Aitchison College

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

In memory of my High school and the place where I spent more than half of my life.

Their walk reflects their pride

As they puff their blue collared hides

Their vanity unmistaken, their sky levelling self esteem

The experience of being an Aitchisonian is nothing less than a dream

Yes, you are right. If you are from Lahore, it is not hard to mistake those characteristics found in a student and be unable to tell to which school he belongs. Blue collared blazers( If you do not like blue, there is always red or yellow or if you think simplicity is elegance, there is a normal one too) reflect their pride it seems and you wouldn’t find another student treasuring anything as much as they love this  piece of garment. Even though the blazers are only meant for the winter term, you can always spot the occasional guy wearing it; we are honoured of what we are and we don’t endeavour to hide it even if the skies are raining or the sun is spitting fire. A girl asked a friend of mine at an event at LUMS if she could just hold the blazer, my friend cordially obliged and the girl was overwhelmed at being granted the wish and waved it to her friends who had given her this dare; the point being, we may have an air of arrogance around us and treasure our blazers but not to the extent of insanity, we are still humans, even though our hubris maybe our fatal flaw.

 

Denoted by air of arrogance, which Lahoris call “akar” and Karachi-ites “bharam” (yes, I have been influenced by Karachi-ites!), their sense of attire (which never changes) and an aura that appeals to girls (Not a personal opinion this, readers. I ran a questionnaire!) Aitchisonians are sometimes envied, sometimes hated and detested but I believe mostly revered and sometimes people even complain and I quote here “why do Aitchisonians get all the girls?!” a fact that that is commonly acknowledged.  From even a former president (Faruq Ahmad Khan Leghari) to film actors like Shaan to renowned cricketers like Imran Khan and Ramiz Raja, Aitchison has produced them all. Not for naught is their vanity and neither is their egotism in vain. Ali Noor gave a concert at our amphitheatre and was deeply honoured at the chance of performing there as it had been a deep desire to have a chance to sing at this venue.

 

Always walking in clusters and in love with themselves at least that was what the guy said at YLES 09 and believe me if stares could kill, he would not have survived. Aitchisonians are a fascinating lot. Arrogant about their legacy, their pride is perfectly justified as they belong to a college (not many schools can say that) which dates back to the era of the British and reflects a certain charisma rarely found nowadays. Residing in the heart of Lahore, this 200 acre college has a world of its own and if you have not been in the college before, I recommend reading the map at the entrance; getting lost in this place takes no big effort! In fact, I got lost the first day I entered this school but that was probably due to the reason I was only 6 at that time! : P

It is a long journey from grade two to A levels second year and not all of us make it through but once an Aitchisonian always remains an Aitchisonian. From entering the junior school as just tiny innocent children and turning into mischievous adolescents to mature gentlemen it is a long journey indeed but not at all an uneventful for it is an experience that moulds our character into something that gives meaning and direction to our life. More importantly, it gives us life-lasting friendships, companions that re-define the word friendship for you and something that really makes you acknowledge the virtues of brotherhood. For in essence, we are more like brothers than friends. Who we do not like, we make every effort to convey our intentions. Like a certain “foreigner” came to teach us and tried to change the way our things have been run but it did not take him long to figure out that a thing which time has not changed, a foreigner could never, although it did take some convincing on our part to make him understand that, which does include throwing a garbage bucket on him from the second floor. We aren’t that different from other “students”, we still have names for our teachers like “chamkeela” and “cobra” which isn’t unusual for high lads at all.

Singing the national anthem each day together at mornings, yes folks none of us are exempted from the morning assemblies, to the school song on events we do it with enthusiasm and vigour seldom seen nowadays.

I somewhere read that friends are the lights that make the path brighter in the journey and it is quite true. Being from different castes, backgrounds, cities and even in some cases religions we are bound together under one emblem which basically becomes the motto of our life; “perseverance commands success”, the key to a successful life bound in just three words. The college just doesn’t stimulate knowledge and etiquettes; it binds together students from different parts and cultures of our society. The boarders are from all the four corners of Pakistan and I take pride in having such great friends and feel excited at the prospect of getting a chance to learn about their culture and different tribes.

It is not uncommon to find a rift amongst us as is found even in the most merriest of folks but the disagreements do not cross the walls of our campus. Even though to a junior a group of us might be a broken shard of a gigantic mirror but to an outsider we show a flawless reflection, for when it comes to being an Aitchisonian, all difference are forgotten and those minute disagreements vanish. We might be divided by intricate issues internally and be divided but when it comes to standing under the banner, our loyalty elapse every infinitesimal disparity. Just a cry of “phadda” is enough to raise an army of students and given ample time students can even come up with assorted equipment too ranging from a hockey stick to a skipping rope depending on whatever is available in the school’s vast sports inventory! We do not need an acquaintance with the person to defend him, for that crest alone on our blazers is enough to serve that purpose besides the fact that we are always said to be on the hunt of any such events. If you feel a fight approaching, a couple of texts and the whole Lahore is roused in an instant as if it is a battle of who has the higher contacts! A fight is always an appealing event, for the proverb the more the merrier applies perfectly here. Everyone gets a chance to throw a punch or a kick at the weaker side and no one ever knows who was involved. Our lips are sealed and astonishingly there are never any eye witnesses!

We have preserved rituals and traditions like wearing turbans and roadsters (horse buggy) when it has eroded from the minds of our peers, our perhaps the biggest flaw and at the same time the proudest feat are our glorious history and achievements. For a reason, it was called the chief’s college in the old days and it still continues to excel upon the same guidelines as it always has. Our visits to other chief’s colleges (all of which are across the border) are always a chance to be the perfect ambassadors of our nation, as I myself have seen the awe-struck faces of our rivals as they see us marching in our blazers wearing our turbans for it is still recognized as a symbol of dignity. My sports tour to Shimla in the fall of 2009 was full of instances when people wanted to have a picture with us and insisted that we wear the turbans in the pictures.

To hear about it is injustice to any experience and this case is no exception. For in life we encounter different significant challenges and trivial problems but when you have friends like the ones I made back at Aitchison, everything seems just fine for there is a soothing feeling deep down that somehow knows that our destination is something beautiful because the leading to it is decorated with deep friendships. The walks along those streets and the buildings that we grow strangely fond of leave a mark greater than we anticipate on our lives. It indeed is true, we do not realize what we had until it is too late for nothing is real till its gone.

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