There are countless female icons that have coloured our history and left a lasting impression on us with their talent, charisma and presence. Every week, Ammaar – known on Instagram as ammaavocado – will be sharing his letter of love and admiration to some of these inspiring women. This week it’s to Pakistan’s first cartoonist, Nigar Nazar:
Being the first of something no one dared to begin is a different landscape of bravery. Being the first at something, means to craft a dream for those who ever picked up a pencil and wanted to draw something that isn’t meant to be drawn in the way that it is supposed to.
Illustrations and cartooning has always fascinated me, in its way, it breaks the norms of how things look or should look. It seems as a powerful domain, considering cartoons are the first interaction children have with television.
I used to watch Barnie as a child, and I know that Barnie doesn’t have much illustrations or cartooning but it served the same purpose for me. It descended me into a world where love was only love. It was not a grave. It was not something you are thrown into and told to survive.
And I enjoyed living in that world, Nigar. It felt as though I would always have this one world that will always be mine. Where dreams are reality and living is a lesson and not a struggle.
There is no corner of my tongue that doesn’t hold a lover’s name, Nigar. There is no corner of my city where a wretchedness is not being fed. There is no corner of my country where a daughter is born and is welcomed. And I know, I know that all this has very little to do with this letter, but I want this to be tasted before I dwell into the next section of the letter.
Now let’s narrow down the premise, Nigar. Let me tell you why I love you. Let’s talk about Gogi. It goes without saying that this was the most groundbreaking piece of art in the subcontinent. Gogi did not just raise the bar for cartoonists but it also became the voice of those who are still not heard. Gogi was blunt, outspoken, bold, brave and everything anyone of us would want to be. Gogi taught us to laugh at ourselves in the worst situations. Gogi took our hearts. It took everything that it carried, emptied it and returned it to us again.
I want to thank Gogi for this, for saying things most women of my country would never dare to say or are still developing the courage to say. In whatever way they fall short in living their lives to the fullest, they find Gogi to carry them into another world where all their desires are not taboo. Where everything they love is at an arm’s reach. Gogi made them realise that there are things we need more than just breath.
And I love you for that. For creating someone for us who means so much to us. Thank you for crafting a world that is much better than the one we are living. Thank you for making us believe in love.