What good are thoughts if not shared? The night of the 24rth saw the ambient component in the spotlight outdoors of SEECS, NUST (H-12 Campus), alluring the eager attendees to the picturesque venue of the fountain area of the said school. The crowd was a flattering mixture of both the young and old blood alike; all gathered to consume and build upon the thoughts of professional divas and gurus with an inspiring perspective on life. The shared aim was to celebrate and bring Pakistan to the limelight and let the audience (youth in particular) involve itself on grounds of thoughts that empower and enlighten.
Embellished with X’s scattered to direct the way, outdoor heaters, cleverly positioned projection screens and matkas on stage, petals of roses & candles around the fountain, floral arrangements, and a marvelous curvilinear backdrop to the central focus of the stage; the essentials to an unforgettable night were all in place. The curator welcomes and an eye opening TED video warmed us up for the series of great thoughts that followed.
“People come to Pakistan to die; I came to Pakistan to live!”
With that as the main theme behind his talk, the opening speaker Yousaf Bashir (YBQ) made a classic entry in green kurta and white dhoti, exposing the National identity in the process. He spoke slightly along the lines of the ‘occupy Pakistan’ concept; digging deep into the fact that acceptance and intervention of original principles can help alter and mend the cultural cringe.
A plausible talk by YBQ then gave way to the second speaker of the event, Azhar Rizvi. His well articulated speech backed up with slides and equipped with an aura and outlook of a business plan, conveyed the message that regardless of the scale on which we work, we need to struggle for the good cause and make our voices be heard. He believed that as being a major propeller of our development because in the end, all like-minded brains and causes are bound to unite.
The legendary florist Farhana Azeem came next. Despite some technical glitches, she managed to pull off a thrilling presentation, displaying her unique works of art, and describing how her passion for what was abundant and growing in Pakistan enabled her to achieve great heights.
The expert to adorn the stage next was Adnan Shahid, a speaker whose words echoed long after he departed. He brought with him a notion that wasn’t old, e-wastes and how Pakistan is the target dump site of this waste, but unlike the old, he steered the conversation towards a solution that has been grabbing all his and his team efforts lately – “Ideogeny”. Stressing on a greener way of life and its impact on the life encompassing the slums, it was pleasing to see an intellect opening up debate on something to which the third world countries have always given a cold shoulder.
Exiting with a nara of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’, the evening got all the more exciting as Shah Sharahbeel approached the audience with his extreme albeit ideas nothing short of lightning bolts. Within the same short span of time that he was granted, he pulled off a memorable talk endorsed with descriptions of real life experiences that taught us cherish able lessons. His stance was loyalty to disciplines that are righteous in nature and deserve our time and energies. That everything can be achieved as long as you stand united and put your head to it, compromises made are worth the effort. He went on explaining that we can be our sole heroes and it isn’t far-fetched education plans like some dignitaries see it, but something more immediate, like action that can be our savior. What matters most, he believed was to stand in front of the bathroom mirror each morning and scold yourself, for nothing can be as intimate, honest and effective as that! With phrases such as ‘children of corrupt officials don’t deserve to get rishtas even’ he truly stole the stage.
To digest the enormity of everything said, the evening commenced to a well planned musical break. The mesmerizing performance by Rakae Jamil, together with Ustad Raza Shaukat, kick-started with a verbal introduction and a small cover of boulevard of broken dreams by Green Day, (much to the satisfaction of the majority) later on proceeding to a traditional display of our heritage music. The movement of the strings of sitar combined with the beat of tabla transformed the listeners into a state of trance and it was almost evident how everyone enjoyed indulging in the soulful and therapeutic experience.
The ride took a U-turn with Mr. Badar Khushnood bringing the focus back from traditional to a more contemporary face of Pakistan. He piled up a list of facts & figures taking pride in how one doesn’t have to be an intellect in this country to match the pace of the online world. A patriotic video shown by him further proved how the technological growth isn’t an alien phenomenon here, thus winning the hearts and claps of the people present. That said, Puresh Chaudhary took the argument from there, introducing how the media has been a victim of adverse evolution hence deforming the face of Pakistan and corrupting the minds of the innocent. She spoke of her initiative, “Agahi” which was meant to play a key role in reshaping the content of what is being shown on TV since that is pivotal consideration for the overall growth of the modern Pakistan.
Masoora Ali’s talk was a reflection of Azhar Rizvi and Shah Sharahbeels’, however, the audience loved the feminist flavor she added to it all and the way she preached volunteering at a local level. Turning the good event into the great one, the last speaker to grace the event was Danial Shah, the photographer. Revealing the unseen Pakistan which was highly mistaken for belonging to other parts of the world, he encouraged pursuit of dreams at any cost in the best manner possible.
It was almost surreal to see the evening arriving to an end as the souvenirs got distributed and the final photographs taken. Nearing the end, dinner commenced as part of the networking session and TEDxNUST polo T-shirts were distributed among the attendees. The efforts of the organizing team and the appreciation of the guests reflected in the astonishing figure of 17000+ online viewers from 37 different countries in the world. They say that all’s well that ends well, with a night to remember such as this, it’s safe to say that it was indeed a job well done!