Got a call yesterday. A gentleman from Sahiwal. Introduced himself. Then he told me about her niece. “Her dream has been to start a dairy farm!” he chuckled. “But Khan sahib, she reads your blog and has a question, can you please talk to her?”
Then he gave the phone to his niece. She sounded very young.
She needed to ask a very important question.
“How do I take care of young calves,” she asked.
She has a small dairy farm. She has bought my Dairy Farming Guide.
I explained to her that I am not a technician of the field, just someone who has put together the best in the field to get results. Then I explained to her how she needed to access certified, qualified, degree-holding veterinarians.
She thanked me. Repeatedly. The gentleman was back on the phone. Invited me for lunch next time I am in Sahiwal. Which is not as often.
Just another day in the office. I am not a dairy farmer although I have started a dairy farm and written a guide on how to do that.
But this is about stereotypes.
So many women in Pakistan are enterprising.
They work, they start projects that many would think are “not for women”. They break stereotypes everyday here.
They don’t need sympathies.
I applaud the gentleman who obviously helped his niece start her “dream”. One always needs support from someone.
And of course, the woman who is living a part of her dream, she has already broken stereotypes. And it can only be difficult to break stereotypes.
I get a lot of emails from enterprising women, not only from Pakistan. I tell them that I understand that it is not easy, but I don’t offer them sympathies. Not because I am being clever, it is because they don’t ask for any.
My wife is my business partner as well and an independent publisher. My sister has been running a business, employing about 15 people, for the last 15 years. My niece, while still in University, has already started her little enterprise selling hand bags, after taking a one-day crash course with me on “startup methodologies” (she also makes videos and dreams of making a feature-length film one day. Allah khair 🙂 ).
We break stereotypes everyday.
A lot of people think that they can’t start living their dreams. That’s a stereotype of a different kind. As hard to break as any.
I only hope to create content that helps people live closer to their dreams. One life. Let’s live.