by Awais Leghari

After an enthralling comedy night at LUMS, I wondered; what is my strong suit? How can I stand out? How do I distinguish myself? The people on that stage possessed a surreal amount of talent. To appear unnerved in front of a crowd that can berate you there and then for a slight gaffe, how do they do it? How do they maintain such composure, yet come out on top? And that’s not it; they make people laugh, consistently, from joke after joke that are all improvised. That’s brilliant. Thinking on your feet and then bellowing out a witty pun for the public to appreciate; this is a very unique form of art, one that often goes unappreciated in Pakistan.

So I evaluated myself today. Or perhaps to be more precise, I augmented my thoughts onto a new level where the anatomy of my character came about under a knife that I held in my own hands. For years now, I have not known where my passion truly lies, so I assumed that passion to be in Computer Science. Well, it actually isn’t. However, it comes slightly close to my vision of what I would want to do.

I find it extremely pleasing to see my ideas come to life, no matter how good or bad they are. In this digital age, computers give life to the figments of imagination and creativity that otherwise hog the brain and eventually drain into oblivion. Not any more. Programming can store it for generations and more people can build upon the foundations that you lay. Sometimes, the very thought of this makes me cry because I feel that as more people utilise and mould the fabrics of your designs and suit their own needs or the circumstances, the more immortal you become; because it was you who started it.

However, the problem is, I am not exceptional at programming.

So the ideas that I have right now might never be realised. Simply because I cannot replicate them from the imaginary confines of my brain to the worldly confines of reality. I hate this fact and more so, I hate it when people mistake my enthusiasm regarding such ideas for capability. It’s completely okay to be motivated and inspired, and at the same time, be talentless.

Well, only two types of people judge you. Ones that can’t really go too far into the realms of creativity and come up with something original, and then there are the ones who can do that, and are also capable of creating their ideas in the real world. Despite there being a middle path between the two, it doesn’t often command any respect or importance. This is the world of the extremes. Some work hard, create someone else’s imagination and then there are ones who work hard and create their own world. But what about people like me?

So while witnessing the comedians entertain the audience at LUMS, I vicariously constructed a virtual reality where I would be the one standing on the stage. What if I was genuinely funny but unable to bring that factor out in a way that complements the funny part? Or what if I was not too funny, but expressive enough to make unfunny things sound and look funny? Considering both cases, who is the real loser?