That’s what the tagline read when I was handed a card by the driver of my office car. Much to mine and my colleague’s surprise Javed Akhtar also asked us to contact him on Facebook and give him feedback on how it should be improved.
He likes to be called Chacha Pakistani and loves to travel across the country on his motorcycle. Here is a link.
Akhtar Sahab does two jobs to support his passion. He offers his services as a chauffeur to my organisation and privately as well.
As he requested me an Ali, my colleague, to give him feedback on his Facebook page, which he said boys from office had made for him but it didn’t suit his taste, he also talked about his daughter whom he was teaching to use a computer. “She is in grade sixth, and I bought her a computer so that she can learn to use it and teach me.”
Akhtar Sahab told us that he wanted to travel the world on his motorcycle. But he didn’t have enough money to apply for a visa. Every year from the middle of July he sets off on his motorcycle, with only his son to help him, to reach the Wagah border on August.
” I do it so people stop wasting our country and realise that a it’s a gift, not something to throw away.”
Every trip to Wagah costs him about Rs0.2 million. Although he is clearly above sixty, I can see his silver hair at the back of his head, but he seems to the kind of man who have willpowers of steel for things they want to do. For 20 years he has been to and fro Karachi and Wagah border
As he kept talking about his motorcycle travels, I was surprised at my own reaction. Initially I wondered whether he was crazy in working so hard as he did – and pursuing an expensive passion with an attitude of come what may. But then the image of Moin Khan came to mind.
How everyone had admired him for his perserverance with his cause – the same as Akhtar Sahib – despite him breaking more than half-a-dozen bones in his body. Even he survived on ketchup and rice for around three months to save up for the journey.
Then I began thinking what if Akhtar Sahab too was from a relatively affluent family, could speak about his passion a little more suavely … People like me, that is to say, supposedly ‘educated’ wouldn’t shrug him off when we see him panaflex-laden motorcycle in a news package on one of our many news channels. Maybe he wouldn’t have been desparate for an audience as he was and his tone wouldn’t have switched between stubbornness and fierce determination.