From ‘HI’ to goodbye: My last class with Sir Humair Ishtiaq

All right, I confess. There are certain things I like about Karachi University. If I were to make a list of things I’ll sorely miss about KU, it would most likely have a whopping three entries.

This post is about one of those things – Sir Humair Ishtiaq’s classes.

It is the end of my final semester at the department of Mass Communication, and I took Sir Humair Ishtiaq’s last course class today.

He has taught our batch different courses for three years now. Unlike other teachers – experiences with whom were ever so slightly less pleasant – we actually liked him throughout.

He said it might be his final class entirely because he’s considering quitting teaching. Although we all frowned at the thought of the greatness that future Mass Communication students might miss, I was pretty happy he’s considering a break. He sounded very resigned and tired.

We talked about instances of his refusing to teach us. In the past three years, there were times he would storm out of the class because we were stupid enough to not know about Wikileaks or had nothing to contribute to a class discussion. But that wasn’t really why he’d leave, we discovered today when he confessed.

“At times when I didn’t feel like taking a class or had somewhere to go to instead, I used these chances as an excuse to get out, because, well, you’ve got to come up with something. Of course, I was irritated by your unresponsiveness and indifferent behaviour too, but never enough to not take the class.”

He also confessed to marking his students based how they looked during their exam. If you have not guessed yet, they look absolutely befuddled. Some of them can even be seen laughing out of the realisation of their misery.

Being HI, he did not squander one chance of picking on us. We were told we’re pretty much useless, but it was all in good humour, right? (right?). My friends and I have become way more sarcastic than we ever were in the past three years, thanks to him – a real inspiration for the budding sceptic.

We giggled throughout the class, and guess what? The class itself was about the use of puns – my favourite thing ever, and thus present in the headline of this blog.

Today was nice. I wish I had taken more classes than I skipped.

If it does in fact happen, HI’s departure will be like losing a limb for the department of Mass Communication. But I’d rather he do something fun after spending years putting up with idiots like us.

Godspeed, haan saab!

PHOTO CREDIT: AYESHA AHMAD

PHOTO CREDIT: FATIMA MAZHAR

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21 thoughts on “From ‘HI’ to goodbye: My last class with Sir Humair Ishtiaq

  1. Hey Imaan this sketch is by Fatima Mazhar. Enjoyed reading the piece; feeling nostalgic! πŸ™‚

  2. HI’s departure will be like losing a limb for the department of Mass Communication, Well said πŸ™‚

  3. This one is hilarious! i wish i was in Mass.comm dept. Im also a final year student of IR at KU.

  4. I TOTALLY endorse Imaan’s views about quitting and will take her advice with the seriousness it deserves (or perhaps doesn’t !). Having one less limb is better than having to carry the excess baggage that a dysfunctional limb represent in practical terms. I hope everyone will agree on this at least. One good thing — one of the many, in fact — about the blog is the much delayed identification of the creator of the sketch. Initially I thought it was Areeba, but recently she said it was Ayesha, and now I see Ayesha giving credit to Faitma Mazhar. I hope this is the final destination. Whoever can do this for me, please convey my absolute gratitude to Fatima. Honestly, it is MUCH better the original stuff, right folks?

    • Hahahaha I’ll have to say, the sketch is way too accurate to be better or worse than the original; props to Fatima.
      And perhaps you should take another look around in the department; you’ll find you have actually been a rare functional limb.
      Thank you for reading this, sir!

    • I didn’t attend the last class because .. well. For the rest of my life I want to live in the miserable pain of not knowing what I missed.

      Also, it would make a genius of a running joke.

      “Agar HI ki last class le li hoti tou shayad..” acha journalist hota, sense of humor acha hojata, sarcasm samajh anay lagta etc. Best excuse ever.

      • Abdullah, I do hereby confirm on solemn declaration, God be my witness, that by missing the last class you missed absolutely nothing. It was just another class … just another way of somehow spending 50 minutes in a classroom setting without dropping dead with suffocation !!

  5. Thank you for writing about a ‘teacher’. And thank you for making me nostalgic. The blog at different points reminds me of my different teachers; makes me smile, make me grateful, and makes me feel even more indebted to all my teachers for making me whatever I’m. Though, I’ve never seen Mr. HI, but he must have been an amazing teacher – speaks your blog and reflects his comment. May Allah bless him.

  6. Thanks for making me read this. Sir, your ‘absolute gratitude’ has been conveyed to Fatima before as well.

  7. wonderfully nostalgic… i guess we all miss our school/college/university days when they are no more 😦 it is said that a good teacher is the one with whom students feel miserable in class but remember in later life while a bad teacher is who makes students laugh and all but later students remember him/her as a bad teacher … wish you best luck in your after-graduation-in-Mass-Communication life πŸ™‚

  8. Now i am feeling lucky that HI is teaching us in this semester

  9. Well yes ! I am also his student , when we are sitting dumb in class, he gets annoyed πŸ˜€ and haan he had left the class one day also πŸ˜€ we were so shocked as It was happened first time in past years πŸ˜€ and the reason was : he was asking our replies and no one didnt reply ,he waited and then he lefted πŸ˜€

  10. But I think he is really a very good teacher he always wanted us to be aware and always wanted participation of us …

  11. Sir Humair Ishtiaq’s class is one the things i miss about KU.. We heared our seniours praising him all the time and was very excited when we took his class in 2nd year but i found him very strict and rude, we again had chance of taking his class in final year and had totally different experience then the last one..this time he treated us like grown ups πŸ˜€ he cracked jokes, shared his valuable experiences with us, 50mins class never passed so fast like it did in sir humair’s class..he named me FRENCH FRIES lol..
    This blog reminded me of every class we had with sir thanks for sharing it πŸ™‚

    • The initial experience was also fun, Wardah. Who doesn’t like to be rude every now and then !! But, yes, the final year class was greater fun becasue all of us together worked hard at bridging the massive gulf that separated us in our ‘younger’ days !!

  12. I passed out in 2008 and still remember sir Humair’s sarcastic sentences which puts smile across my face. Sir Humair Hats Off to you, many of us have learnt to laugh on our-selves first rather than making fun of any one else’s, just because of you. I am dead sure there is no substitute of “HI” and sir you have an unbeatable sense of humor. I am privileged to be your student for a year. It’s really giving bad feeling to know that you are leaving dept. Wish you all the very very best sir πŸ™‚

    • Of the few ‘Naurins’ that I have come across at the KU, I think this one is from Naurin Sultana. I will be pretty embarrased if I am wrong, but the guess is based on the 2008 timeline in the comment. Anyway, Naurin, thanks for making me ‘blush’ while going through your stuff. Just imagine what a blush would look like on someone with a dark complexion and rather heavy moustanches !!

  13. Pingback: SIR HUMAIR ISHTIAQUE | Maha Ali | Andaaz-e-Biyan

  14. your blog is so interesting, can’t resist to read, I’m not a good reader by nature, never liked reading lengthy texts, but this is different.

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