Tanzila Khan: An Inspiration For The Masses

Nov 4, 2013 by     2 Comments    Posted under: Spotlight, The Red Carpet

She writes. She speaks. She owns a number of youth-empowerment organizations. And she works for even more. If there was ever a super-woman, that title would fit well on Tanzila Khan. Being a women in Pakistan is enough for people to try and prevent you from achieving any amount of success in your life. If you have a natural handicap on top of that, your life can well turn into a miserable abode. But Tanzila Khan was not the one to feel sorry for herself, and despite her impairment, she has achieved so much already in her life, that some of us never will. She has had two books published and is the founding director at Creative Alley Productions and the Angel Network. YC caught with up with this amazing lady recently to have a chat. Here’s what she had to say.

Tell us about the Tanzila behind the social worker and the writer who is a source of inspiration for everyone.
Tanzila is an average Pakistani girl, no different from anyone else. She shrieks at the sight of lizards and does house chores such as dusting and making beds. Also secretly hopes for her chapatis to be perfectly round. She was brought up in a carefully guarded perimeter of culture and customs, being an only daughter and coming from a prominent landlord family. But there’s always a twist that too came along when she started dreaming. I guess she was just lucky to break the stereotype earlier. Others do it at a later stage. Expression came out through whatever was available, hands. Writing quickly turned into spoken words and that too went on to actually reach people around the globe. But she still makes her bed when she wakes up.

You have accomplished so much in your life up till now. A lot of dedication must have been required. What was your driving force?
I seriously don’t think I have achieved much in life and always feel that I could have done a lot more. I swear! And that is the reason I strongly urge other young people to explore themselves from the start and don’t wait for anything. As in for the tiny contributions I have made, I think it all comes from the impact of the first step and that keeps you going. For me, to make people believe in their dreams is like a goal and for that I keep trying. So lesson one; take the first step!

Tanzila Khan

What shall be the word which describes you best?
Jelly!

Meri beti doctor banegi.‘ A phrase used by many parents in our culture. Did your parents use to say the same, or was their thinking different?
Ok, I’ll be honest. My parents were very proud because I never failed to not pass most of my class subjects. I was never a good student. I let other students be best at grades. I knew I would be best at other things. So I guess my parents never reached the stage of putting heavy duty parhako labels on me. They just knew from the start that I would define my own labels. So I am very lucky. I think that’s how all parents should be.

Tell us about your Creative Alley Productions company. What were the reasons behind initiating it and what are the projects that it is working on?
I started Creative Alley to engage young people in projects and so that they can learn while practically working. They are students but they are trained to work with corporate officials. We have a very informal friendly atmosphere. We also tend to raise funds for different projects and create awareness about certain issues. Everyone is welcome! We are currently working on Haq e Adam. A theatre festival about different Human Rights happening in 2014. Along with that [there is also] Youth Activism Summit 2, a youth empowering summit. We also tend to do tiny capacity building workshops and make libraries in charity schools.

Do you have any idols, whom you aspired to. If yes, who?
I am inspired by self-made people and people who are dynamic. I love people who keep interests in multiple fields and are known for talents in the most contrasting fields. Such people really know how to keep the balance of life maintained and value life through actions. Luckily for me I have many such people who are my good friends.

Was their any specific incident which made you come towards the work which you are doing right now?
There are many incidents. But they all had a common base. I was always rejected because I couldn’t walk. People were worried about my safety. I was worried about my life. But then I went on doing the same thing on my own thus creating some achievements and some errors. Most of the things I do today were in some part of my life taken away from me. I would really like to shout out and say that if you really want to help people with disabilities, put them on the field, treat them like a normal person and give them equal ragra! You will witness wonders! Wanna bet?

Haha no. We’ll take your word for it. Tell us how you manage working in such contrasting fields as writing and social work.
One keeps the other alive. Diversity maintains the excitement in life. I am not a social worker. I am an active citizen of this world and that’s what you all are. You just didn’t know until you read this line. I just do what I am supposed to do as a member of the Human Family. As in for writing, its my passion. I like playing with words and emotions on paper and let them help me escape from this world for a little while.

Of all your books and publications, which is your favorite? Do tell us why.
I have written many. I have published only two of them. I couldn’t publish most of them because with time we grow and our writing seems immature to us so I am still refining them before release. As for my favorite book is certainly ‘The Perfect Situation’ because its very close to my and my peer’s lives. But my first manuscript, ‘A story of Mexico’ gave me wings. I will soon direct a play based on my first book.

What are your aims for the future?
We all have so many plans. I guess I plan to continue whatever I am doing right now. and contribute in the education sector first as it can seriously solve a lot of other problems. Along with that planning to start a radio show and maybe some standup comedy for pure inspiration!

Any specific message for our readers?
Do not get caught up in petty issues. It just limits you from enjoying this life. Not having money, not having education, not having skills, not having guidance, not having a limb, not having encouragement/motivation, not having a girlfriend/boyfriend, not having time, not having resources are all petty issues. Get over it please!

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2 Comments + Add Comment

  • about Tanzila khan no word for Explanation she is the very very very cute innocent charming gril
    inspiration motivation (Y)

  • I needed this so bad! And I took so long to get here I’d love to kick myself. Her words could have helped me utilize a butt load of weeks I wasted worrying about ‘petty issues’! But I’ll definitely keep her advises and her upbeat attitude in mind next time before declaring my life not conducive enough to productivity. Thankyou Tanzila Khan…you go girl!

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