Passion Makes Dreams Come True

Each person is blessed with talents that can transform into skills and become passions if nurtured correctly. It is because of these desires that humans find themselves motivated towards their work. Passions help one to focus on the goal of their life and enable them to keep moving forward no matter the situation. It is an emotion that ignites a fire within a person and opens gateways of success. People who recognize their passion at an early age utilize them to achieve their goals by turning them into their careers. One person who has used his passion for making his dreams come true is Muhammad Tariq Khan, a Pakistani sports diplomat, peace initiator, philanthropist, and badminton champion.

Muhammad Tariq Khan’s passion was playing badminton. He discovered this at an age and played his very first match at the age of 10. He noticed an instant grip over the sport and made efforts to polish his skills and turn it into a full-time career.

Courtesy photo

Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

Born in 1942, Tariq was one of the first group of refugees of Muslims who migrated to the newly born state. It can be said that Tariq and Pakistan grew up together. Coming from a large family, his career options were strained, as he had to take care of his family. And so, he could not take up badminton as a full-time career. The situation did not dishearten Tariq; instead, he acted maturely. He knew that nothing in this world would be served to him on his plate, and he would have to work out of his comfort zone to achieve anything. Being a responsible young individual, Tariq never relied on his parents to pay his expenses and so started working at Rohri Cement Works, a cement factory, while studying. He bought new shuttle corks and rackets from the money he earned from this small job. After completing his degree in Bachelor of Commerce from Sindh University in 1964, Tariq shifted his focus to badminton completely. During this period, his love for playing badminton shined brightly. He was recognized by Farhat Nishan Club Rohri for ‘Holding Double Grounds’ in 1964, Islamia College of Sukkhur as the ‘Winner’ in 1965, Hyderabad Division Badminton Association as a runner-up in 1965. All this while he realized that he was not doing anything that would support his family in the long run. But fate had something better in store for him.

In 1967, the tables for Muhammad Tariq Khan turned completely. He was appointed in accounts at Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Accepting this job opportunity was a need as well as a dream come true. Although badminton was Tariq’s first love, he was also fond of traveling and had dreamt of traveling internationally. Working in an aviation company would bring him closer to his second goal.

Working at PIA brought stability to Tariq’s life. Not only was he relieved from the worrying thoughts of supporting his family, but he also got time to play badminton. Luckily for him, PIACEU, a club of PIAC, organized badminton matches every once in a while. Tariq made the most of this opportunity and participated in the 1975 tournament organized by PIACEU. Being a champion at this sport, he played exceptionally well and won every match. He was recognized for his consistent performance and had been sanctioned two extra increments by the PIAC Management in 1976. It was a great achievement and honorary moment for Tariq as he was the first-person sport in the PIAC history to be receiving two extra increments solely because of his extraordinary performance.

For the Love of Badminton

Tariq followed a strict fitness and diet routine. Early morning sprints and exercises maintained his lean figure and tough body that the game required. He refined his skills by practicing in an open-air court. The disadvantage of the strong wind factor made it difficult to play in the court. Playing badminton was all about moving fast, reflexes, footwork. Such speed leaves almost no margin for mistake. Tariq worked hard to keep himself fit to fly (quite literally) in the court.

The champion was always cautious while playing and waited for his opponent to make a mistake. He led consistency for a long period in his games. He was famous for his crossing and magnificent wing shots (cross shots) and drops. Tariq was always confident about where his opponent will play the next shot and knew how to maintain a stable posture and balance. Responding quickly to both finesse and power shots is crucial to being competitive in badminton, and the skilled player knew precisely how it was done.

Fulfilling His Childhood Dream

PIA had fueled his tiny flame of traveling. London was his first international and one of the most exciting trips of his life. He traveled to all the famous spots of London and made great memories. He says, “Travelling has not only been something that I do, but it’s been something that has become a part of me.”

Tariq had been posted to Egypt for four years by PIA. He defined Egypt as a land bustling with life, sound, visual beauty, and excitement. All this while he was still attached to badminton. Even when he traveled to new places, one of his first searches would be a badminton court. The sport had a special part in his life and was very close to his heart. In Cairo, Tariq got the opportunity to meet the two presidents of Pakistan, Rafique Tadar and Pervaiz Musharraf. Both honorable personalities appreciated him for his services at PIA and his great badminton playing skills.

With his positive attitude towards life and high spirits that helped him see the bigger picture of life, Tariq finally achieved what he had dreamt of during his childhood. His story serves as an inspiration for many who aspire to turn their ordinary life into extraordinary ones.

Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard.