My family environment
My family was so conservative (not extremist BTW) and still it is. I was not allowed to wear pant shirt as it was taken as against the local culture.
So I used to wear my national dress (shalwar qameez) and it didn’t let me mix into corporate culture after having been fully grown and educated.
The corporate culture of poor countries including mine is not different from that of western world.
My school life
I was a back bencher with no confidence to participate in class. My inferiority complex never let me perform well in my student life. My only love was reading magazines and books.
To me it was the best escape from reality. My reality was my ugly face, poverty-ridden home environment and a village without any roads and civic amenities.
My college life
I hardly passed my matriculation (10 grade) from a government school. Then my father forcibly sent me to a science college to make me engineer. There I couldn’t have learnt anything for three months because I hated and still hate science subjects.
So a tricky friend of mine advised me to take admission in a commerce college of evening. I did so and was quite enjoying studying there.
I passed my graduation in commerce. Then I didn’t have any chance to study higher because the city of Mirpurkhas where I shifted from my village didn’t have any university at that time.
First job with world’s lowest salary
So in 1986 I joined a private school as teacher of social studies and Urdu on a monthly salary of Rs300 ($3). I worked there for six months and finally my hard work brought result.
I got another job of teacher in a comparatively higher standard school and got salary of Rs500 ($5) per month.
At that time too it was impossible to get a job on merit. Also in small towns a job meant a government job and there was no concept of doing a private job.
Learning of shorthand and typing on a typewriter
After a few months one of my relative advised me to learn short hand and typing in the evening as it was in high demand in government sector. I worked hard and completed the six months course of shorthand and typing in three months.
Job of steno typist
Then I got a job as steno typist in 1989 in Defense Science and Technology Organization Karachi Cantt and got a big rise in my salary. Yes to me it was a massive rise as it was Rs1500 ($15) per month. I became so proud on making that much progress.
But in a few months I realized that in Karachi (7th biggest city of the world) it was (and still it is) so difficult to survive while living alone with that much small amount. While my family in my village was eagerly waiting to receive a big amount once I got my first salary.
When I told them I could have sent them not more than Rs300 per month they protested a lot. They never believed that expenses in a big city were quite higher than a small village. So finally I convinced them to adjust with Rs500 while I tried to manage my life with Rs900.
I shared a house in a slum with a few bachelors on monthly contribution of Rs200. While with the rest of Rs700 I had to pay hotel bill for three times meal daily of Rs20 for 30 days. At the end of month I had to borrow Rs100 from my colleagues to meet my extra expenses.
Switching of job to get higher education
Then I thought how long I would be passing my life with that much miserly. So I got a job in Accountant General Sindh Karachi as diarist. My duty was to enter all the letters in register and give them to my boss.
My salary was also Rs300 lesser from my earlier job but I was happy to continue my higher studies. So I got admission in M.Com in University of Karachi and secured first division.
Back to home town
Meanwhile my father got seriously ill and I decided to get my transfer in Hyderabad that was not very far away from Mirpurkhas.
I shifted there and commuted daily to Hyderabad to do my duty there. After two years I realized that I was wasting myself there by doing a clerical job.
So I decided to quit that job and do any job in my home town to save my commuting time and study to appear in any competitive examination.
I quit that job and again joined a private school in Mirpurkhas this time with a monthly salary of Rs3000 ($30).
Accidentally becoming journalist
Meanwhile I studied a lot and learnt English language that I also earlier improved while doing my M.Com. I sent an article in an evening English newspaper Daily STAR of Karachi and got published. Its editor offered me to join him as reporter at Mirpurkhas that I happily accepted.
It was a job on per story basis and I got Rs50 ($5) per story. My 20 stories published every month and I earned an extra income of Rs1000 ($10).
My series of failures
I failed to get a job in private sector after doing M.Com because I was not a smart person as they required and still require. My appearance and attitude was like a villager so they never accepted me. While many of my class fellows are now on top positions of different multinational companies.
I couldn’t have appeared in CSS examination because while doing job it was not possible to study harder. Also my family environment was not supportive for studies. They were not happy with my studying after completing my formal education.
I qualified the top entrance examination of Pakistan Air Force that is called Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB) and selected as Accounts Officer under permanent commission but couldn’t have made it because of my physical weakness. Eventually I was fired from there during training because of my physical weakness.
Full time journalism
Then I shifted back to Karachi and became full-time journalist and worked for so many C rated newspapers mostly of Urdu and a few English as well.
In 2010 I was fired from almost three publications on different reasons. The main reasons were my damn honesty and my habit of never compromising on my principles.
My blogging era
Having been fired I finally started my blog in Urdu to raise capital market awareness to bring small investors in stock market of my country. Earlier a few giants had complete control on all investment there.
I got a few sponsorships and was earning almost equal to my earlier income from several part-time jobs. But that amount was not sufficient to me. In 2012 I put my ad of Hire Me on OLX dot com and a person from London mailed me to run his two blogs. This was my turning point as he offered me a handsome salary.
So I worked for him and also learnt a lot about blogging in a few months. Then I started my first blog in English Pollution Pollution Dot Com in May 2012. Its success in a few months gave me a lot of confidence and since then I never looked back.
As a ghost blogger I worked for two UK blogs. Right now I am also media consultant of a government organization with a long-term contract. While there is no limit of freelance content writing, media planning, public relation and conflict management to local and international clients.
Never stopped learning
During my entire struggle I never stopped learning and can say I have more skills than an average person.
I formally learnt:
- All basic computer courses M.S Office, Excel, Power Point in 1997
- Web designing including Photoshop, Freehand and CorelDraw in 1998
- Urdu Inpage and Quark Express to create layouts in 2000
- TV and Film Production Certificate Course in 2005
- Html, CSS, PHP and Java Script Certificate Course in 2016
- I can speak Sindhi and Punjabi languages as well
- Have recently completed a complete blogging course from one of the top bloggers of the world
Now what I have
Now I have a medium type flat in Defense Phase II extension. My kids study in one of the top schools of Karachi – Mama Parsi – and I have all that is required in a middle class family.
I got married in 1998 with a school teacher. She is so practical person and believes more in action than theories. That is why our life is balanced as I am more theoretical.
So this is all about my life that has hundreds of failures but equally so many successes. But now at the age of 48 I am fully happy on what I am.