In the late 90’s, completing Metric and getting into a prestigious college, was the mission-e-zindagi for all young girls. While I am sure that for boys it was the turning point in their life to determine if they will be worthy of an Engineering or Medical College, for girls it was more to do with the ‘thappa’ they will carry with them for their entire adulthood!
One of my key life milestones was entering and completing my Bachelors degree from College of Home Economics, Lahore. How and why I ended up there.. I think my friends and pals have had an earful of the history! Today, I want to talk about all what a ‘Homic’ girl can relate to and knows about…irrelevant of their batch number!
1. Congrats you are in Homic… which is STILL like school!
I recall remembering the wonderful stories from our cousin ‘appis’ about free class times and the hailed ‘bunking’!! Oh but anyone who attended Homic (the short form of College of Home Economics that all somehow adapted to), will tell you soon enough that in the first two years of your degree, there is absolutely NO such concept of a ‘free period’! And oh did you say, you will excel in bunking? I am sure then that you did not attend Homic during the ‘Mrs. Shahnaz Nazir’ Years!
So Yes! you got it right! You are in College… BUT you are NOT in College privilege mode yet!
2. Hiding from Mrs. Shahnaz Nazir!
Now anyone who was in Homic when Mrs. Nazir was in power (yup you read it right!)… you can and will absolutely clear the road side if her car drives by! You will NOT dare wear that dark lipstick in ‘Terra-cotta’ and nor will you have any other so called ‘grown up’ makeup done!
Alas, many of us ruined our feroze colored duppatta while hastily rubbing off that un-flattering matt colors that were all the rage!
3. You realize you were tricked!
Once you pass out of the first two years and took a class with Mrs. Shahnaz Nazir in ‘Housing ‘ Department in your 3rd/4th Year or Masters, You realized what an absolute softy Mrs. Nazir was! All Huff and Puff, but full of fluff! I too was a target of her wrath when I mistakenly became the Head Girl, but oh once I took classes with her, she was an absolute sweet heart! Wish I hadn’t been that scared of her back in the first few years!
4. You are Slave-Driven for the first two years…
The first two years are like volunteered-slavery! Congratulations you have sold your freedom to learning 11 subjects which will leave you flustered and cursing your Metric studies, as nothing prepared you for this!
Our standing out-side ‘Nutrition’ department to copy the recipes, and have them neatly written for the folder! Oh how I wish we had smart phones then! The ordeal of getting our ‘Tanka’ (stitch) checked from the ‘Clothing’ department, and the rejection of kurta/petticoat/ or even a frock for irregular anything! I wish I had YouTube then to learn all the stitching tricks!
My favorite was ‘Related Arts’ with our crazy ‘Paper mache’ projects and little crafts that made us assume ourselves to be Picasso or Martha Stewart!. Oh, and how could I forget the projects of the ‘Housing’ department? That was when I actually became friends with my bestie! (Yes Q I recall all the many times you made that ‘rug’ sample 😉 )
But not all is super crazy. I loved learning how to play the Sitar! Also, doing the Islamiyat and Pakistan studies paper in english always got me great grades ;). Yet, the strangeness of Chemistry and Physics leaves much to wonder, leaving me to still scratch my head to recall what really did we learn?
Once you get done with the two years.. you are ready to conquer the world!!
5. Residence is the ‘Jewel’ that everyone is working for…
From 1st year of degree, I heard the stories of the joys and horrors of ‘Residence’. For those who don’t know, the idea of surviving a few weeks in the ‘housing complex’ inside the College Campus with a well-orchestrated life, is supposed to give us young ladies a taste of what real life will be! Well I have news for all! They forgot the most important elements in the picture! There was no Husband, MIL or Kids! No wonder everyone passed! (LOL)
On a serious note, it was for sure a tough project to complete! I honestly did not complete the whole term. Beloved Mrs. Shahnaz did warn me that I will fail… but I didn’t.
Overall, I think it was a wonderful experience for us to live outside the house, and play ‘Desi-Barbie’ in a setting with all the chores to run a household. Who cared that we slept in the lectures during the day, and begged our group fellow to make ‘Gol Chappati’ ;).
6. Everything else that made you love Homic…
Despite all the crazies, the ‘fried Naan Pakora’ from Saleem Sahib of the Canteen, and the Naan Samosa with a Coke bottle was the highlight of everyone’s day! So what that we did not have more than one canteen like Lahore College? Or didn’t have fruit Chat and other yummy food like KC? We being Homic Gals always were hosting ‘potlucks’ and birthdays, and would always find ‘free food’ ;).
Lastly, the ‘child-sitting’ projects of the ‘Child Development’ department, and the unexpected demand from our English teachers to learn Milton, Keats and so on.. made the whole learning surreal and make us wonder…what exactly was our major ;)?
Despite all the Craziess….
Overall, I wouldn’t trade my Homic years for anything, as it did teach me patience and how ‘hard-work’ was key to success. That said, we all had the memorable picture at the canteen ‘fountain’ and so many mess ups and crying episodes, leaving us with life-long friendships!
Graduating Class of 2000.