Positive thinking brings positive change in life, says cabbie writer
* Author of “For Hire” plans travelling to UK in his taxi to launch English version of his Urdu book
* Working on another book ‘Traffic Reforms'
By Mahtab Bashir
ISLAMABAD: Amidst all the troubling news around especially, the contemporary wave of terrorism and extremism, few of people are very optimistic to reclaim the old glory of the country with their positive attitude.
Asif Hussain Shah, a cab driver is among such people who sanguinely hope that through positive thinking and focusing on concerned areas, they could bring about a positive change in the lives of the people.
Earlier, in January 2009 he wrote an interesting book comprising 35 short stories based on his experiences on the roads of Islamabad-Rawalpindi as a cabbie.
Now this 41 years old man is planning to travel to UK by road in his taxi where he intends to launch an English version of his Urdu book published by Feroze Sons (private) Limited.
Capturing the tales of dreams, desires and struggles of a common man, Shah has compiled the moving account of life around him in his first book titled ‘For Hire’- the first ever book written by a cabbie in Pakistan. Being a taxi driver, he takes us on a ride through pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow on the road of life in a quest for self-confidence.
Talking to Daily Times, Shah stated he studied till 12th grade before he finally entered practical life, but his quest for learning never ended. “While trying to make ends meet and providing life’s basic necessities to my four young children, I myself was on the verge of breaking down through struggles, but then I decided to take up a pen and capture real life stories happening all around me,” said Shah.
Born in Lalamusa, Shuja got expertise in making water-boring machines. When he got married in Rawalpindi he made up his mind to live in this city in the year 1993. For one year, he remained glued to his work as a water-boring machine maker. “It was good, but I am a man who believes in hard work,” said Shah.
He said the idea of writing a book in Urdu sprung into my mind. “I felt that I have met various passengers, with whom I have exchanged views on a number of topics during my 15 years of cab driving in the city. I thought why should not I write these short stories in simple Urdu and I started work on it,” he said while showing his 120 pages book.
“It is because the word ‘Hire’ is linked to taxi and a cab driver, that is why I’ve given my book the title ‘For Hire’, he said, adding, “I am neither a scholar nor an intellectual, but I see and feel life all around me and have tried to capture those moments of truth in my own words.” The effort gave me an immense strength and enabled me to fight my depression away, looking towards the future with a new hope and zeal, said Shah whose nomination has been submitted to Guinness Book of the World Records.
Based on ground realities and facts just the way Shah comes across in his day-to-day sojourn, he has tried to convey to his readers a message that ‘they can do anything if they set their aims high’.
Despite becoming a writer, Shah said he would never give up his profession of a cab driver, because whatever he was today was just because of this profession.
Shah said perhaps it was for the first time in Pakistan that a taxi driver had authored a book.
Shah said so far he had not asked for any help from any of government department and faced all the hardships during his effort to write the book at his own. He said despite those suffering, he intended to write another book on ‘Traffic Reforms’. He said though Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) had made traffic flow smooth, no such reformation in traffic was being witnessed.