By Usama Irshad
As the car rounded that last bend in the road that connects the Mall to the Old Anarkali and leads directly to KE,I was suddenly reminded of the intensity of my feelings for this hallowed place.
Nestled in the very heart of this beautiful bazaar so aptly named 'Anarkali'(after Salim's favorite concubine),lay,its magnificent domes glistening white in the early morning sunlight,King Edward Medical University. Little did I know that in those first brief looks I was falling in love with this place
KE in oils!
Those endless study hours and life-draining MCAT prep-classes(more on that later!) suddenly looked like the best thing that ever happened to me,for if not for them I would never have been standing where I stood at that moment....
The breathtaking Patiala housing the historical library hall,its chandeliers twinkling with a mysterious air of their own,the grand Bhawalpur with its British-styled wooden staircase reminding one of those old Hollywood classics,its inviting balcony and its silver-decked pigeons,Faridkot,with monolithic pillars and floors bearing such intricate diagrams......all this literally stole my breath away.
Bhawalpur in all of its glory
The peraly-white domes of Patiala
These chandeliers can make anyone fall in love with KE!
Lahore for me had always been DHA with its pristine driveways and manicured lawns,for that's where I frequently went to my Nana's. Suddenly I was being treated to this other side of Lahore.This rich and splendid side where architectural wonders awaited at every step.
I was suddenly living a dream.So bewitched was I with the grandeur of this colonial-era master-piece that I would take my phone out between clasess and photograph every nook and cranny of KE.
Classes. Ah. Sadly,yeah.
We were bombarded with a host of different tasks and scary assignments right on our first day,and at night,as if the ragging fear was not enough,the tons of work,too gave us nightmares.
Still,no matter what,time passes. And it did for us too. All too soon we were celebrating birthdays in the university deli and cracking jokes beside the cadavers. The creepy architecture of the DH,with its 'star-lights' now seemed so familiar and relieving,infact many of us even took our snacks there!
The substages and then the Stage mania. Hectic days. No time to scratch your head,literally!
Tests,labs and tutorials....life at KE can be tough to grapple with if not for the many treats that surround us right outside the gates.
The regular trips to Al-Karim and treating our taste-buds to the heavenly delights of band-makhan-shami,Kasr-e-
Sheeren with their matchless samosas and halwa,Hafiz Juice Corner(I need not elaborate !),and the new,or should we say renewed addition to these ,the legendaryPak Tea House( for those of you who have not been there yet,its very close to Ewing Hall right outside of Patiala).All these keep us going with renewed vigor each day.
1st year "kay falsay!"
As days turn into weeks and weeks into months,my fondness for KE keeps on elevating to that fever-pitch,so much that the mere mention of its name or the sight of some old grainy polaroid of Patiala has the power to make me go oooohs and awwwws!