Pakistan's Iron Lady Muniba Mazari will tell you why failure is an option, but giving up is not
I was 18 years old when I got married.
I belonged to a very conservative family, a family where good daughters never say "no" to their parents.
My father wanted me to get married.
And all I said was if that makes you happy, I'll say yes.
And of course, it was never a happy marriage.
Just about after two years of getting married, about nine years ago, I'm in a car accident.
Somehow my husband fell asleep, and the car fell in the ditch.
He managed to jump out, saved himself, I'm happy for him.
But I stayed inside the car, and I sustained a lot of injuries, list is a bit long.
The radius ulna of my right arm were fractured, the wrist was fractured, shlulder bone and collarbone were fractured. My whole ribcage got fractured.
But that injury that changed me and my life completely was the spine injury.
Many people came to rescue, They gave me a CPR.
They dragged me out of the car. and while they were dragging me out, I got the complete transaction of my spinal cord.
Those two and a half months in the hospital were dreadful.
I was at the verge of despair.
One day doctor to me and he said, "Well, I heard that you wanted to be an artist but you ended up being a housewife. I have bad news for you."
You won't be able to paint again.
Next day doctor came to me and said, "Your spine is really so bad, you won't be able to walk agian."
I took a deep breath and decided it's all right.
Next day doctor came to me and said, "Because of you spine injury and the fixation that you have in your back, you won't be able to give birth to a child again."
That day I was devastated.
I started to question my existence that why am I even alive?
So what kept me going was, one day I asked my brothers, I know I have a deformed hand but I'm tired of looking at thease white walls in the hospital and wearing these white scrubs.
- Bring me some colors, bring me some small canvas, I want to paint.
- So the very first painting I made was on my death bed. where I painted for the very first time.
- What an amazing therapy it was, without uttering a single word, I could paint my heart out.
- I could share my story. People used to come and say what lovely painting, so much color. Nobody could see the grief in it, only I could.
- And that day I decided that I'm going to live life for myself. I'm not going to be that perfect person for someone.
- I'm just going to take this moment. and I will make it perfect for myself, that I'm going to fight my fears.
- I wrote down one by one all those fears and I decideed that I'm going to overcome these fears one at a time.
- You know what was my biggest fear? Divorce.
- But the day I decided that this is nothing but my fear, I liberated my self by setting him free.
- I made myself emotionally so strong that the day I got the news that he's getting married, I sent him a text that I'm so happy for you and I wish you all the best.
- He knows that I pray for him today.
- Number two was I won't be able to be a mother again. and that was quite devastating for me.
- But then I realized there are so many children in the world. all they want is acceptance.
- So there is no point of crying. Just go and adopt one and that's what I did.
- I gave my name in different organizations, different orphanages, and I waited patiently.
- Two years later I got this call from a very small city in Pakistan.
- I got a call and they said, "Are you Muniba Mazari? There is a baby boy and would you like to adopt?"
- I could literally feel the labor pain. I said, "Yes, yes, I am going to adopt him. I am coming to take him home"
- And that day, he was two days old, and today he's six.
- You know, when you end up being on the wheelchair, what's the most painful thing?
- People think that they will not be accepted by other the people. because we in the world perfect people are imperfect.
- So I decided to appear more in public. I started to paint. I have done a lot of modelling campaigns. I decided that I'm going to join the National TV of Pakistan as an anchor person.
- I became the National Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women Pakistan. and now I speak for the right of women and children.
- I was featured in BBC 100 Women for 2015.
- I'm one of Forbes 30 under 30 for 2016.
- So when you accept yourself the way you are, the world recognizes you. It all starts from within.
- We have this amazing fantasy about life, this is how things should work.
- This is my plan, it should go as per my plan.
- If that doesn't happen, we give up.
- I never wanted to be on the wheelchair, never thought of being on the wheelchair.
- This life is a test and a trial and tests are never supposed to be easy. So when you're expecting ease from life and life gives you lemons, then you make the lemonade, and then do not blame life for that.
- It is okay to be scared. It is okay to cry. Everything is okay. but giving up should not be an option.
- They always say that failure is not an option.
- Failure should be an option because when you fail. you get up, and then you fail and then you get up and that keeps you going.
- Embrace each and every breath that you are taking, celebrate your life. Live it. don't die before your death. Real happiness lies in gratitude, so be grateful, be alive and live every moment.