from a small town of India to big city of Agra and then to East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and then to West Pakistan - from a refugee camp to one after another neighborhood of Karachi - It put resilience and survival in our blood. So my friend - don't always think of poverty and migration as a curse. There is always a silver lining to a black cloud. Are we not better than many who were born with silver spoon in their mouth and never experienced misery?"

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