Breaking the taboos associated with womenfolk in our society, Neelofar Sherazi, a girl from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has set an example for the girls who are reluctant to follow their passion and feel scared in this male-chauvinistic society.
Hailing from District Battagram (Mansehra) Neelofar is currently living in Islamabad. She is Masters in Chemistry and is working as online teacher. However what makes her different from others is her passion for learning the art of brick breaking. She can break bricks with a swift strike of her right hand. Her record so far is that of breaking 150 blocks in less than three minutes.
She started formal training in November 2018. Daily, Neelofar devotes around two hours to practising this art, which is less common in Pakistan particularly among women.
While talking to Pakistan Observer, Neelofar, 32, said during her childhood, she used to be a shy girl and kept crying whenever someone bullied her.
“Whenever in class or playground someone intimidated me, I became so upset that I spent hours crying and rubbing my eyes and I did this so often that it damaged retina and affected my eyesight.”
In order to overcome her fears of bullies, Neelofar resorted to learning brick breaking, “something my family or my friends and colleagues had never heard of before.”
I want to make a world record of breaking eight blocks with a single strike, she said. Currently, she is practicing five.
At a local club of Islamabad Neelofar received training from a Martial Arts veteran Master Chen. Terming Neelofar an unusually strong-nerved, persistent athlete, Master Chen said she was doing great by practising daily without fail.
Though she doesn’t regularly attend training sessions at the club, but at home she practices without fail. She has performed at various events and won huge public applause, he further said. When she came to my training centre she was in critical condition having had a recent eye surgery. Brick breaking in a way gave her a new lease of life, said Master Chen.
Pakistani bricks, said Chen are different from the brick blocks that international Martial Arts athletes use for the purpose of making records and I have asked Neelofar to practise breaking them as well.
Like Neelofar Sherazi, her two sisters and two brothers are also highly educated and settled in their professions. Her father is a senior government officer and supports her in her endeavors.
About Pakistani women, Neelofar said they have great talent to make their mark in the world, we only need to support and recognize their talent.
Neelofar spends Sundays in kitchen preparing various dishes, helping her mother. She is also a volunteer and works for social service and community development.