MY FUTURE AS I SHOULD LIKE IT TO BE


MY FUTURE AS I SHOULD LIKE IT TO BE

I am taking my H.S.S.C examination these days. I am only twenty, and my future is all there before me. I do not know what I shall turn out to be, a clerk, an official, a merchant, or a vagabond. But I do know what I should like to be-I should like to be a writer.

It is a strange kind of wish, I know. It is strange especially in Pakistan where a writer almost invariably fails to make a decent living. But then, you see, I do not have to make a living by my writings. I have plenty of money of my own. My father is a rich businessman and he has vast fertile land, too.     

And since I need not make money out of my writings, I should not be tempted to write to please the populace. I should write as. I please. I should write as Sheikh Saadi, Iqbal, Mirza Mahtnud Sarhadi and Tagore wrote, because they had the urge for it and writing was not their profession. I too have the urge, although I may not have the genius of Tagore or Iqbal. But I shall be whole-hearted. l shall devote me entirely to writing. Nothing must stand in the way, I shall not care for comfort or applause or success. I shall write to express all that is in me.

I shall write stories and novels. I can write poems too. But I do not think that I am destined to be a poet. I have already written several stories and they have been liked by some of my friends. One of my teachers who himself is a good writer thinks that I have the possibility of a good story writer.   

I also have plans for two or three novels. One is about a young Indian who takes part in the national struggle for independence and turns a socialist. The other is about a young girl who marries a poor artist. The third-no, I need not tell you about the third novel, because it is all me. I do not really know what sort of a book it is going to be like.

I do not write stories for the fun of it. You see, I like to make up stories because through them I wish to say. all that I think and feel about life. And I am intensely interested in my fellow men. I watch them with great interest. They do not even know how they attract me. Why the other day I wrote a story about of mine who is something of a fool, but quite an interesting fool. He has read the story but does not know it is all about him. I do not think that I shall go on writing things that people will not care for. A time will come when they will recognize my greatness.

Then I shall have a great reputation and my books will be sold all over the world. I shall become a millionaire like George Bernard Shaw, who had a bank balance of seven hundred thousand pounds at the time of his death.

But what shall I do with this money? I shall build a home for artists and writers in every province and large. estate in Pakistan. Adequate funds will be allotted to each home so that writers and artists may rest there free of charge for three months at a stretch. I shall also give stipends to needy but talented writers.

I am sure that a writer does more for the joy and ennoblement of mankind than a statesman or businessman. A nation that neglects its writers is not fully civilized. I should be happy indeed, fin the years to come, I can be of some help to the Pakistani writers.

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