Neelofar Shirazi in action. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: In a corner of Islamabad’s multi-purpose sports stadium in the Sector F-6 Super Market on a quiet Sunday, Neelofar Shirazi was all set to attempt a brick smashing record for the Guinness Book, something she had been dreaming all her life.

Standing among 1,000 bricks perked on an equal number of cement blocks, Sherazi was a bit nervous before going for the accomplishment that has been unheard and unachieved so far.

Having smashed 150 bricks last year she decided to go for 1,000.

“My mother and members of family, my coach Master Chen, friends and sponsors of the event are all here to support me and their presence is quite reassuring,” said Neelofar.

Wearing a black shirt with Pakistan flag emblem on it Neelofar positioned herself to unleash her powers and with the first shout of the Master, she started breaking the bricks.

With one flash of her right hand she broke the first pair of bricks.

Then with each strike, the pair of bricks broke into four and it continued and Neelofar focusing on the centre point of the bricks went on breaking “two by two.”

Cheered on

It took her 27 minutes to complete the number and finally, with the last strike, she broke down the 999th and 1,000th bricks and was cheered by her family members and all those standing close by.

One could see people gathering from the nearby market cheering and encouraging the 32-year girl from Battagram (KP) who perhaps had never thought in her heart of hearts that one day she would become centre of people’s attention and a celebrity of Pakistan. She also won a prize of PKR 50,000 (Dh1,146).

The organizer of the event, Imtiaz Ahmed said it was an honour to project Neelofar Sherazi’s talent as she has made Pakistan proud. No one in the world has broken 1,000 bricks in a row.

“We shall send the complete video recording of the event to the Guinness Book team so that they could include her name as the world record holder in the brick breaking category,” he said.

Neelofar (centre) has done much more than just smash some bricks, she is breaking taboos associated with women in Pakistan too. Image Credit: Supplied

Neelofar has not only broken bricks, she has also broken down the taboos associated with women in society. Though hailing from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) she has set an example for the girls who are reluctant to listen to their inner voice or feel scared to do according to their choice in our male-chauvinistic society.

She is currently living in Islamabad. Masters in Chemistry she is working as an online teacher. However what makes her different from others is her passion for learning the art of brick breaking.

She started formal training in November 2018. Neelofar spends around two hours practicing this art, which is less common in Pakistan particularly among women.

In my childhood, I used to be a shy girl and always cried when someone bullied me. “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 affected my eyesight.”

Fear of bullies

In order to overcome her fears of bullies, Neelofar resorted to brick breaking, “something my family or my friends and colleagues had never heard of before nor would have approved it had I not persisted.”

I want to make a world record of breaking eight blocks with a single strike, she said. Currently, she is practicing five.

Like Neelofar Sherazi, her two sisters and two brothers are also well 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 the kitchen helping her mother in cooking. She is also a volunteer and works for social service and community development.