“If there was one person that I believe would take a bullet for Nixor, it would be Zarak Asim”.
These are the words that Sir Nadeem used to describe the individual I am about to interview today. Having spent almost 3 years at Nixor and seen its transformation, Zarak has indeed made his mark on this institution, all the while changing his life. So, with the Government inductions this weekend, I sat down with Zarak to talk about the inductions, Nixor, and his life.
NM: You have spent almost 4 years at this institution; tell us about the transformation you’ve seen at Nixor since you came here.
ZA: Since its inception in 2008, Nixor has without a doubt redefined the concept of A’level education in Pakistan. The question that perhaps comes to mind is what really constituted this phenomenal transformation? The answer to this lies in understanding the vision of this institute which helps to achieve its mission. That is, to produce leaders in the shape of good human beings. In very simple words, it is due to the constant pursuit to achieve this dream.
Apart from all this, what truly defines Nixor and this transformation is US, the people. What Nixor is today is because of the tireless efforts of every single person that has been associated with it. Nixor is basically a movement. A movement started by a few visionaries back in 2008 whose message, teaching and legacy has been passed down from one batch to another which will further continue and will, InshaAllah, very soon reflect in the wider community.
NM: How do you feel you’ve changed as a person since your first year at Nixor?
ZA: Life is a summation of valuable experiences. So throughout one’s life an individual seeks out opportunities to build up on his ‘experience’ which ultimately leads to personal growth. Nixor is perhaps the most amazing and the most valuable experience of my entire life. At Nixor, countless opportunities presented themselves and I tried my level best to learn from every single one. These valuable experiences that led to this internal transformation were not just in form of extracurricular activities or community service opportunities but also in form of friendship and social interactions. I can very easily say that these three years have completely changed me as an individual and have greatly helped me in moving closer to becoming the person I envision myself to be.
People sometimes wonder why, if we are allocated the same amount of time and opportunities to achieve similar goals, why do the results differ for different people. The key here is to be solely focused on being the best that you can be. If you try beating everyone else then you’ll never really be able to realize your true potential because you will always be in the need to prove yourself to be better than everyone else. But the day you forget about what others do or think about you and only focus on yourself, your own abilities and potential, then that will be the day when things will change; the battle will not be with anyone but you. And once you start trying to be the best you can be, that is when things will turn around for you because this is the only way that you will be able to achieve true personal growth.
NM: With the Government inductions soon, I bet a lot of people think of it as a rat race or a battle of the fittest or simply, a competition. What are your views on that?
ZA: No matter how much one may not want for such perspectives to rise, some people do end up seeing Government inductions as a competition. History is a testament to the fact that those who end up making the concept a “survival of the fittest” or a rat race end up getting the short end of the stick. The reason this problem arises in the first place is due to completely misunderstanding the concept of Nixor Student Government (NSG). To be as brief and concise as possible, the NSG is nothing more than a public service. A few misconceptions revolve around thinking of the NSG as a means to popularity or a means to increasing ones influence. The position will only give you perhaps a few seconds of fame but after that you are on your own. Every second of everyday people will scrutinize your every move. It’s like constantly living under the microscope. You will be expected to put the needs of 1400 people before yours and every act and every decision of yours will revolve around making the lives of the Nixor community much better.
So for all those out there, who see the NSG as a means to gain something beyond personal growth and the satisfaction of helping others- I hate to break it to you but you are looking in the wrong place.
NM: what do you think are the characteristics required in a government member according to you?
ZA: The answer to this question may vary from person to person as each one of us may have our own perception of the ‘ideal’ Government member.
NM: Okay so this question is a long shot and I may not get an answer but I’ll still ask- what are your predictions for the first inductions?
ZA: Well, there are a few things which I believe should remain a surprise. So you’ll get your answer this Saturday but I can tell you this that countless hours have gone into this and I am very confident that the result will be for the best.
NM: Okay so I saved the best question for last. Zarak Asim’s life at Nixor. Please tell us about your 4 years here and your whole journey.
ZA: As I said before, my journey here at Nixor has been nothing short of a miracle. It all started back in 2011 when I came here as a student of the batch of 2013. The transition from being an O’ level student to a Shark took very little time thanks to the amazing seniors and administrators here. I began working for Adopt An Orphanage and Nixor Logistics and continued with these entities throughout the year; however, I volunteered for other entities and at any other events that came my way. Things went pretty well for me except in terms of my studies- I couldn’t prioritize properly and unfortunately ended up with extremely poor grades. This was perhaps one of the biggest setbacks that I have ever encountered and due to my poor academic performance I missed out on many valuable opportunities.
But due to the amazing support and guidance that I got from my parents and Sir Nadeem I regained my confidence in myself and took the difficult decision to repeat my AS year all over again and Allhamdulilah, it proved to be one of the best decisions of my life. Once my academics were on track, everything else seemed to fall in place. From there onwards by the grace of Allah, everything that I set out to achieve, I managed to. To be very honest it wasn’t due to any miracle or the fact that I am super talented because quite frankly, I am as average as they can get. All this happened because I never gave up. I always believed in myself and in my Lord and I knew that as long as my intentions were pure and I gave it my best then good things would happen. You don’t have to make a title or a post your aim because if you do then the reason why you work and what you work for loses its true purpose and then it all becomes void and all your efforts are in vain. So I won’t sit here today and recall all the posts, achievements and recognition I received because it never really has been about them. Everything that I did was in order to positively impact the lives of the people around me and for the purpose of personal growth and the fact that you and your team have given me the respect and honor, which I might not deserve, to take part in this interview is a realization enough that at least I was on the right track.
The journey doesn’t end here though- it’s just the beginning. Not just for me, but for all my class mates, my friends and our juniors. Now the real challenge begins. Now we will see whether everything that we learnt over the course of these few years has really molded us into the responsible citizens that we were set out to be- whether we have truly become the leaders who will steer this nation to becoming what it was envisioned to be.
NM: Describe your experience at Nixor, in just one word.
ZA: That is hard. But if I had to choose one word, it would be unbelievable.
NM: Do you have any last comments for our readers?
ZA: First of all I want to thank you and your team for giving me this honor and respect.
To my batch mates, I just want to say that it has been on hell of a ride and I sincerely hope that all of us take away something positive from these years here at Nixor and are able to positively impact the lives that we touch.
To the Class of 2015: I hope that WE, your seniors were able to teach you a few good things and were able to convey the message and teachings of those before us and were able to make you understand what Nixor means and what it stands for. I hope that all of you will do an even better job than us and be able to pass on this legacy to your predecessors. Always remember that life does not start and end with YOU. Think beyond yourself, because honestly the true joy in life is to be able to live for others.