If you want to live a safe, mediocre, comfortable life in Pakistan, apply the following.
Go to University because that’s what everyone does. Study what your parents want which is usually Medicine or Engineering, or sometimes Law. Spend the next 4 years ‘chilling’ with friends, playing video games, watching movies and TV series marathons, making fun of the nerds who are actually studying, and generally wasting time because you are ‘discovering yourself’ right now. Graduate without having really learned anything in 4 years.
Apply for jobs but get rejected because you don’t have any technical skills. Ask your father to use his moustached contacts and get you a job on ‘sifarish’. Spend the next decade devoting 40+ hours a week to that job you don’t like in which you really only work 5 hours a week. Spend most of your work days Facebook stalking coworkers, bashing Op-Eds on Express Tribune, or making fun of the nerds who are actually working. Keep your head down and don’t take any risks. Let all your professional decisions be based on ‘getting ahead’ rather than what’s right since you’re only there to reach as high as you possibly can before retiring or moving to a rival company for a bigger paycheck. Eventually get promoted to a better office in the same building and be awarded a Honda City.
Authority & Elders
Listen to everything your parents and elders tell you and let them have a major say in your life decisions. Always conform to the public opinion no matter how much self-convincing it requires. Make sure that you never appear excessively happy or different from anyone else. If someone asks you “kya hogaya hay tumhay?” you’ve already overshot. Ensure that your likes and dislikes, as well as your loves and hates, align with those of the people around you.
Don’t travel any further than Dubai because beyond lies the fahaash West. Still travel to the West once to visit your uncle in California but decide that the goras are morally deprived and life generally sucks over there. Come back and resolve instead to explore the natural beauty of Pakistan. Travel up North to the standard tourist destinations. Make sure to take a camera bigger than your face to document the trip that ‘changed your life’.
Get obsessed with a girl/guy in University or immediately after based on a few conversations. Refuse to understand how utterly creepy you are being and get offended when they reject your psychotic advances. Delete all signs of their behooda existence from your life. Vow celibacy until you get married because most women are loose or men are bastards. Ask your mother to begin looking for a wife for you. Or allow your mother to look for a husband for you without your having any say. Don’t object too much to her choice because she is wiser than you and this seems like a way easier process than you finding your life partner yourself.
Spend the rest of your life in quiet resentment. Keep yourself in the game by constantly convincing yourself that it could always be worse. Watch plenty of Hum TV to verify this. Congratulate yourself on your outstanding bravery and big heart for making the marriage work in spite of your pathetic spouse. Have as many children as are needed to distract you from your misery.
Look at the rich kids in Land Cruisers with disdain. Look at the poor children running barefoot on the asphalt with disgust. Give them money if someone is there to see it. Write off both the upper and lower class as being worse than you. Don’t interact too much in either direction for risk of catching whatever weirdness they seem to have.
Live with your parents or in-laws until you are 40. Don’t look to the future. Don’t plan ahead. Always err on the side of caution and be grateful that you are one of the ‘realistic ones’. Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t agree with the status quo. Always use conspiracy theories to define the world around you and keep you from exerting yourself in any worthwhile direction. Spend large chunks of your time watching TV, playing Rung with friends, smoking hash, fighting with your ‘loved ones’, being depressed, or any combination of these. Never do anything interesting or challenging for fear that you might not succeed. Be satisfied in your complacency and mediocrity because no one will question you about it. Eat lots of delicious desi food to distract yourself from the pointlessness of your existence.
Because really, what more could one want?!