Friday, January 28, 2005


As soon as I signed in, Asad asks me if I had heard the news and I said, "What news?" With this deadweight feeling that I knew it was not good I told him not to tell me if it was something bad and then it comes, "Didn't you hear about Sir Hidayatullah?

dont tell me

And to make the news come slowly, I said, "I wasn't online."

But I had known what was coming. He had cancer but I still asked how and when. It didn't really matter how and when.

Sir Hidayatullah was dead.

He had died the day before yesterday. I cried a lot when I heard it and I cried even as I typed all this.

"I cant believe that he's dead".

He was a great man. Sir was an institution, an asset, that has now been forever lost.

I thought about his kid, the one who was our junior. I liked him a lot. Not just because he was a good guy but I guess mostly because he was that great's man's son as well. The last time I went to IMSciences, I asked him about Sir's health. It was well known in IMS circles that Sir had stepped down when his cancer was diagnosed, and now he was dead.

I dont' know if many people sound my sentiments for Sir but he was one of the first people in my life as a university student to have impressed me. He never taught any of our undergraduate class but we had this confidence in ourselves due to his leadership

It was this leadership that got him into trouble with many of the authorities in the bureaucratic set up of the university. His dream of seeing IMS as a great and independent institute, one at par with LUMS and IBA was shattered when IMS was broken into two pieces due to the vested interests of a few. Though our part of IMS has gone downhill since, Sir's long term vision led the other half to new heights.

I remember the many who used to say, "Sciences will not take off. Sciences is (sir) Hidayatullah's personal pet." I didn't agree with them and he proved it when he stepped down and let someone else take it from there. Even as he was stepping down, Sciences was setting new standards and many of us saw it when we used to visit it. Today that other IMS is headed by another capable head but it was Sir's auspicious leadership, which has put IMSciences where IMStudies hasn't been able to reach yet and maybe not in the next few years.

We've always been the students of Sir's IMS first. The visionary's IMS, the one that didn't want to churn out clods but kids who turned into businesspeople. It was that vision that I remember from my first day in IMS where Mr. Zia ul Qamar addressed us.

"...You are the future of this institution, of this Province. We want you to be at par with the undergraduates of IBA and LUMS. We want that you should look and talk like business graduates and not just ordinary university folks..."

Though that vision was lost halfway through the middle for us, it's still alive for many other people. I wish there were more leaders like Sir. I know there are among us. We might not know it. We might not believe it but it's true. I hope that our part of IMS, IMStudies, will have a renaissance and that it also gets the visionary leadership that Sir had had.

Sir, we'll miss you.

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