I wanted to be a lawyer when I was young. Law school fascinated me, but I despised studying. (My daughter is laughing at me as I write this and she’s telling me to go to school again. I’m too old for that now). I just couldn’t get my head into the books. My uncle was a lawyer and he inspired me. When I finally decided to take studying seriously, my father fell ill and I had to help him with his business. His kidneys failed and later on he passed away due to heart failure. In Pakistan diseases like these were unknown. They still are today. Not many people know what high blood pressure is or what cholesterol is. We need more awareness in under developed countries.
But while I was in college, studying and helping my father, a few of my friends went abroad to find work. They came back after a year praising the countries they stayed in as if everything there was made of gold. They would say, “the people are so kind and the houses are beautiful and you make a lot of money. You can’t accomplish much in Pakistan, but abroad you can conquer so much.”
I remember when I was in high school my teacher told us that in England the roads were so clean and clear they were made of glass. Me and my classmates we all believed this. We literally thought that the roads were made of glass.
At that time my younger sister got married and she moved to Paris with her husband. Two of my uncles were in London. My grandfather, my mother’s father worked with the British and because of that my uncles had a chance to go to England. Pakistan during my grandfather’s time was under British rule.
Everyone around me hyped up abroad so much that I dropped out of college, begged my father to let me leave and got an agent that would take me to England. Long story short, I did not find the roads made of glass.
But that’s where my journey started- in England… from wanting to be a lawyer in Pakistan to driving a cab around NYC.