Saturday, June 19, 2010

The GC Days

A few days ago, my GC days friend Jalal asked me to write for his blog. So I thought of writing about those good sweet nostalgic memories of college days that we had had enjoyed together decades ago. We were a group of six: myself, Jalal, Arif, Tariq, Hameed and Irfan, who joined the coveted and prestigious educational institution of Pakistan, the Government College Lahore, commonly known as the GC then (as now it has been upgraded to the level of a university and called GCU). We had same subjects, or at least two common, and met frequently in the common classes. In our spare time, we sat on the lush green slopes of the GC’s Oval (the ground in front of the main college building).

In those days, Dr. Ajmal was the principal, and what an impressive personality he was. Whenever he appeared, even the most rowdy bunch of students would fell silent with respect and awe. Our faculty was really admirable and learned. Mr Tahir, our English professor was a class. He would give such examples to explain difficult words that would not only made us understand but also made us smile. I wish I could narrate some.

We would go to see films together and eat “fruit chaat” from the nearby Bano Bazaar, a small bazaar within the famous Anarkali Bazaar. I remember when beside us six, eight other class mates went to see the McKenna’s Gold at Alfalah cinema. We had an entire row to ourselves. It was a real fun. Arif’s place used to be our pre-exams centre wehre we would study together and eat “Qeemay walay Naan” (I wish you had eaten those overly stuffed naans, which may be today I cannot take one complete. But in those days we eat 2-3s followed by jugs of lassi.

Then time went by – we did our intermediate and then entered the third year. We were still intact. Then in the fourth year, Jalal, who had always wanted to join the army, left for the Pakistan Military Academy to pursue a career en arms. While the rest of us completed our graduation and also withered away in space to find bread and butter for our selves and our would be wives and children. Jalal wore on military boots, Hameed followed his father's footsteps (his father was Justice Hamood ur Rehman) and wore the black coat (and finally became a Mr Justice). Arif continued with his father's business and Irfan did his MBA. And me - leave it for another post. Tariq also went into business of making corrugated sheets for packing medicines.

We would thereafter often get together when Jalal was around on leave. Recently, we were together on the wedding of Arif’s daughter and I had a photo of Jalal, Hameed and Arif (as seen above from left to right). We weren't like this when we were in GC, but time has made our hair grey and wrinkled our faces. But the bondage of all these years still keeps us together as friends and whenever Jalal visits Lahore, as he now resides in Islamabad, some of us still manage to get together to reminisce the good old memories.