I recently got published in the Advertiser, totally thrilled about having such a massive picture in there. When they called, for an interview with me, I seriously thought it would be a tiny picture and alot of writing along with it. So when my friend Ratih got the newspaper, the first paged I opened and there I was ‘BANG’ in my face!!!
It’s a beautiful feeling seeing yourself at that scale in the main newspaper, of the city you live in BUT at the same time it’s a bit strange too. I did feel a bit over whelmed, slightly shy and extremely honored about it really, very mixed emotions. I had never even in my wildest dreams had ever thought I would make it to a newspaper in Australia and so I’m still a bit shaken by the love, respect and attention I have received.
The simple story of my encounter with the beautiful Aboriginal man in my low days is an extremely strong symbol of how welcoming, helpful the people here are. I had read the below quotation years ago, but after meeting this man, I realized it’s actually true.
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. ~Nelson Henderson
I was sad and lonely sitting on a bench in the city one day, in my own world dreaming of a better day, and suddenly saw him sitting next to me on the bench, made me jump up my guts, scared and at first I didnt want to talk to him and told him, “No English, sorry!” when he said,” kan ya spare a dollaa!”. Even though I acted like such a weirdo, he still was nice to me and asked me why I was sitting there all alone. At that time, I had no friends, no family and no one to even talk to and someone had shown the tiniest of concern for me. I felt so HAPPY…and told him how I have come from Pakistan, where I used to work as an artist and have been rejected as ‘over qualified’ when looking for a job here and was finding it so difficult to adjust in this new culture and so on. He was polite and listened carefully and told me the directions to a shop in the western suburbs where his artist friend used to buy pottery and paint it.
I never met that man again, I’ve dreamt about him many times tho. I wanted to gift him one of my bowls but I guess he didnt help me for a bowl, he helped me because he just did. He was an angel for me who guided me to my path. I feel extreme pleasure in knowing he was a true aboriginal man, who belonged to this land who got me started. It means the world to me that he welcomed me here with such open arms and chatted to me on the day I felt lonely and he will always be there in my prayers. I just hope and aim to be following his footsteps and one day help someone like me to believe in their dreams and welcome them into this land of good people.
To the lamp of love: may it burn brightest in the darkest hours and never flicker in the winds of trial. ~Author Unknown