Friday, June 7, 2013

For the sake of old times, and record-keeping

Farewells are such a clichéd but integral part of life. The farewell itself might be acceptable, but people insist on saying the same things over and over again. Ignoring a book I am supposed to read for a dangerous paper, I'll try to gather my thoughts and compose something coherent.
A span of four years is-well, a long span, honestly. Now I look back and I am amazed that I lasted such a long time in a place with which I have lots and lots of compatibility issues. Still, mine is an exceptionally sad existence, for I can confess that I have no feeling of belonging whatsoever. No sense of attachment to the place I have called my college for such a long time, for sake of a better word.
All in all, the number of people who made it bearable can be counted on the fingers of one hand, and the number of teachers I intend to remember twenty years into the future can be counted on one alone.
I might have learned some important things there, but I have forgotten them among the load of completely useless things I was forced to cram in my mind. Besides, I realized that quiet people will always be quiet, so it is better for them to find a corner where they can be comfortably so.
Lest I become too ungrateful, I should mention that it was this place that introduced me to a language I personally place on the same pedestal as Urdu, even though it does not have a Mir of its own.
Most importantly, I actually found some people who can tolerate me for really long periods of time. What's more, they tolerate me with patience and compassion. They almost understand the entire range of  oddities, complexities and grave problems that make up Spook, such as: No one can sip through Spook's straw. Spook can not come to college every day. Spook must laugh at every senseless, lame or awkward joke. Spook is really, actually, seriously slow.
Still, they understand, and what is most amazing, some of them have a way of summing things up that lead to an unexpected increase in Spook's self knowledge.
The extremely refined cosmological constant may be considered an evidence of a divine entity, but I consider the case of my having friends who share my tastes a stronger proof of His existence.
There is one who has been a constant source of knowledge and guidance all these years. She is the person I normally turn to when I need to understand anything pertaining to science, maths or literature. She is the only soft hearted critic in the entire world, I think. The lurking danger of a future in a separate place has shown me that her absence will be detrimental to my tastes: in a couple of days I have gone form the usual sanam mera sukhan soon aashna hay and teri yay kam nigaahi neemcha hay type to this class of poetry:

جہاں پھولوں کو کھلنا تھا ، وہیں کھلتے تو اچھا تھا

تمہی کو ہم نے چاہا تھا، تمہی ملتے تو اچھا تھا

Still, with this taste, there is a real danger of me publishing a book and becoming really, really famous. She might be sorry for ditching me, then.
Then there is one whom I usually pick arguments with. We argue for hours on end, on every sort of topic, from chess to fiction and from relativity to human rights. We think in astonishingly similar ways and have awkwardly similar hopes and fears. We both get obsessed and un-obsessed with the strangest things as quickly and as often as other people get with new fashions. I  might add that we have plans for the future together. After saving some money through the usual dreary jobs, we shall buy a van and run it on one of the local routes. I'll be the drive and she'll be the conductor because she enjoys shouting 'Sadddaarr Saddaarr Saddaarr'.
There is one, whom I might have been able to befriend, had I been able to ditch the critic, though the two of us do not have much in common, apart from a love of books. Also, there is the vast difference of class between us, which always reminds me of Iqbal: kargas ka jahan or hay, shaheen ka jahan or. The problem solver through and through. She can be described as a modern day Asghari with a gold medal. One that she did NOT acquire through rote learning, contrary to the belief of the general and unavoidably misogynistic public. In one of the toughest disciplines of engineering. In one of the most competitive places around. It is only logical that I be in awe of her.
There is another one who  has done it ALL: Watched every movie. Visited every place in the city. Aced every paper. Seriously, she has more common sense than three normal people or ten Spooks combined together.Her tastes and opinions are absolutely the best in everything, from shirts to shoes to public dealing to movies. Besides, she can teach slow students,as I still remember that she patiently explained a circuit with dozens of amplifiers to me a couple of hours before the exam. Even though I disliked amplifiers, I reproduced it nicely in that paper, and that is in no way the only instance of her teaching me.
There is one with whom I have discussed books and books, in the middle of dangerous classes.
Then there are some whom I constantly have to lecture to take it easy. I have often been worried about their blood pressure, more than I am ever worried about my assignments.
I remember recommending Georgette Heyer to one, and Suzanne Collins to another.
Then there is a bus fellow. I don't reply to 80% of her queries about my whereabouts.
With a lot of them, I have laughed and joked and talked during seemingly infinite lectures. With others, during the dreadful hours before the exams, in this common room and that.
There are some who shall not be graduating this year. The saat number psychoanalyst. The one whose cell number I still have with the 'gr' tag in my mobile. Her blog inspired me to create one in the first place. The one whom a friend calls 'shair o shaiiri wali larki.' I spent a short time with them, but they are my friends, nevertheless. Even though I am one of the laziest persons around, and particularly bad at keeping in touch.
Some of them are officially my best enemies forever. Official or not, all of them have been a source of strength, common sense and inspiration and a breath of fresh air, in a place particularly devoid of all these things. To borrow Bilbo's words, I don't know half of them half as well as I should like. Still, I can safely say that my girls  are some of the finest of the specie, and I have nothing but the highest hopes and the absolutely best wishes for them.


  1. Pure sentimental! Something that I could never expect from you :P But it is good to know that you have a non-robotic heart :P
    Actually, I would say, you have a caring and loving heart..
    Proof of my above statement is that I had a constant smile on my face while reading this post.. :)
    I guessed almost all the 'my girls' you have mentioned here. Still I wonder who is the only teacher?

  2. Sentimental? Really? And I thought I was writing something cheerful:(
    I do have a heart, just checked its rate. Kindly refrain from attaching embarrassing adjectives to the poor thing :P
    The teachers are two, actually.

  3. At last something made me sentimental :p

  4. awesome post Spook!! made my day !!

    1. Did it? And your comment made mine, thank you!