“When you really want something to happen, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it.”
― Paulo Cohelo
Never before had Paulo Cohelo words of wisdom echoed as loudly and as truly, as they did on the bright sunny summer morning when I met the handsome young man. I have always been master of words but I cannot find the words to describe the man’s resilient determination.
If story of his life was turbulently tragic, his cheerful face showed no resentment to the tragedy. He narrated his story like a fairy tale.
He was fourteen when a disease called Leukemia came to visit him. He needed treatment. He went to SKMTH to get treatment but he did not want to leave studies. He had to be an engineer. So as he went through chemotherapy, instead of calculating his miseries, he calculated numbers, prepared for his exams during chemotherapy. The treatment appeared to be grueling but all he was focused was to be an engineer.
While he went through rounds of chemotherapy, his friends and cousins were going through rounds of interviews for universities abroad. His dream was to go abroad for studies but life had other plans and he could not fight life, so was contended focusing on studies in the cancer hospital. He just had to be an engineer.
He did have tears in his eyes for few moments as he mentioned factually how he could not go to school not only because doctors feared for his immunity but because school children mocked his deteriorated physical condition.
Did he have any grudge against his friends or cousins? Maybe he did but did not say a word.
Suffering from Leukemia, took Grade ten and Grade twelve exams. Despite what for me were traumatic trials and tribulations, and for him usual events, he is on the verge of becoming an Engineer.
Leukemia was defeated, now he dreams of working as an Engineer in the Middle East, going for a holiday to Paris.
In the end he did become emotional talking about how indebted he is to the thousands of nameless donors for contributing to his treatment. He attributes his dream to them. With evident tears in his eyes, a tone bordering on pleading, he concluded, thousands like me would not have had a life, had thousands not contributed millions to SKMTH.
He is right. SKMTH is testimony to Pakistanis unyielding determination, over generations to contribute to a dream that a man had. The dream lives enabling thousands to live their dreams….the dream stretches its wings to Peshawar…..and anyone who has even little sympathy for what Peshawar has gone through in the dramatically dreadful decade must contribute to the dream….maybe that would bring some hope to Peshawar and may lead to a few dreams seeing the light of the day.
So to dreams we must contribute something this Ramadan and continue the spirit for the rest of our lives!