By Habiba Saeed, Muhammad Shaafay Saqib
Photo Credits: Muhammad Usama, Talha Rehman
From crazy birthday surprises and wild panaflex reveals, to Monday meltdowns; what have we not witnessed in the Concordias? Yes, these Concordias (mainly C1 and C2 – who are we kidding?) are cromulent spots inside NUST. Whether you want to miss that boring lecture or roam around with your squad, you will unquestionably find yourself in the Concordias, and sometimes even without an actual reason(?!)
C1, standing in its grandeur, surrounded by a garden of dandelions during spring and summers, has its two very celebrated canopies and multiple staircases leading to it. While one of these staircases shortens the round cut to the tuck shop, the other one behind C1 paves way to where the warm aroma of freshly made naans comes from. The sunken garden with attractive wooden gazebos is the ideal spot for birthday parties and hangouts. No doubt, you often come across a horrid figure of a person whose face and clothes are smeared with cake, and you know for a fact whose birthday it is.
Be mindful not to be too loud if you are on the first floor of C1, because that is where DD Admin’s office is (and you certainly don’t want to be a nuisance to the person your minute sheets are signed by)! Just like C1 has Student Affairs offices on the first floor, C2 has the Transport Office, where most of the day-scholars show up every two months to pay their van fees.
The architecture of C1 and C2 may be akin, yet the different crowd and energy are worth mentioning. C2 is often calmer compared to its lively twin, but the food and ambience make students visit it just as often.
C2’s café is looked at as a confectionery stop, and is one’s go-to place for just the right beverage. People often stop by for iced tea in summers; or a warm cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, when it gets chilly. The fancy wooden floor and glazed round tables are surely an attraction for many, and quite suitable for a formal yet friendly society meetup.
While C2 is generally quieter, it comes to life on Fridays. Some prefer having lunch before the Jumah prayers, but the place usually gets flooded with guys clad in shalwar kameez as soon as the prayers are over. The same happens around 5 pm, when day-scholars turn up to buy one last snack before they leave for their vans. People can be found getting chips from the tuck shop, in a line at the milkshake stalls, or with funky-colored lips as they sip on a slushie.
To keep the academic stress at bay, all of us rush to the Concordias whenever we find the time – mostly around 1 pm though. This is when you’ll get invitations or friendly requests to make as much noise as possible when it’s time for a panaflex reveal. It’s the conventional kicking-leg of every major society – a symbol of pride to create as much drama surrounding it as it possibly can. It’ll invite the whole council to this event just to pump up its numbers (as though a Concordia’s crowd between 1 to 2 pm isn’t big enough already). The strong ones will carry a large roll of poster paper up through the stairs so that they can start overlooking the heart of the Concordia. Then they’ll stand, and they’ll hang it.
Is it time for the drum roll? Of course, it is! It always is when panaflex launches are in full swing – or rather, in full descent of unrolling paper, after a ferocious countdown for what it’s worth. It calls the entire mass of the Concordia to a still, tilting its heads up by forty-five degrees, making it wonder for the next minute if the event it’ll hear about is even worth attending. And I guess that’s what it’s there for; it reminds us that our campus isn’t as boring as our classes can sometimes make it be, and our societies do quite a good job at overhyping it all just to make us feel excited. More often than not, they do not disappoint.