What made you join the media fraternity?
Well, I think “poverty”, ghurbat has been the major drive to join the media. See, my father was not a rich man and I was just a teenager when I joined Radio Pakistan to make both ends meet. I used to get a small amount of money by reading the news, and being a student, it was sufficient for me. If my father were rich, I would not have joined the media, instead, I would have run any business after studies. When I was 17 years old, I, of course, needed money. At that point in my life, I realized that I can speak well, and can try in radio. Therefore, I got auditioned and was fortunate enough to get selected. I would get a satisfactory amount, and I remember, none of my fellows were working or earning, so I would feel really blessed. This is how it all started, so you can say it was my “need” to work initially, but with the passage of time, I actually fell in love with the microphone.
What were your goals when you were young? Were you ambitious?
To be very honest; I had no goals. I was never ambitious, and even still I am not. I am not future-oriented, and if you ask me about my future plans now, I would say I don’t know, maybe because I live in the present. Very much in the present (smiles). When I was a teenager, I would just focus on my daily tasks, and would hardly think about the future. Precisely, I had never thought to be what I am today, trust me, I had never thought to be somebody famous. You can say, I just go with the flow of time.
You have been working for the past 34 years; tell us how the Media Industry looked like then?
As you know that I joined Radio in 1987, which was an amazing journey. Afterward, I worked with PTV for 10 years; and it was a great learning experience for me. Till this time, I had an established career, then in 2002, I entered the private media sector. Honestly, I consider myself lucky that I have seen this industry emerging; from the “Radio FM” to “only TV era”, and from “private media'' to “digital media”, I have worked in every medium. I feel immensely content and blissful to be a part of the generation who has witnessed multiplicity in media, and can integrate my experiences to come up with useful and diverse content. I think I have enjoyed working in every medium, although I am very less active on social media, it really fascinates me. Well, I would say, even in today’s world of social media, I still have the beautiful elements of old PTV and Radio’s sadaakari in me.
Life becomes hectic and strenuous sometimes, how do you cope with the challenges that come your way?
Honestly, I have never faced any “acutely stressful” situation in my life, touchwood. I consider myself blessed for that, but, if anyone is going through some difficult time, I would highly recommend connecting to nature; plants, animals, mountains, etc. It surely brings positivity and peace to one’s life. If you talk about me, I rejuvenate my energies through nature.
If you are given a magic-stick, what change would you like to bring in the TV industry?
Now, this is what I call an interesting question (laughs). I really wish to see regional languages growing. I feel people especially youngsters, these days, feel shame in owning their mother tongues and they feel proud of “not knowing” their language. I don’t say that foreign languages should not be used; I just say that whatever you speak, you should have knowledge about the particular language. At least we can try to promote our regional languages by owning them and speaking them correctly. It really hurts me to see people taking pride in not being able to speak Urdu. I keenly wish to change this culture.
Being a veteran Media personality, what message would you like to give to our young media enthusiasts?
The only thing I want to say is that young people should be very careful while using social media. For the sake of a few likes or followers, you should not do “everything”. Some things should be done with supreme care and thoughtful consideration. Young people should learn that “what not to do” on social media is of paramount significance. Instead of dos of digital media, they should focus on don’ts more to make the social media experience pleasant for all of us.
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