The legendary cricketer turned politician is almost as old as the country he loves so much. During his 67 years, he became a successful sportsman, initiated and then completed Pakistan’s first free cancer hospital, and eventually became the Prime Minister of the country. One must think that with all these co-curricular activities, Khan’s academic life may have jeopardized but that’s not the case here. Khan graduated from Aitchison College, one of the best schools in Pakistan, and eventually landed in Keble College at Oxford University, one of the best in the world. His cricket career continued whilst being a student at Oxford, where he was a student of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.
Like any celebrity, Khan’s life was scandalized throughout. His affairs with prominent English women were highlighted more than issues of dire importance. Khan, despite the “playboy” reputation, was looked up to by the modest and conservative Pakistanis alike. But among the women, he was a charmer like none other. His charisma would draw women towards him like a moth to a flame. This was particularly highlighted in an interview with 60 minutes when asked about the women in his life, Khan blushed and shied away – in a typical ‘desi’ boy manner.
However, there is way more to Khan’s life than just women, sports, and politics. Khan’s story is a story of will, grit, and determination. It is a story of perseverance, passion, and resilience. Hey, I can just pour in the whole thesaurus here and it would not do justice to the zest and zeal that Khan possesses. I am not just throwing in adjectives, I will prove each and every one of them. Khan started campaigning for Shaukat Khanam Memorial Hospital on 10th November 1989. The first hospital was inaugurated in 1994. That’s almost 5 years of consistent efforts. The dedication to the cause was such that the world cup victory did not sway him from reaching his goal. Right after the win, his campaign for fundraising grew stronger and gathered more funds than it did in the whole year before it. That’s over 1500 days of dedication, focus, determination, and eyes on the prize. A whopping 36000 hours of doing the same thing again and again – over 2 million minutes of waiting for the dream to come true. Compare that to the average 2-minute attention span of today’s teen.
The story doesn’t end here. Today, we all know the political story of Khan. It started back in 1996 when he had a handful of supporters and fandom that aged all the teenagers across Pakistan, including many senators and ministers in assembly today. The momentum that Khan gained during 2013 is the shift that he wanted in his political career and he struggled for it every minute during that period. The long 17 years, that Khan waited and struggled was not for nothing. He pushed and plowed through the hardest of times. There are political rallies where Khan addressed a dozen people, but he did it with the same passion as he addresses millions today. Khan’s 17 years of struggle translates to over 6000 days, 148,920 hours, and almost 9 million minutes.
Khan’s story is not the story of ‘Noon vs Junoon’, it is not the story of winning the world cup, and it’s definitely not gossip about his affairs. It is the classic tale with a moral at the end that we so loved to memorize in our schools. And the moral of the story is:
“Laser-sharp focus, the will to fight obstacles, and the determination to maintain energy will win you anything you put your mind to”.