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    I am sure you, me and in fact, most of the people submit to the destiny and take this statement as part of our belief, yet, I thought to write few lines on this theme for two reasons. Firstly, to reiterate my full belief that, “If it is meant to be, it will be” and secondly wish to suggest adding a small line to this phrase so that it reads as “If it is meant to be, it will be, but we still need to pursue our well-thought-out objectives, proactively”. Here, I wish to share a personal experience, which to some readers, may seem to be just a normal happening in life but for me it was a complete game changer.

    I am an Abdalian (studied in Cadet college Hasan Abdal from Class 8 to FSc). Cadet College is semi-military institution, which produces high-grade professionals for almost all occupations, however, majority opt for their career in Pakistan Army and so did I. In fact, from day-one, I had no other option in my mind but the “Pakistan Army”.

    On completion of my studies I applied for Pakistan Military Academy Long Course and passed the written exam and preliminary interview for selection, in one go. Now, I just needed to clear my medical tests and go through Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB), to finally land in PMA.

    I was an active sportsman in the college and a known fittest guy in my class, therefore, did not foresee any problem in clearing medical test. Going through ISSB was also not likely to be an issue because of the military like environments that we were put through during our five years in the college.  So, everything looked set for me to be in PMA soon… my life time goal.

    I still clearly remember myself in my village in Azad Kashmir after my FSc exam, anxiously waiting for a “khaki envelope” with a letter asking me to appear before the medical board. (Just for those who may not be familiar with “khaki envelopes”, most of the correspondence in army is done in khaki envelopes, sealed and addressed to the addressees by name 😊).

    So, it came one day, asking me to appear before the medical board at Military Hospital (MH) Rawalpindi. Feeling confident of my selection, I appeared for the tests as desired, wearing my blue college blazer with sports colours on my chest (just to impress the doctors how fit I was 😊). After three days of medical check-ups, we were finally in front of Commandant’s office to get the results. Entered the office at my turn and smilingly greeted the Colonel who was very kind to offer me a chair to sit.  However, I could feel that he was little tense and un-easy. With a pause of few seconds, he broke the silence with a shocking news that I had been deferred for three weeks due to suspected systolic murmur, a kind of heart ailment and needed medication before re-examination. With some kind words of encouragement to help me absorb this temporary setback, he guided me to collect the medicine from the store.

    Returned to the village for three weeks for a forced holiday to spend some time with my parents and also get mentally prepared for my future life as a soldier, which I thought would start in another 5/6 weeks’ time. Enjoyed a well needed break and was in MH Rawalpindi again on the given date, fully confident to be declared fit the same day and proceed for ISSB. However, after a brief check-up, I got shock of my life when the Commandant informed me that I still have problems and needed re-examination again after another three weeks medication. The real bomb-shell was his next sentence informing me that since the PMA course was to start in less than three weeks, there was no time for me to be tested again and therefore, I was not to be re-examined.

    I was totally shocked at the news and did not know how to react. I was not finding suitable words to express my disgust and frustration. The Commandant could apparently, feel my pain and with few words of sympathy, advised me to continue medication and apply for next course, if I so desire. That meant a wait for another six months, going all over again and still not sure to get selected. The game was over, as far as, I was concerned.

    Honestly, I considered it as a doomsday for myself. A person who had never thought of doing anything else in life but soldiering—declared medically unfit despite being Cadet College’s sports colours holder in five major sports; captain of college football team, member of college boxing & hockey teams and winner of inter services long distance races. I found myself totally helpless.

    In next few hours, I was riding the bus back to my native village, this time, with no dreams for the future in dignified military career, which had always been my only passion. So, I was back to square one, at a place from where, about five years back, I was able to fight my way through the mountains to Cadet College Hasan Abdal. Though, failing in the medical tests was not in my control, I was still blaming myself to have let down my dearest father who had shown me a way forward from a village school to cadet college, the prime institution of the country and had imagined a brilliant military career for me in Pakistan Army.

    Although, I had passed FSc in pre-engineering with good grades, I was so much demoralised that I was finding it difficult to convince myself to apply for admission in any of the engineering universities. Nobody will believe that in my heart, I had decided to work in our own lands in the village. My hats-off to my great father (God bless his soul), who once again, quietly applied for my admission in Engineering University Lahore through one of our relatives, without my consent. For me, the life there-after was directionless and purposeless.

    It was after about two weeks that I got surprise of my life when I, once again, received a “khaki envelope” from MH Rawalpindi, informing me that since PMA course for which I had applied for, had been delayed by few weeks, there was time for me to appear for my medical test as per the schedule and if I pass, I could still run for my selection through ISSB. The news gave me hope for a “second life”.

    With a new hope in sight, I was, once again on a bus to Rawalpindi, very hopeful and enthusiastic. After a very brief appointment with the cardiologist, I was sent to the Commandant for the result. The Colonel looked at the result and with a very heavy heart informed me that the problem still persists, and I required more medication and therefore, I fail to join this course.

    It was totally shocking, and I could not control my unwarranted emotional outburst.  I asked the Colonel, if he could not see cadet college’s sports colours on my blazer and certificates of merit at inter- services level competitions and still thought that I had heart issues. I don’t remember what else I might have said but, the sentences must not have been very decent and matured. Instead of getting annoyed on my unwarranted out-burst, the Commandant, like a good senior military officer, could understand my position, felt moved and asked me to wait outside his office for some time.

    After a while, I was called in again and told that in order to clear any doubts, Colonel had ordered a special board of five doctors to re-examine my heart. Confused, demoralised and hopeless, I followed the individual who was deputed to guide for the tests. The doctors examined me for nearly one hour and sent me back to the commandant. I was delighted to see commandant, this time in an absolutely different mood, welcomed me with a big smile and greeted me with great enthusiasm, “Oh! young man, finally you have won a career for yourself. Congratulations.”

    There-after, I proceeded to appear before ISSB and got selected for PMA Long Course that I had applied for. Served gracefully for nearly 40 years in the army and now live a retired life with left over energies that this great institution provided me during all these long years. Thank you, Pakistan Army.

    Interestingly, while I was in process of joining military academy, I also received a letter from engineering university, Lahore, informing me about my selection for the admission and was to join the session starting in another two months’ time. It was my father’s contingency planning which also came through, as an alternate option. But obviously, I was already home…Pakistan Army.

    I wish to once again take an opportunity to pay homage to my late father, who remained a source of great strength for me all along, during my career searching stage, till I was finally settled in the profession of arms. I honestly, believe that I owe everything to my parents. While, my father was always with me in the field, my mother who played an important role in my initial grooming, has always been a source of spiritual strength. Parents play an important role in our life, for which we have no substitute. Though we cannot repay for what they do for us, at least, we all need to take care of them when they require to be taken care of.

    I hope this short and simple narration of an actual happening in my life, justifies that, a successful life is a combination of destiny, self-belief and proactive pursuance of well-thought-out objectives. Parents in their own capacity, provide a safe and favourable playing conditions. Rest is all your show and that of your destiny!

    Brig (Retd) Naseem A Khan

    I am a housewife with three kids, already a very heavy-duty job but still like many others; I have a dream to pursue a career of my own and make a mark professionally. With this great believe that Almighty Allah has blessed women in particular; a special ability to simultaneously excel and take care of all, whether at home or any field; I decided to finally step into the professional world.

    Now the first question that arose, what should I do? It was almost a decade gap with no work experience at all after I completed my MBA. To be honest I was much afraid; which option to choose from? Who to trust? and above all how to gain back the self-confidence. I had my constraints too, a home to manage and kids to look after, which is my prime responsibility as well. The answer to all these questions came to me in the form of MarCom. A firm who showed faith in my abilities and gave me back that lost confidence; not only through provision of a platform to showcase my creative skills and polish them, but also by giving me enough freedom to work within my limitations.

    Having studied business, I am well aware of the kind of influence advertising has on our everyday lifestyle. It converts our wants into needs, dreams into desires. As a socially responsible Pakistani, I would like people with such influential power on our decision making, to not only be just more skilled and proficient, but also most importantly socially responsible, so that they don’t take advantage of their respective positions to exploit others. Money making should not be their sole objective. I consider myself very lucky that I was able to find a place at the right agency (MarCom) that actually practices strong moral values. Hence our philosophy matched fully, and I started working on equal frequency and moral grounds.

    For me Life at MarCom is simple, exciting and full of passion. Over all, the work culture is highly motivational, which enables us to bring out our best. MarCom strongly encourages all team members to share any creative idea that pops up in our mind irrespective of the job title or department. This enabling environment helps employees to think out of the box. Roles are important for work distribution/ assigning of responsibility; but at MarCom there is no defined boundary to limit creativity or passion to contribute in any project. I truly believe that free flow of ideas is one of the major reasons behind success of MarCom in such a short span of time.

    The best thing I found at MarCom is the rare culture of appreciation/recognition; where people and their work is cherished and celebrated more than anything else. I was pleasantly surprised to find an agency celebrating the smallest of occasions to the bigger ones. Life becomes so easy, satisfying, more meaningful and enjoyable when work is more like fun and colleagues become more as family members. This for me is the concept of an ideal workplace which I am lucky to be part of and enjoying every bit since I joined.

    I am already in admiration of the quality of work being produced at our agency. From the first day onwards, it was made very clear to me that there is no compromise as far as quality is concerned. Joining the creative team, interacting with highly qualified and thorough professionals working round the clock in different countries with a lone purpose of producing best quality product, has been a great inspirational journey so far. Distances do not matter at MarCom, it was surprising for me at first place; how this global team is able to communicate flawlessly; rather the synergy is actually mesmerizing. Despite giving maximum leverage to different employees in terms of flexible work hours due to time differences and other limitations, the work quality standard has been persistently maintained rather is improving day by day. Thanks to repetitive quality checks at all ends, our prime goal of ensuring a happy and satisfied customer every time is intact strongly. This is indeed evident from the ever-increasing number of our clients mashaAllah! 😊

    While sharing how Life is at MarCom, I feel it is pertinent to mention the inspiring journey of two young brains behind this rapidly growing one stop communication firm. I feel honored to be led by young, focused and specialized thorough professionals, passionate enough to show the world their strength, expertise, intelligence and sheer talent. Both our founders are powerhouse of knowledge and experience, a lethal combination to be successful in any field. It is so encouraging to know that both have actually been at our place at first, serving the industry with same passion for years as an employee. Their persistent hard & smart work, pure loyalty towards the profession has always been talk of the town even before starting up this firm. Despite financial limitations, minimal resources and negligible investment, they took a major risk with purity of purpose solely to realize a dream of creating a top-quality internationally recognized Pakistani ad agency which is not only a hub of creativity but also a place of pure happiness and actual empowerment for everyone involved. This they feel have been missing from the industry over the years. The success and growth of MarCom over the last two years is definitely the result of the untiring day and night efforts by the founders who have always remained at forefront at every platform, every stage of work to ensure best results possible.

    At MarCom, Pakistan always comes first; another similarity which I dearly hold. It is astonishing to witness the kind of love and passion team MarCom has when it comes to anything about Pakistan. This ownership is unfortunately lacking these days. I proudly claim to be a part of an ad agency which keeps coming up with ideas and ventures that can help promote Pakistan and Pakistanis across the globe. With initiatives like Promising Pakistan, Inspire Pakistan, Pakistani Tohfa and so on; MarCom is making its humble contribution to keep the Pakistani flag high and roaring.

    To sum up, I must conclude by saying MarCom is indeed a much-needed addition to our rapidly growing and competitive advertising industry. It is not only gaining recognition amongst a diversified clientele but for me it has proved to be an ideal employer. Kudos to the owners as they are leading from the front and setting example for the others to follow. Wishing MarCom a very happy 2nd Anniversary and prayers for unlimited accomplishments and victories ahead.

    “Have you applied for an Australian Immigration?”, “Move to Canada for the sake of your kids”, “Settle in UK, Pakistan is not going to get you anywhere!”, “Move to Middle East and make tax-free big bucks”; Something a young professional, a young couple or a young family gets asked quite frequently these days. No doubt, the longevity of Pakistan’s ‘crisis’ like situation and the absence of work opportunities have made these questions tempting and there are genuine cases of the need for a move abroad, but before such a decision is made we must make sure that our priorities sorted out well and expectations managed accordingly. Remember! You gain a few things by losing a few. Make sure the gains you envisage with such a move outweighs the losses incurred.

    People who choose to stay in Pakistan despite the lack of job opportunities, the never-ending load shedding, lack of basic necessities are not committing a crime. They love their children just as much as you do. They care about their kids just like you. It’s just that maybe they want their kids to spend more time with their grandparents, to frequently experience cousins’ get-togethers during holidays, to celebrate festivals just like they did – Yes, at the cost of something for sure but something they value less than the company of grandparents, cousins and the freedom to celebrate the festivals – basically a connection with their homeland.

    This blog is not intended to doubt or judge anyone’s decision of moving abroad – in fact it is meant for exactly the opposite. We should stop doubting or judging anyone for moving or not moving abroad. You leave behind a whole lot when you move abroad. Your family, close relations, friends to start with but it doesn’t end there. You leave behind your culture, language, food as well. You leave behind meat distribution on Eid, you leave behind the sound of Azaan, you leave behind Paan shops at every corner, you leave behind story telling by your kids’ grandparents, you leave behind decorating house on Independence Day and you’ll most likely leave behind late-night sittings with siblings munching on anything available at that time. We need to make sure that we think it through well enough if we would like our kids to get a shot at relatively better education opportunities at the cost of grandparent’s company and a load-shedding free home at the cost of joy of bringing in and photographing sacrificial animal on Eid.


    There is no doubt that every decision you make, comes along its pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. If I take myself as an example, I spent my whole life in my “own” land (always being a first-class citizen). Studied here, earned my bread and butter here, still enjoying a good reasonable lifestyle here, negating the fact that only “sifarish” functions in somewhat dysfunctional society of ours, denying the fact that there is no good quality education here. Many of you would agree (and many wont) but in my view what works best is sheer hard work, dedication and determination. No matter where on earth you land, hardwork yields positive results. One big reason, in fact the biggest is the law and order situation in our country, our home that compels many to go abroad and take benefit of a bomb-free, terrorism free environment. But are you really sure “malkul maut” can’t book a seat and fly abroad? So death is destined and you can’t run away from it.

    Despite mentioning all these points, a better life style and kids are ultimately main factors for most of the moves abroad. We should spend some time in ensuring we get this ‘better’ sorted out correctly before making such a decision. We should not lose sight of a number of intangibles, subjective things that play an important role in your children brought up in the glare of some of the more obvious, objective ones. We should make every effort to give our kids the best of opportunities even if it involves changing a few things we hold dear but then down the line as we get old and they grow up, we should be ready to accept them changed as well.

    Hira Umair

    A Proud Pakistani

    Blogger at Marcom