A brief account of the last night at the hostel,
while recalling the romantic history of two years
By Umer Raza Bhutta
The mood in the room was somber, as we knew that this will be one of the last few nights in the hostel, after which we will be part of an unending quest for earning a living.
Having a long and immature inhale of my debut cigarette, I was sitting with my friends listening to a melodious song by Kishoor. Kashoor Kumar, Muhammad Rafi, lata, Mukesh, Mehdi Hassan and Jagjeet singh all were integral part of our evenings in the hostel. They never studied at Quaid-e-Azam University, but were very much a part of all the romantic pursuits at the place. They might be a part of the same pursuits in other universities too, but at QAU, because of the very nature of the place and the available resources their presence was always a part of the showdown. The inhale and the song did a double trick as it crippled my senses and strength to get back on my feet. Such was the case with few others too in the room (being the first long inhale) while few others were having a quiet and professional smoke as this was not their first intake.
This was the time of one of the last days at this momentous two years journey at QAU. This was a scene at the boy’s hostel and we were sure that same might be the case in the girl’s hostel as well (with few exceptions indeed). We knew that we are on the verge of the end of a two years, where we started with lots of ambitions and personal agendas.
We started two years ago by choosing one mate within our class (I am referring to the opposite gender) but ended on trying everywhere. QAU provided that perfect surrounding whereby one can select, deselect, review and even reselect a mate from the opposite gender and still pass out from the university with honors. Honors can be academic enlightenment or romantic submission or both.
When we started few of our seniors had a long list of advises. They gave advises to us in a way that they were spelling out some golden life rules that even Ghalib, Hali, Iqbal, freud, Shakespeare and many other poets and philosophers might never have thought in their life. One such advice was shared by a teacher. (Teacher’s too played a pivotal role in making and breaking of academically rich romances at the university). A teacher once said to us “in the first and second semester boys happen to be after the girls, but in the last semester girls turn towards the boys”. Reason? In the last semester boys know that now the earning life is going to start and they have to be serious and cannot afford the luxury of being in love with a class fellow, or the university fellow. The girls on the other hand foresee a future of married life at home and raising kids. Anyhow, later we divided this advice by 2 and found that it was not all true. No girl, even after we became serious in last semester and did all that was required could actually run after us. Many hearts broken, many songs sung, many cigarettes smoked, many study sessions done, many heart-break hospital visits were made, many messages were shared about the ill-health and reason for any pains, but to no avail.
Leaving everything behind we were now sitting in the room, all boys indeed, not willing to even look at each other, just enjoying the moment together and thinking about the gone days and coming future.