The only talent I’d like to have is to not be impressed by talent

Musician Ali Noor on the importance of propriety and how keeping secrets leads to constipation.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I have to figure that out but rest assured that I will do it in this lifetime as it is my ultimate pursuit.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Confusion about my plans of action.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Their inability to understand how insignificant they are in the bigger logic of nature.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Electronic equipment especially computer, audio and video gear.

What is your current state of mind?

I’m in a massive transition phase: I am realising that my doing and thinking have to go hand in hand and I have to discover a solid methodology for that.

On what occasion do you lie?

I hate hate hate secrets and concealment and prefer never to be put in a position where I have to conceal something. Keeping quiet for propriety’s sake is OK but living with a secret gives me massive constipation. As far as lying is concerned I tend to exaggerate and boast at times to prove my point and that can sometimes be a lie…

Which living person do you most despise?

I don’t know…It’s a horrible feeling to despise someone. I dislike a LOT of people!

What is the quality you most like in a man?

His sense of propriety and responsibility.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

Her sensitivity and ability to tame monkeys and dogs like us in the most affectionate way.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

They change pretty frequently. One time I started saying ‘so bismillah’ after every sentence and my parents made a lot of fun of me.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I don’t like the word talent. Those who get hooked on to their singular talent are simply ignoring their capability of learning so many other things. I never got the luxury of being called a talented person. The only talent I’d like to have is to not be impressed by talent!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I think my aggression and impatience.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

You can’t pay attention to any achievements as it makes you ambitious. You’ll never enjoy the journey as you’ll be just too busy waiting for the destination.

What is your most treasured possession?

The times in which I’ve been born!

Who is your hero of fiction?

Inspector Jamshed from Ishtiaq Ahmed novels.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

My brother says I behave a lot like Tariq bin Ziyad.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Raza Kazim. He has stuck to his guns without dogma. He has made many impossibles possible but most importantly he has laid the foundations for brand new ideas for a paradigm shift that I believe will pave the way for a happier future. I am very very very lucky to know him personally.

What is your greatest regret?

Too much time wasted.

What’s your favourite quote?

The ceiling of your happiness can never exceed the quality of your intellect.

How many hours of load shedding did you experience yesterday?

None. These are my lucky days.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2010.


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