The Few. The Passionate.

 


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It is not often that you come across people who have a passion for their job. In fact, it is not often that you come across passionate people at all. If you go looking for them, you’d find them in all the strange places – and by strange I mean boring. Apparently, boring.

It wouldn’t surprise me to find a photographer tucked inside a bush in some dark, dense forest, to capture moments of a bug’s life. It would, however, surprise me to find a chartered accountant who demonstrates an equal degree of passion in what(-ever it is that) a chartered accountant does, since his is an apparently tedious job.

To most of us, mobilizing and employing human and financial resources for the purpose of post-disaster rehabilitation, would sound boring, albeit noble. It’s not as easy to see the humanitarian side of this job, as it is to see that of philanthropy. Not unless you’ve been in conversation with an official who has been in the thick of it. You may or may not ever come across him, but I’ll tell you what, there is (at least) one at ERRA – a post-earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation authority, right next door in Islamabad, Pakistan.


To most of us, mobilizing and employing human and financial resources for the purpose of post-disaster rehabilitation, would sound boring, albeit noble.


I and my six other friends cum group members visited the authority a couple of days back to get some information for our final project, and were lucky enough to meet him. The now retired Col. Khan recounted every detail of the havoc caused by the 2005 earthquake, as if it was indelibly registered in his mind and stamped on his heart. He is one of those people whom fate forces into rethinking the purpose of life – who, making sense out of all the madness, seize the opportunity that nature tosses at them and use it to chart a path for their lives therefrom. Having been in the field for close to a decade now, Col. Khan thinks Disaster Management, sees Disaster Management and speaks Disaster Management in a manner so effectual and convincing, that it will force you to think, see and speak accordingly as well.

The much anticipated visit to ERRA, then, went way better than expected. If we had had enough time, we would not have gotten up to leave so soon. But what followed, disheveled the symmetry of the series of fortunate events.

Since it was for a project that we had paid him a visit, it was necessary to keep some sort of record. We had made a video and taken a few group photos with him, only to realize later on that the video had gone corrupt and the photos were shaky. We could still use the photos in our presentation, but it wouldn’t be the same without the video. So what do we do now? We did beg our way out of presenting it today (yes, it was supposed to be today!), but what are the odds of having the video by Monday? Given how everything has been going wrong this semester that is thankfully coming to a close, I’d say none.


Col. Khan is, doubtless, of the handful of people who have discovered their God, their world, and their self, in the pursuit of passion, and continue to do so every day that they live on.


However, that must not be an excuse for not giving credit where it is due. Whether or not we ever get to re-live that moment through the video, the fact remains that the meeting will indelibly remain registered in our minds and stamped on our hearts. Col. Khan is, doubtless, of the handful of people who have discovered their God, their world, and their self, in the pursuit of passion, and continue to do so every day that they live on. May God bless him and all others like him. For they are indeed, the few, the passionate.

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