By matriculation I had a definite dream to be the first female GD Pilot of Pakistan. To be the one who will fly F-16s and to be the first female fighter pilot who will win sword of honor and embrace martyrdom while serving her homeland. I imagined this all. Wished it. However, I admit that it was too far fetched.
During the final days of matric in 2003, I remember sharing my wish with my friends. And they laughed, mostly because of how stupid it sounded from someone wearing spectacles. And partly because air force had not stated taking females yet for GD Pilot or even for engineering. However, some friends motivated me by saying that I can get a handsome fighter pilot, who may take me for a ride in his F-16. To which my reply was; "No! I want to be a fighter pilot myself!."
Later on, when internet came in, my first email id was "email@example.com". One may call it a teen's obsession.
So I started working on my eyesight by consuming loads of carrots a day during its season and off season trying different home remedies to strengthen my eyesight. Obviously the miracle of re-gaining 6/6 eyesight never happened. And I rather turned out as an average student. However, my wish; my dream always remained dear to me. I knew I can never achieve it. But I loved it.
Years later in 2012, I applied in air force for ground position. And I was rejected on medical basis due to my weak eyesight. It was devastating. It broke me. Because it was too unexpected for me. I still remember my walk from PAF Faisal base hospital to the main gate of selection center. I came all the way crying. Alone. Because weak eyesight was acceptable for ground positions but mine was too weak to be accepted. I buried my dream in my heart that day.
However, in all those years, something wonderful happened which never happened before. PAF started taking females for pilots. Girls were emerging much more than I imagined for myself. As fighter pilots, wearing that uniform, holding that helmet, taking extensive trainings, sitting in cockpits and flying the jets.A female cadet also won sword of honor. Even they were inducted in army other than medical posts. All of this always made me so happy that I can never explain in words. It all became a distant dream for me but for the love of it, this charisma remained with me.
And then yesterday, martyrdom of Marium Mukhtiar happened. For a moment, I was shaken. I glanced at her picture and my heartbeat was not normal. It was heartbreaking and it had a beauty. It reminded me of a wish. And how I imagined it. It was more or less the same. With all the armed forces inducting females more then ever in recent years, I never thought that such thing will ever happen. But it did. And I wonder how lucky she is. I have no words for the strength and courage for this young, fearless, intelligent and outstanding lady.
May her soul rest in peace. She have achieved her dreams and inspired so many.
By now, I have seen my distant dream being fulfilled in so many forms by so many girls that it brighten me up from inside every time. It is one of the most beautiful feeling.
May we all achieve our dreams, no matter how high, no matter how far!