Faisal Hamad was asleep.

Khurram Arif walked into the courtyard, wondering if the jangling spurs on his new cowboy boots would help him in his normal pursuits. Asif Sheikh wondered if the T-shirt he had spent all night working on would have any effect on society in general. Nasim grovellingly denied having studied anything since the module started - anything he knew about Gwendolyn-Khasbutalov Syndrome (with associated neuromyogastric paraporosis) was his 0-level knowledge. Syed Faisal was absent because some short-sighted Beatles fanatics had seen his hairstyle, kidnapped him, and were worshipping him in outer Timbuktuland.

During the lecture the professor, in a distracted moment, recited half of "War and Peace", and Muneeza wrote it all down. Nausheen F. was turned out when she prompted him at the bits that he forgot.

Tamseel collapsed in a frothing heap when he found that only his black pen was working. Imran Ahmed walked in halfway through the lecture, made it to the back of the hall, turned right, walked forward, turned right, walked down and exited through the other door.

"Sir, keeping in mind the exacerbations of Tsarist society, and ignoring the confabulations imposed by aristocratic sang-de-froi, what colour were Napolean's socks?" asked Muzaffar.

Yousha arrived in the quadrangle and everyone was dazzled by the sunlight reflecting off his face. Faraz entered college after dropping ketchup and motor oil all over his tie, and everyone complimented him on yet another radical piece of neckwear. Neelam tried to find out what her ward schedule was, but nobody could understand her accent and her interpreter was on leave, so she just went back to sleep. "Does anyone want to know the 103 side effects of super-palbumetanol?" asked Imran Aurangzeb, but no one did.

"Completely logical," said Ali lrqam, in his usual monotonous way, sending half the population into an irreversible coma. Uzma R. ran after her purse, which had slipped free again and this time seemed to be getting away. Aneel went to the toilet and wasn't seen for the rest of the day because he couldn't remember how to open the lock. Saima copied down the parts of "War and Peace" that she had missed from Muneeza, and wondered if she had to learn all those names for the exam, or only the important ones (like Napoleon). There was a blur in the courtyard and the leaves rustled, but it was not a ghost - only Siraj going from the lecture hall to the library.

The courtyard emptied. 5 minutes later Gauhar sent his robot duplicate to the ward, allowing him to rest for a few more minutes.

In the OR, the surgeon asked Khurram H. what he knew about the shape of the kidney. Khurram spent the rest of the day telling everyone how he had directed the whole operation, and decided to make a pantomime about it, set to the music of "The Phantom of the Opera". Meanwhile, Yasin persuaded Dr. Mushtaq to remove the entire GIT of a patient with mild leg pain. Asif Khattak fell in love with a brain tumour and had to be physically restrained when resection began.

Finally it was lunchtime. People relaxed. Naveed Memon walked up to a '98 girl in white T-shirt and blue jeans and said "You are my sunshine." Athar went back to his room and was consumed by something that had grown in the sink. Osman was mugged and stuffed into a locker while a gang of sneaky hostellites made off with his lunchbox - they had to cut his nose off to get the door to close. Noor Afshan joined her 613th social organization - this one to protest the extinction of the Dodo in 1908. Nausheen H. went to the library to finish reading 'War and Peace' (just in case). Safi, when asked about the Scandinavian Crisis, talked for 3 hours about the Suffragette Movement. Assad read the profile he had written for himself and was depressed for the rest of the year. Junaid Memon went up to a '98 girl in white T-shirt and blue jeans and said "You are my sunshine", and wondered why she looked so confused.

Faisal Hamad slept on.

In the afternoon, the lecturer began by introducing himself. "I don't understand!" wailed Namirah. Nauman asked the lecturer to repeat his name six times before the professor got tired and shot him. Uzma I. fell asleep and made no notes, leading to the failure of 75% of the class in the modular exam.

There was no other lecture scheduled. "Let's play football!" Asif A. cried, scant seconds before a vicious strain of Punybacterium insipidus struck him down for 4 weeks. Despite attempts to free himself of his addiction, Shariq Khoja succumbed to withdrawal symptoms, and had to write a romantic ghazal. Samia went into a cleanliness frenzy and began having a long bath, eventually producing a water crisis in Karachi that had WAPDA officials totally confused. Iram F. saw somebody kill a fly, an action that made her cry for 10 minutes before she clubbed the fellow senseless with her reflex hammer. Kamran received a letter from Geneva telling him that the United Nations Commission for Human Rights had banned his sense of humour, declaring that mustard gas was more humane while having identical effects. The Psychiatry Dept. traced a recent wave of depression among male students to Sadia having started to wear dark glasses continually, thus hiding The Eyes. And the Administration ordered Sumaira never to bring her brownies to college again after they provoked a riot amongst cake-lovers that left 30 people injured.

Two people made fortunes from licensing deals. Umbar S.'s personality was broken down into a chemical formula to produce an incredible sweetener. And Iram S. was used as a template for the newest - and cutest - generation of Barbie dolls.

Umbreen was honoured by the feline community for meritorious service to the cause of cats worldwide, and was purr-fectly delighted. Cheema went to the gym and found that the punching bag had committed suicide rather than face another sparring session.

People jumped into their cars to get away. Salman saw a new lamp-pole on Shahra-e-Qaideen, rammed it head on, and drove on with a sense of accomplishment, leaving behind yet another broken, twisted marker of his passage. Saed drove at over 30 m.p.h. and had to be hospitalized because, the car's chassis collapsed on him when he braked.

Maliha decided to give up playing the flute when she found all the campus' rodents following her around when she played, but changed her mind when she realized the money to be made in pest elimination. Mohsin decided to miss a meal and the surplus food solved Pakistans malnutrition problems for the rest of the year.

Abbas Agha considered toning down his coolness when Maintenance began charging him for all the water pipes that froze and burst when he passed by.

Several people had made it home by now. Continuing the quest for variety, Amber R. decided to dye her hair purple for the rest of the week. Munima felt naughty and hid in the bread box for 3 hours, worrying her parents to no end.

A couple of people didn't make it home. Security detained Shahid on breach of the Hudood Ordinance, for rumour mongering. Zulfiqar was arrested for reckless driving, but smiled all the way to the thana for finally having done something that his brother couldn't.

Acting on an anonymous tip, a squad of Rangers came to arrest Tabassum, but she showed them her license for her deadly wit. The Karachi Geological Dept. traced recent seismic disturbances to Khan Mohammed practising break-dancing in his room. A brief power failure catapulted Zuleikha (who was staying in college overnight) to fame as her smile provided enough wattage to illuminate the whole female hostel.

At 8:30 p.m., after 3 hours of his slow, steady walk, Shiraz made it from the library to the college entrance, but his car had left, so he began walking back to phone home. Naveed S., in a fit of fury at having failed to sink a single basket after half-a-minute of trying, went into a frenzy of violence that left both basketball poles twisted and broken, and slunk off. One of the falling poles knocked out Abdul Haleem, who was hiding in the bushes wistfully staring at the female hostel.

Qaiser was brought into the ER because the steel rod in his spine that had kept his back straight for 2 1/2 years had snapped under the continual stress. There, he ran into Naheed, whose left eyebrow had gotten stuck when she had raised it.

Later that night Faisal Wasi received a truckload of sugarcanes for his birthday. Tahir experienced a religious awakening and left the material world for the mountains and the world of the Sufi, taking nothing but his Malaysian dhoti with him (which was good, since that was all he was wearing at the time).

Back at home, Hassan Bhally accidentally put on "Papa Don't Preach" while his favourite uncle was visiting, resulting in him being called to the Patho Dept. the next day - and never emerging. Lubna Bhatti finally went professional, and opened her Teil Malish saloon cum Dal House in the common room, and did a booming business. Mariam decided to buy a new pair of joggers, a piece of news that soon spread around all the shoeshops of Karachi, and all the shopowners remained in a state of eager anticipation, wondering if their shop was to be the honoured one.

At 1 a.m., Ayesha put the finishing touches on her presentation for the next day - while she had the orchestra, the laser lights and all 204 cast members, she was unhappy that she had been unable to get the life-size dinosaur models.

It was 2:30 a.m. The crickets were asleep. The people on call were snoozing. Faisal Hamad stretched, yawned and looked at his clock.

"Too early in the morning for tigers to wake up," he muttered. Rolling over, he went back to sleep.


Assad Khaishgi

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