A Heartfelt Thank You to All of the Viewers
In 2013, the show that would change my life forever premiered. "Kahani Pakistani," or "A Pakistani Tale" aired on primetime TV in Pakistan and was watched by viewers all over the world. I had the privilege of traveling around the States and acting as a tour guide to my home and the beautiful amalgamation that comprises American culture. The innumerable cultures that form the mixing bowl that is America are like the needles that stitch an elaborate quilt with their colors. Getting to showcase the nuances of the fabric of American culture was a topic that especially hit home for me, being a first-gen child of parents who emigrated to this country 50 years ago.
During my storytelling travels, more often than not, both Pakistanis and Americans were surprised to learn about the other's cultures... and realize how similar we all are. To this day, I remain grateful that I had the opportunity to share with the world a truth that one will encounter no matter where one goes in the world: People are people. Scratch and dig beyond the surface and you'll find that at the core, we are all very much the same.
Most of all, though, more than anything, I remain grateful to the viewers for their constant feedback, appreciation, love and for making me a part of their lives. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
From Pakistan, Ireland, Singapore, Japan, Canada, the U.S. and beyond, thank you for taking the time to message me and share your thoughts about the subject matter.
From the exchanges of ideas we shared on social media regarding controversial topics, through which you helped me to see your points of view and you mine;
to the student in Pakistan who told me that he'd never been fond of America before, but after watching the show he realized how America is full of kind, regular people like anywhere else in the world, and that he'd like to visit the States one day;
to giving me the opportunity to meet people in America during my travels who were surprised to learn that a Pakistani American girl could be like any other fellow American;
to the sweet elderly grandmother who warmed my heart when she wondered how, when I jokingly pretended to toss my cell phone into a washing machine during a comedic toss to commercial break, that my phone was still functional after I pretended to remove it from the dryer;
to giving me the ability to relearn how to carry entire conversations in Urdu (and work on my American accent) for the first time since I was 5 (such a bonus!);
to the gracious families who considered me a family member and sent invitations to their weddings in Pakistan;
to the professors who extended invitations to guest lecture at universities in Pakistan and shared the impact on their students;
to the talented artists I grew up watching on TV and in movies who welcomed me with open arms, who invited me to auditions, and most of all who told me they watched the show because it made them smile;
to the everyday people who took such good care of me at the bus stops, cafés, malls, airports and hotels when I visited Pakistan for the first time in 15 years... and captured my heart.
Thank you for opening your minds, hearts, lives, and family rooms via your TV, phone and computer screens to me. When I spoke to the camera, it was not the lens but each and every one of you I was speaking to from deep within. Doing so made those four years fly by. KP had a grueling schedule in order to get two fresh shows on the air every single week. When we finally aired the finale, it was like marrying off my first-born child. With tears of longing but gratitude in my eyes, it was a bittersweet experience to move forward. And this was all because of you. I will remain forever grateful and deeply touched. Shukriya / Thank you!
After putting Kahani Pakistani to rest and catching up on life (and sleep! ohhh the sleep!), I got to work on the next phase of my storytelling journey. Continuing to tell stories, but this time from behind the lens where I can shine a spotlight on the things that matter to me most. I hope you'll join me for the next part. I can't wait to share them with you.
In eternal gratitude,