Ali Tareen's vision of an inclusive society

Ali Tareen giving motivational session at KU

As a 12 year old, the perception of harsh reality is relative and individualized. For some it is unending school work; for others, perceptions of society and peers; for some the pain of losing someone or something very dear; and for many the necessity of survival. Trivialities for some translate into existential questions for others. At an age when we perceive the world to be our oyster, Ali Tareen commenced a journey where his single-minded desire for independence ran the risk of derailment even before beginning. In amongst this chaos he could have chosen to swim towards his life-goals through a deep cesspool and achieve; or he could have sunk into self-pity and sympathy to a dependent and comfortable existence. Thrown into the deep end, confronted by a vacuum, and enveloped in darkness – he chose a challenging “Frost-ian” path, one less traveled and even rarely ascended, so that he could defy odds and dis-label himself.

Ali’s first of many hurdles was his Matriculation from schooling, followed by clearing his Intermediate examinations; all the while battling the elements of our unforgiving societal landscape and embedded notions. After his Intermediate, he could have proudly rested on his laurels, but for him the start was nigh and his destination still looming in the distance – and that ivory tower was the field of media and communications. To take to the airwaves and have his words echo around the country had been a dream for him, and the path to it was through higher education. A path, that most take for granted, was fraught with potholes and mines, for Ali. Despite the odds stacked against him, he yet again jousted through the elements and commuting for many years he not only managed to secure a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, but also a Master’s degree in the said field.

At this juncture, as with many other of his life’s diverging paths, Ali did not hesitate to aim higher and donning the proverbial “game-face” he plunged into the job market. Despite being rejected by multiple media outlets for a role as a radio jockey, he persisted and was finally given a break for a FM100 show and used the platform to become who we now trust as a cultivated master of ceremonies, a rousing motivational speaker, a steely-spirited motorcycle commuter, an eloquent consultancy associate, and an ambassador for disenfranchised causes.

When his life was careening towards a crossroad – curving into a reality that few experience – Ali could have cowered. He was at a juncture where a citadel of hope that he had seen as looming large and inviting, could only be felt; the sight of the serenity of waves at Clifton could only be heard; and an eye-catchy tantalizing gola ganda with its dancing colors could only be tasted – yet he persevered. Ali chose, and continues to choose, to feel independence, hear admiration, taste success, and stand tall.

Ali Tareen is visually impaired/blind.