So there is this common misconception people often have about LUMS, that its a university which mainly just focuses on teaching ‘practical’ subjects like engineering or accounting or business management. I want to set the record straight and make it clear that this isn’t the case. One person to whom I refuted this claim shot back with “Well it IS called Lahore University of MANAGEMENT SCIENCES isn’t it?” It is, and certainly LUMS did start off as just a business school initially but it has grown to be so much more than that. No, I am not going to shamelessly promote the university, its 25 year celebration video has done more than enough of that! Quite cheesily too, might I add. You can find the video here
Sure there are plenty of science and engineering nerds on campus, and others still who devote their time to studying numbers and graphs. But like any other place, you’ll also find dreamers in LUMS. Daytime dreamers, afro-ed hippies, frolicking flower-children, fearless and brazen mountain-climbers, environmentally-conscious tree-huggers, you name it, LUMS has it. There are artists and writers, who create masterpieces in print and in video. There are philosophers who can avidly and heatedly refute and then defend the claims of great minds from Socrates and Ibn Khaldun to Kant and Imam Ghazali. These people are just as much a part of the scholarly and academically competitive atmosphere of LUMS as the 4.0-ers. Many of these could actually give the university-toppers a run for their money.
To quote Iqbal:
Love is infinite time that’s beyond the cycle of transient time.
Be it painting, architecture, music poetry or calligraphy,
all these arts thrive on the intensity of love!
The intensity of love turns a stone into a heart
[and] it’s love that bestows depth of feeling, exhilaration and melody to the voice.
Everyone has their own area of expertise. I may be good with words but I’m horrified by numbers and charts. One of my closest friends is studying law but is just as passionate about photography. Her pictures speak out and with the right camera, she would be a genius. I also know plenty of other writers like myself who manage to capture so much in a short story, and do justice to representing the local context; given the right opportunities, they could all be bestselling authors. Yet another friend who happens to be an Economics major could very well be a leading philosophical mind of South Asia in the next couple of decades. LUMS caters to these minds, most students who are inclined towards the Arts have the option of pursuing a Humanities degree and though that opens the doors to so many possibilities, there are some people who take that extra step forward on their own to pursue their dreams.
I recently watched a movie that I found posted repeatedly all over my Facebook newsfeed. It is called ‘The Mosque of Cordoba’ and it is, as the Youtube caption says, “about a boy who discovers the true gift of Iqbal and the magic of poetry.” It’s a final project of two 2nd-year students at LUMS for a course on the history of Spain, and even though that makes it sound dull and boring, the movie is captivating. One of the two students is an aspiring film-maker, and also co-founder of his very own video production company, EmKay Studios. I know him personally and I’d heard from mutual friends that he’s good at what he does but after watching the movie, I know it to be an undeniable fact. Considering that this is the work of students who are just about 20 years old and can’t get enough of ‘that’s what she said’ jokes, I was seriously taken aback by the sheer maturity of the work. It would appeal to people of all ages, and is actually something I would gladly show to my parents. It’s an impressive piece of work that focuses on Muhammad Iqbal’s description of the famous mosque of Cordoba, and it actually inspired me to pick up an Iqbal book or two just to read some more of the breathtaking poetry on my own. The narration is done beautifully, and the acting’s as good as it can be, given it stars students who are also part of the Dramatics society at LUMS. I would urge anyone who has any sort of interest in history, poetry, or Iqbal to check out the movie online. It’s also a great way to kill half an hour when you all you want to do is procrastinate.
EmKay Studios, the student project movie and my opinion on all comprises to form just ONE example of the brilliant things students at LUMS do, outside of the academic domain. I know many more such people and I seriously cannot wait to see how they all fare in the next few years to come.
Links for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheEmkayStudios#p/a/u/2/j0kcgE9Ukt0
EmKay Studio’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/EmKay-Studios/109172555804354
More info on Iqbal and Cordoba: http://www.allamaiqbal.com/webcont/406/web_pages/cordova_mosque.htm