22 Memories Only A Punjab University Student Can Relate To.
“PU is more of a lifestyle and ideology than of a place”
Manzoor PC Dhaba
I still remember the queue outside Manzoor pc dhaba. Located in a peaceful street of Punjab University residential colony covered with trees all over. That dhaba was such a peace after the hectic class schedules. Be it the staff, students, or outsiders. People loved the biryani made with tremendous spices and the daal curry with a flavor of desi ghee have always been my favorite served with crunched onions on top and freshly baked roti in clay over. One can’t simply have enough of that savory taste. Now its located at boys hostel.
Barkat market is New York
From a walk to Quetta hotel to buying new t-shirts. Barkat market was a time square for all Punjab university student. Just few minutes away if you take an exit from the hostel gate. Five minutes and you are already in the hub of one of the most economical student market. All under one D of Barkat market.
The never-ending chats of students while walking on Jannat road of university is surely one of the best memories that graduate takes home. The lush green fields around the university skirts brought it closer to nature and made it echo friendly. Entering university at 7 in the morning to breathe in the freezing December breeze. Sipping a cup of tea in a cloud of fog around has been an Amsterdam tour of every Punjabian. Summer was neither any less memorable. That tube well near the fish farm was worth visiting to put the soul in a shadow and rest.
How many of you relate thousands of stories when I say ‘hostel’? And what you all exactly recall when I say Punjab University hostel? Mess, distance, bridge, missing items, teaming, wars, warden, canteen. I name a memory and you remember it. I used to visit my one and only friend (Najva) there and remember sneaking into her bedroom from a secret exit. Even when it was illegal to allow visitors an overnight stay, we always made a way to be there the whole night while being a day scholar. I remember the cheerleaders I witnessed in common room, a room full of thrill whenever a final cricket match went on air. Biryani cooked in mess and it’s a festival whereas you survived on biscuits rest of the week. The bridge between hostel and departments always seems to be a Pul sirat in burning summer days but I assure you the joy of this walk in winter. A cube was always and dream. Dormitory had all colors of diversities. Roommates would fight the outsiders for each other’s rights and still accuse the fellows once an item is missing. Warden just had a title and rest you were the bosses.
You see a guy in university premises wearing a white traditional eastern dress with a very tough look on face. What you call them? Law College waly. They have been known for being a leader and an aggressive students. They took pride to represent the university in politics and renowned leadership platforms. And many departments owe them their sports trophy as they always lend their ground to half of the campus.
A walk to atm was never worth the hassle. It was no use except that white kittens found a new air-conditioned home. Punjab University students forget the function of atm. They used it to chill their sun-tanned skins and rested in for a while. You are at the mercy of fate if you ever find them operational as there was no concept of a door lock. Some of them don’t have a name. You got it so I am not mentioning the name. To our surprise, the few newly installed do work now.
HBL fee lines
Toughest time of the year when students had to submit fees and piled up mess bills even when half of them never studied and the rest of them never ate food at the mess. Starting from the counter, the line would go to the main door of the HBL bank. You are lucky if you got a friend to keep your place secured when you went off for a water break. Whereas male classmates are officially responsible to submit the fee of their female classmates while trading assignments through the semester.
High-end buildings fell in inferiority complex finding Punjab university students loving Faisal auditorium more than any monuments. Whichever department you study at. IER was a must-go once in week. It had an amazing platter of people. The wise open ground at IER front, yellow lights reflecting through the blue glass walls of Faisal auditorium is worth a site in December evenings. As that was the main stop of all shutters, it kept it crowded most of the time.
IER back canteen fights
Although you can never differentiate between the interconnected corridors, each named a different department. Still making a way through that jigsaw puzzle and reaching the back canteen was as equal as securing a marathon trophy. The last thing you want in Punjab University is missing a live fight there. Besides that, each place of university is an existential recognition for many. You relate people with locations. VC ground waly, IER waly.
Other than the human thrown trash and wrappers, it is a benchmark of garden maintenance. Located in the right corner of the VC house. This place is a favorite of book worms. You have a group study to do? Dhaba food to eat? Games to play or any possible task in university, and nearby roses garden to treat the smell buds,VC ground is your Gloria jeans.
The old and new departments’ war
Not only that many kilometres lie between the two areas, but also an entire turned universe exists at both poles of the university. The old departments are known for never serviced AC’s and conventional mind-set. Whereas you all remember many calling the new departments a ‘paradise’. Whereas the baby boomer departments have always been criticized for being modern and trendy.
The number of political parties in the whole country is less than alone Punjab University’s student council. One defending human rights and another one beautifully protecting particular race. All they have common is the University to which they all belong. They work in a structured way without making chaos, this mock cabinet performance helps them sharpening their leadership skills so they serve the nation later. Naming a few, PUSF, PEDM, IJT , and others. Their efforts and dedication are sometimes appreciable.
If you plan to revenge someone, leave them at one gate of Punjab University and ask them to memorize their numbers and find a way out to others. Only a university student can name you each gate with a linking road and nearby famous thing it’s known for. They might never be on a world tour, still they are master at navigating someone to any gate of university. University is free of security recognitions. One semester in university and all guards already recognize you. The moment you enter university, you find some guard saying, jany do, ibit waly while attaching your department as surname.
Catching A Point
You can surely find a chance to represent at UN but you can’t ever find a seat to sit in a shutter especially when it’s a shuttle to the old campus. The only chance to enjoy the journey without bumps is standing next to someone whom you know will leave at the coming stop. If you are someone like me who never had a bus pass and always relied on a single statement ‘that you are new’. You are in trouble. One day the conductor is surely going to charge you a fine of Rs 20 and relax, nothing much.
Tour to old campus
Biggest luxury. Old Campus had this antique building comprising of aesthetic art departments. This blend of art display and red ancient bricked tower with a clock on the top always attracted students to click their pictures with it. Exit from the back gate of pucit and you are there in one of the oldest markets of Lahore. A tour to crowded streets of Anarkali never hurts the feet if you end up eating a snack at a food stall there.
Finding table at main cafeteria
Remember playing musical chairs in school. It’s the next level. Despite always turned off fans and greasy tables complimented by dusty broken chairs. This place happens to be the topmost preference of university students to sip tea and take a lunch break there. Their trademark serving is juice, rice, and tea.
Jamia Masjid Punjab University
Males can relate more to this place than females. To my record, on Jumah Prayer it was impossible to find a free inch to step near this place. This place beautifully eradicated the race, color, and status differences by accommodating every possible human in it. Only a place where a student stood fearless next to anyone and prayed for their impossible exam clearance. This white themed heave on earth look mesmerizing after rain. One has to visit it to strengthen their faith in peace.
It was your mall for the whole shopping. The only thing that you did not shop from here is your dowry stuff. Rest you build a complete home in your hostel room with only this market. A long corridor right next to girls hostel, starting from a juice corners have around 12-15 shops ending at the boundary wall of west underpass mostly used by students as a bench to sit and enjoy samosa in the evening.
Punjab University Main Library
I am sure half of us never had the library card and the rest of us went there to enjoy the always turned on AC. Also you can spot bookworms there, a very few of course. Either you utilized this facility or not, you are bound to get a library clearance while passing out. This ‘thanda kamra’ is made up of white tiles and belive me if libraries are this beautiful, no one needs any other historical place to visit.
Protest and walks
Just to restore the dignity of Punjab University after all the light mode comments. I take privilege in announcing this fact that Punjab University’s opinions are counted a lot in the surveys conducted on national levels. I don’t remember any issues ending un attendant by university. Be it a peace walk or consoling any survivors. Students always stood firmly with the nation.
Myths about gym and pool
Sound like all the paranormal creatures use these two places as a headquarters to conducts all evil deeds. Who knows the fact but it’s heard that people get vanished and injured in these two sports complexes. Little we all know that someone is at least naughty enough to play Halloween all of the year and enjoy the scared faces of us.
Punjabian for life
Wherever you may go and whatever you may become. It’s never easy to take Punjab University out from our thoughts even when we are passed out from the premises. Some of us are probably enjoying an amazing and bright career with zero worries of upcoming exams and assignment deadlines. We still want to relive that experience at least for a day again. With the same people and moods. Many of us desire it and we plan the whole year to arrange a get together in university so we can get a flashback of crazy student life we had in Jamia Punjab. For the ones still living this lifetime experience, live it to the fullest. Cherish the little ups and downs. Who knows when life will treat us such nicely again. Little you know how many faces you will never see again after a farewell. A family, that scatters and still take the biggest chunk of memories.
The writer (Urza Umar Chahal) is a freelancer content, copywriter and an accredited leadership trainer.