By now, everyone in the country and many people around the world know about the demise of the tech-genius Arfa Karim Randhawa – the name that won laurels for the country. A befitting symbol of pride of a nation; her demise shattered us all.
Arfa – the name speaks for itself. I first heard about her when she made the world record by being the youngest MCP in 2005. I watched her PTV interview with Tauseeq Haider and I was in a state of awe when I looked at the way she spoke with the anchor so confidently and even cross-questioned the anchor at some points. The first impression – this is not an average kid. I saw her about a couple more times after her big feat when she received some civil awards, etc. It was not until late December, 2011 when the news started circulating about her deteriorating health.
I have never had the honor of meeting her but I wish to do so now when it’s not possible. Go on and call me whatever you want to. But the truth is I never knew much about her remarkable personality. Now that she is gone, I’m sure she has inspired not only me but thousands of other youngsters in the country and around the world. My curious nature did not spare me. I read every article about her on the internet and watched interviews after interviews to get a hold of what her personality was like and what made her so successful in life not only academically but in so many other aspects of life. After all that jazz, I understood that ‘being a genius’ was not the only factor; multiple factors came into play and helped Arfa where she was today.
She was a girl who achieved so much when she was barely nine years old. People several times her age aren’t able to do even a fraction of what she did. I agree that she was a genius mashaAllah and there is a clear difference between a genius and a hard-worker. It is a God-gifted ability and only a few are blessed with it. But this shouldn’t let you down. It’s not about making world records; it’s about your ability to do something that you’re best at selflessly for the benefit of your country and the people around you. Arfa took more pride in being called a Pakistani hailing from a village near Faisalabad and in being able to present a positive aspect of Pakistan internationally than making a world record. She was more interested in making IT labs all across Pakistan so that more Arfas could be produced in the country who will participate actively in the development of a better Pakistan.
She was equally good in cooking, playing guitar, singing, socializing, being the head-girl of her school, as she was in Computer Science. From understanding Iqbaliyaat to reciting a poetic piece at the right time during a conversation, she was the paradigm of a successful human being. Not only was she down-to-earth even after winning national awards and being recognized internationally, but she was also a helping hand to anyone and everyone around her.
In short, she had all that we should strive to achieve. All it needs is a spark that is within you. Like she had the curiosity for everything, we need to develop that thirst for knowledge to attain our goals. Arfa in her last email to Dr. Ata-ur-Rehman expressed that she wanted to opt such field at university level in which she could explore and discover things to satisfy her inquisitive nature as Pakistan Observer mentions. We need to trigger that spark, develop that inquisitive nature and keep it alive so that we can accomplish much more and do something that the country could be recognized for. This motherland has produced sons and daughters like Ali Moeen Nawazish, Ibrahim Shahid, Sitara Burooj Akbar, and many more who have so many hidden talents that if we start displaying them in the international fora, we will rise from this state of hopelessness immediately.
I hope that through the Arfa Karim Foundation that will be headed by her father, we would be able to reach many more Arfas who have the will power to do anything for the benefit of their country.
Indeed, people like Arfa Randhawa are born in centuries and we won’t ever be able to replace this unbearable loss. May Allah bless her soul and give her a higher rank in Jannah. Ameen! Arfa has recited this Iqbal’s shair at numerous events and I would like to end my piece with it:
Faza-e-badr paida kar farishtay teri nusrat ko,
Utar saktay hain garduu’n say qataar andar qataar ab bhee!