The Quaid e Azam University I knew

The present QAU is no different to the one I knew in terms of fear for being judged into university's assessments.

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By M Bilal Awan

Just a stone’s throw from the foothill of mighty Margalla hills in Islamabad, there lies an ecstatic resort called Quaid e Azam University, where the budding professionals are nurtured from across the nation. The institute, though, is still busy providing state-of-the-art education to the knowledge seekers, it seems it is missing something; may be its true soul!

Few years ago, when the dust of student unions settled down following an incident that took a life, a new dawn of the revitalisation set in. No sooner did the long stint of 21-day university-closing come to an end, then the QAU’s distinctive ethos started flourishing yet again.

The time that I personally spent at QAU was exceedingly surreal, as though some body put me to a mysterious sleep; a simple case of falling head over heels for QAU outright.

When I first got in the place, initially, everything seemed to me a glob of antiquity, little eccentric yet spellbinding, but then gradually I became a conformer. If ever I was in my conscious, I would definitely put down plethora of QAU chronicles.

We all know that the university time goes by in a blink of an eye—much like the way blossom of youth withers over time tout de suite. However, the nostalgic vibes Quaidians receive are way too different. For them, QAU is an energy resource, they could revert to replete anytime to get satiated up to the brim. In those golden days, being Quaidian meant being a high-class brand. These branded guys and girls would share a special phenomenon of mutuality among them tout ensemble— irrespective of their casts, creed and social status.

The present QAU is no different to the one I knew in terms of fear for being judged into university’s assessments. Off course the mid-terms weren’t good looking those days too— a true fright abounding ambience. Whenever the cusp of two mids reached, it would elicit spine-chilling-tales. During the testing days, the commutators (students) would be seen descending from the highs of Geophysics department and ascending to the lows of Anthropology department with weepy eyes and gutted faces.

A major throwback reveals an orphically sophisticated spot in QAU called ‘Point’, whose grandeur was unequalled and we still are in awe of it even now— This word ‘Point’ refers to the ‘Bus Stand’ in QAU’s dictionary. It was much like a band wagon and everyone wanted to jump on it without throwing away a minute: ecstasy, fun, decency, flirting, hide-and-seek, ramp walking, idiotism, show-offs, swanking, elegance and class—all in one package. Rolling spices and miscellanea were the hallmark of the “Point”.

Let’s walk through the “Point”, in case you are interested!

“No matter you start walking down from either sides of the peripheries of the university, you’d end up venturing over ‘Point’, where the Shakespeare’s stage is perfectly epitomized. Some don’t participate while some play big time, or you may call it an amphitheatre of ancient Roman where contests and spectacles were held between intellectuals, nuts and stereotypes.

At “Point”, you’d see hordes of efflorescent faces moving like tactical units around: few would be seen having bats in the belfries, few are acting grossly unconventional as well as assertive while the elite-group wouldn’t mind wearing  pretended intellectualism all over them. In short, you are bound to vouch that the versatility is the assay-mark of ‘Point’:

Let’s dig at some of the characters, more specifically a special type, which is ever so slightly infused with the rest: “The Bonkers”. You’d see a desperate guy wearing a fake pair of Reborn glasses with his neck’s buttons wide open while having no traces of refinement in his choice of apparel. A next level “pervert”, to be precise. He is gearing up for a ‘Ramp Walk’ on the ‘Point’ while doing his hair and singing himself consolatory lullabies simultaneously only to have himself seen laughing victoriously at the end. There he is coming out of his den. All eyes are set. He is being seen through bus windows, from road side benches etc. His walking pattern can conveniently be described as though Michael Jackson would be asked to dance over his own funeral—the rest I leave it upon your imaginations.

I can relate all shades of beauty, elegance and style to the young ladies i would see those days. They’d swish through like invincible angles and giggle somewhere over moon. Their colourful dresses were the awe-inspiring spectacle of adornment. Most of them would move in groups, some in couples and few as lonely as those intimidating lionesses (who’ve lost their cubs)—-and i can rest assure you that the latter were class apart.

The couples too would fill in the colours of immense romanticism in the whole picture. They were found all over, on point and beyond. ‘Stream’, an exotic and rather amorous spot, used to be a harbour refugee for them. The affluent water channel, gushing winds, chirping birds, hide outs would add value to the whole episode of meeting of young hearts. (to be continued)

M Bilal Awan is a research based analyst from Islamabad.