Toastmaster, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It was an author, bookman, and librarian Lawrence Clark Powell who said, “My life has been a series of opening doors into wonderful new rooms –
wonder, but not without fear, pain, and sorrow, and always with the voice of the Lord reminding me that nothing is free and must be paid for by service to others…”
Honestly, I copied it from another speech.
Ladies and gentlemen:
Toastmaster is a group of extremly helping individuals where everyone gets a chance to get embarrassed. They are so supportive that they publicy tell you how bad you were with your aahhss and umms, please don’t count those. Well, today I am your “volunteered” prey.
On the dawn of December, 28th, 1984, I opened up my eyes in a small village in district chakwal. Since then I’ve opened many doors and in the next few minutes, I’ll take you through a few of them.
My early childhood was very ordinary. As a child I had a deserved reputation as a shy and coward child, but a few even thought I was innocent, yeah right, they just don’t know me well. I had my first crush at the age of 5, and that too on my english teacher. Since then I’m always obsessed with my english teachers. OK, on a serious note, she was pretty, don’t know how she looks like now after being a mother of half a dozen kids. These are the memories of my small village “English medium school” where the name of English medium school is actually written in Urdu. I got my primary education in my village school, then my family moved to rawalpindi. I got admission in another not so prominent school in rawalpindi where I did my matric. I was among the elite student of the class in term of marks obtained in exams, I got the second highest marks in board exams, which even surprised me, probably the only criterion that could get me that many marks was number of sheets used in exams. I was damn good at that.
Afterwards I got admission in Fauji foundation college. Honestly, I never enjoyed my college life, it was pathetic. I was expecting freedom and I had some other “hidden agendas” that most of the college guys dream about at that age but the college administration was even more strict than my school probably because of the “fauji factor”.But somehow I managed to get just above average marks and get out of that college.
Then comes my university, aahh, the best thing ever happend to me. But how I got into NUST is another interesting stroy. Like most of you who never wanted to be an IT professional, I confess, we are all in the same boat. Telecom and Electrical engineering was my top priority as all my college mates had. The interesting thing is that when I was at Nust HQ to submit my documents, a friend dropped in and said, “look this is another degree that NUST has recently started, its called BIT”, I said “what the hell is that?”, he said “Its either related to computer science or probably mass communication”. And we decide, there and then, that this is our future, go for it. And that’s how we applied for BIT and got admission in SEECS which was NIIT back then. But just in a few days I developed an obsession with technology, though, unfortunately, my grades never reflected that. If someone asks me about the best moments in my life, I’ll always mention my experiences in my university. I made the most amazing friends, studied with very intersting and such a huge variety of people from all over the country. I, for the first time started overcoming my personality problem. It was honestly, very difficult to study 6 subjects at the same time and I had to put every bit of my energy to cope up with the course work. My parents were very protective, but it was so different when I made it to the university, they gave me total freedom and I exploited it :P. I, for the first time started exploring the world myself, I overcame my shyness, my hesitations and the fears of unknown. It was like my reincarnation. And the best thing that happened to me during my stay at university, I got married to my class fellow. This is another interesting story, my mum was talking to my father on phone, I approached her and told her in her ear, “Ammi men pyar ho gya a, menda waya ker choro.” That was Chakwali punjabi which means that “mum I’m in love and I wanna get married”. Yeah I know that sounds so cheap, but that actually happened. My father than talked to me and said, “oye kaun hay o kuri, kahan ke hain, kya kerti hay, baap kon hay us ka and last but not the least Ullu da patha”, I hope that needs no translation. And that’s how it all started and eventually I got married and now its an old story since I’ve been married for last 5 years and we have a beautiful daughter Rameen, who has just turned 3. That’s the story of my univerity life. Oh, as a co-incidence, my wife and myself are both java developer, though she is much better than me. So she also knows the only thing I know, Java.
Soon after my studies, I joined my father in law in his business. They are telecom subcontractors. Their job is to install all the equipment on the telco towars and the BTS rooms. The best part of the job, You had to climb up to the top of the towars very often. God! that was horribly awesome experience. You will understand this only when you’re sitting at the top of 70 or 80 meter towar and you can actually feel it moving back and forth with the wind. But I was a total misfit there as I knew nothing about telco so I left them after just a couple of months and got another job in DPS as a java programmer and then worked in Terdata as a consultant and now I’m here again working as a java developer. My love and passion for programming has only increased in the last 5 years into my professional career. In emumba, I’m seriously loving my work. I’m working with a great team of extremly competent guys and for the first time I feel like I’m actually learning a lot in a very short time. I’m not only gaining the technical knowledge but also that how a startup business work.
I would like to share with you my hobbies. I’m a wonderer, I find it very interesting to meet different people and visit different places. Whenever I get a chance, I travel. I run, I joge, I walk and I hike a lot, my best record is going up to monal on trail 3 and coming back by road in two and a half hours with no pit stops and with just half a liter of water. But all that depends on my body that always let me down, I’ve severe problems with my bones, my knee joints and my shoulders, otherwise I would’ve been an athlete. My other love is my love for photography, I don’t remember when it started, but it was definitely in my blood. My father owned several cameras when it was supposed to be a very luxury item which was only found in studios. I now own a dslr and I know how to use it. But my wishlist is long. Its hard to buy a lens woth 70 80K and go home and tell your wife about it. Because you will soon realize what kind of mistake you’ve committed. I also love swimming, though I just recently started it, before that I swam in several different dams but wearing a life jacket, but now I can swim without it and I’m so happy about that. I love reading books but I don’t do it usually, and I wish to be a bookman. My wishlist goes on and on and on, the top three things on my wishlist are sky diving, if I survive then bungee jumping and scuba diving.
It is like the Lawrence Clark Powell quote I mentioned earlier – nothing is for free, – not the keys to the doors, not the wonderful new rooms . In each of these pivotal moments of my life – other people (my parents, my friends and the society) played major roles. I consider myself extremly lucky that I am probably among the 3 4 percent of the elite of this country who’ve studied in good colleges and universities and have worked in the best multinational corporations. We are technically and finincially among the elite. I feel very obliged to Allah for all of this. Lawrence Clark Powell said that, these moments, are paid for by service to others – I agree. And I wanna pay it back to my community especially my village where the generations are being ruined by low quality education. I want to provide them world class education right in their village. Here I am learning to reach out to them and help them.