Was the University really open today?


Yesterday, the government of Sindh strictly ordered all public- and private-sector schools, colleges, and universities — all educational institutes, in fact — in Karachi to remain closed on Thursday in response to plans of carrying out protests, against a recent debacle in which a publishing house within Denmark published offending cartoons depicting religious symbols, all over the city on both Thursday and Friday. All scheduled examinations got postponed, and almost all public and private sectored educational institutes refused to open. Except ours! The reason: NU-FAST does not come under the jurisdiction — is this even the right word? — of the Sindh government, but rather the Federal one, and that to that end, the University will remain open on the condition that the University busses decide to ply along their routes. And, the University busses did come, and the University did remain open. However, open it did.

Early morning, as I was packing my knapsack and tying the knots on my boots, mom kept insisting that I not go. Dad had already said that there was no need to go. It was not like I wanted like hell to go. It was just that I was desperate — in fact, all of my classmates were — as one of our instructors had handed us an assignment which, he said, had to be submitted in on Thursday at ALL costs. And if you are any familiar with that instructor, then you would know that that does indeed mean at ALL costs. The assignment, per se, was, I believe, the only reason why most of my classmates were up late night, and also why they decided to come to University today.

Back at the University, it was a different scene. Most students made it to the campus, either via University busses or, those who missed their rides, via local busses. The people, however, who bunked university were most instructors, professors, and lecturers. Imagine that: there was once a time when students would not show up but teachers would, and now, it is completely the other way round. This leaves one question to be asked: What in the heck is the world coming to? What is worse is that the very bloody instructor, to whom we had come to submit our assignments, did not come.

Even though the University was open, it was hardly any different from closed ones. No classes were being conducted. Students were loitering around, sitting in the Cafe, chatting, reading books, and doing whatever else they usually do when they are not taking lectures. The gates of the University were closed shut on strict ordersof the University admin, and no student was allowed to leave the premises. It became public knowledge that the University would go off at noon, and the University busses will leave then. However, at about noon, when everyone gathered at the ground where all the busses where parked, everyone was told that only four busses would leave the campus. There were students in the University one could not fit in ten busses, however one tried, and only four busses were leaving! Shocking! Lucikly, after a while, the drivers agreed — duh! — to drive all the busses, and within the next fifteen minutes, everyone was safely riding in their respective busses headed home.

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