Respect? Maybe jus a lil bit…

It’s always interesting to listen to one of Dr. Zubair’s talks, not just because they’re surprisingly informal, but because they contain that very rare flavor that usual Pakistani speeches lack… simplicity. Yesterday when he spoke of respect, and how “aaj kal ke daur ke” students seem to lack it, it seemed to me to be a very simple statement to make. I can’t help thinking that maybe the situation is a bit more complex then Dr. Zubair and other members of the faculty think.

It’s very easy to say that one should respect one’s teachers. And saying that ‘respect has to be earned’ is another cliché that is used again and again. I’d say it’s the other way around.

When a student walks into a certain teacher’s class for the first time, he/she instinctively respects him. It’s inborn. We don’t step into a lecture for the first time already hating the teacher. We begin doing that after the 3rd class or the 4th (in extreme cases, the first ten minutes are enough). I’d say respect is gradually lost. As a student I know that I actually look for teachers to admire, to look to as role models. We search for teachers to respect, and good teachers are held high by TIPians even in this “disrespectful” age.

The silence that prevailed throughout Dr. Zubair’s talk spoke volumes about the regard the students of TIP have for him. I know from personal experience that this institute’s students enjoy nothing more than heckling at people on stage.

So why complain about lack of respect?

To bring a complete twist to the matter, let’s see who actually needs respect here. The TISF does. Being a TISF Secretary is a thankless, shitty job and the President of the TISF seems to be getting thinner and losing hair. The people who ever accidentally give stage performances in TIP events should be respected. They’re viciously heckled, and seem to be there simply to be thrown verbal tomatoes at, but they’re still gutsy enough to be up there doing something (rather than hiding in a dark auditorium and screaming “hoye hoye hoye!)

Another minority that deserves to be respected in TIP is the designers. Cut off from almost all of the institute’s active daylight activities, trapped in our overrated air-conditioned studios, you can spot a designer by the dark circles under her eyes and the over sized bag she’ll be hoisting on her shoulders. I tell you sincerely, sciences and management students should fall on their knees and thank God they’re not in our shoes.

But just saying that somebody deserves respect doesn’t mean they’re going to get it. Respect is a much too difficult concept for most of us to grasp at the moment, in fact I think it would be a huge achievement if we could just start tolerating each other’s right to exist as individuals first (I can already hear the cat-calling begin).

16 Replies to “Respect? Maybe jus a lil bit…”

  1. Mini-case in Study: Saifuddin Kamran.

    For teachers who don’t understand what gaining respect is all about, take his example. The guy’s more educated and diverse than most teachers at TIP, yet there’s not a sign of arrogance. He actually makes his students work like hell in all of his courses – yet students love taking his lectures without feeling nervous The guy’s totally down to earth. Students are most informal with him, yet they respect him more than the teachers desperately wanting to be respected – he’s never tried to build that negative aura of self-importance, the want of forced respect and too-educated-and-busy-to-be-accessible look. It’s true, gaining respect without taking one’s feet off the ground is an art itself – something necessary for all teachers work on.

    Teachers, take classes from Saifu. And yes, we all call him Saifu. That’s his nick behind his back. Not because we disrespect him; but because we love him. It’s an honor not all teachers have. Go check if you have one.

    Go Saifu!!

    2nd Mini-case in Study: Shameem Noorani

    She is exactly who she is. Most students can’t help not respect and love her. There’s nothing pseudo about her. Totally genuine. Whether you agree with her views or not. And yes, her students call her ‘Shammo’ – behind her back of course. That too is out of their love for her. Not disrespect. She’s not as energetic as Saifu, but I’m sure she’d be willing to tutor you the art of gaining respect – but you’ll have to ask her real nicely, preferably with a ‘please’.

    Go Shammo!!

  2. “you can spot a designer by the dark circles under her eyes and the over sized bag she’ll be hoisting on her shoulders.”

    Damn! What a sexist! What about the guy designers? I’m sure they don’t sleep all day.

  3. Are you saying that designers should be respected just because they are designers? It’s odd that you say that. Kinda goes against the initial stance of the article.

  4. why do u think saifu sucks? there must be a reason, no? It’s pretty futile if u say something without telling why u say so, right? Like Procrastinator who supported his/her words with reasons he/she thought were valid 🙂

  5. @ aasim
    no, i think designers are actually quite looked down upon in this institute. we get an awful lot of “tum logon ke tau mazay hain, ac main baithe rehte ho…” and “tum logon ki kaun si kitabain hoti hain…” and “drawing karna kaun sa mushkil kaam hota he…” nothing is more frustrating then staying up all night and then hearing our friends in science’s lament how much work THEY have to do. and i also mentioned the tisf should be respected, and i didnt mean they should be respected just because they’re tisf.

    MY GOD!!! literature constantly uses the masculine pronoun to describe practically every individual generally; we’re forced to live with sexist terms like mankind and man power and you cant bardash-ofy my using “she” to denote a minority that is almost 90% female?? how sexist is that?!

  6. I think we all get our share of taunts.

    “Tum logon kay itnay mazay hain, classes hi nahee hoteen.”

    “Tum log har waqt free ghoom rahay hotay ho!”

    Or the likes of it.

    But I still don’t feel that anyone should be respected for any such reason. I guess what you’re saying is that one should not be disrespected for being who they are.

  7. actually it works both ways. people should be respected for who they are, yes; but i also mean that people shouldn’t just (this is italicised) be respected for who they are. its kind of complicated.

  8. I guess then no one should be disrespected for being who they are. But the should be respected for being someone is still a bit difficult to comprehend.

  9. People should be respected for having the human, individualistic personality that they possess as long as it doesn’t become a menace to the society. However, it’s not always wise to attempt to gain respect using hierarchical tactics without making oneself worthy of it. You know, wearing shoes that are too big for your feet.

  10. “Another minority that deserves to be respected in TIP is the designers. Cut off from almost all of the institute’s active daylight activities, trapped in our overrated air-conditioned studios” yeah rite……. they themselves want to make a seperate community within the campus and last weeks picnic was a big proof. so please stop pleading for Sympathies. this is somethink that yo’ve created yourself.

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