Sunday, February 01, 2009

How to spot an Aligarian

When I was at AMU, I never bothered to figure this out but once I was away from AMU after completing my education, I always looked out for Aligs. So, what are the traits that hint at the other person being be an aligarian, too. The question is: How do we search for an Aligarian when we are travelling, staying in a Hotel, visiting public places, and so on. In other words, what rings a bell...

Let me pen down the traits that I use to spot Aligarians in this crowded world.

I look for:
  • Someone who carries an AMU tarana ringtone on the cellphone.
  • Someone who speaks good Urdu.
  • Someone who looks graceful in appearance.
  • Someone who greets people with a loud "Salam Alaikum" without feeling shy about revealing his identity.
  • Someone who eagerly responds to a "Salam alaikum" with a "Salam alaikum" and not an obvious "Walekum As-Salaam".
  • Someone who respects seniors, older people irrespective of their economic status like waiters, rickshaw pullers, or porters.
  • Someone who is young but wears Sherwani, maybe, without a cap :-) (Like our Aligarian student union leaders).
  • Someone who can crack the humorous one-liners while watching a movie in a theatre.
  • Someone who can talk about any topic under the sun with the same interest and intensity as for his hobby horse.
  • Someone who uses words like jugaad, bhasad, intro, backing, lobby, dhaba, chay, +2, PUC, and mass bunk in his/her conversations.
  • Someone who adresses other unknown people of his age with "partner" as in: Partner, ye bus kahan jaaegi..
How about you? What do you look for?

Labels: , ,


Blogger Ekhwan A. Kamil said...

gud observation!

Sunday, August 16, 2009 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger chand said...


Partner aap Chaa gaye !!

Ahmad Ali Khan

Monday, November 02, 2009 4:42:00 AM  
Blogger Shajee said...

10 point guide to spotting an alig. fantastic !!

addendum to list ...

someone who doesnot allow his juniors to pay for (usually tea)

someone who is passionate about AMU and feels bad when news of disturbances in the campus come across.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Naaz iraqui said...

Its so real, same happen with me, i was a residence of Abdullah hall and after passing out from Amu TO Mumbai, i realized the imp of AMU and felt terrible to loss the great era of my life only in 3 years.

I wish i couldn't have spend some more time, live department life and explore , I used to search people there in Mumbai who are from AMU.

Thursday, December 03, 2009 1:12:00 PM  
Blogger shadab said...

Well I live in Doha, Qatar and Aligarians are pretty rampantly found in this country. There was a time when they were the only ones I interacted with. I do not have to look for the traits that you have mentioned in your blog. These traits have changed now. Probably you are looking for Aligs in their 60s.
There are 2 different unions here in Doha. Both these Unions have different dates for Sir Syed Dinner. I have or rather had friends in both the unions so I was invited to both dinners. (Of course I paid for both).
The traits I saw there were: (Please forgive my honesty and bluntness)
One group would always say thet the other one is wrong and that the other one is crap.
As soon as you turn your back to the group that you were a part of a few minutes back, they will talk ill of you. For example: Bhai inke paas har cheez ka jawa rehata hai or abey pata nahin kya samajhta hai khud ko etc etc.
the language is not as respectful as it might have bee at some point of time: BHOS---- ke/ ka is an extensively used slang in their language with emphasis on the letter 'O'
Talk to an Aligarian and the remenescence of riots are the only thing that speak of with pride and passion.
They talk about every topic on planet earth even if they have no knowledge of the same and they insist that they are right while the other person is wrong. I mean they can convience you that brush your teeth before you clear your bowel in the morning, whereas you have been doing it the other way round for all your life.
If you are in the midst of two Aligarians and you being an outsider, you will feel utterly out of place as they are not civilized enough to make sure that you are or could be a part of their conversation. You are always someone ignorant as you dont know the way to Aftab Hall or the chai shop at Shamshad market.
You could come from Yale or Oxford or Cambridge or IIT or IIM but for an Aligarian its them who is 'Ashraful Makhlooqaat' in terms of civilization and culture and education. (Utterly wrong though as I never heard the university's name being mentioned amongst the top 10 or top 50 or top 100 univs of the world.
My suggestion to Aligs is that that Sir Syed (May Allah SWT grant him Jannah) had a dream of making this university an example to the civilized world. But it is not. Ironically it is not.
By the way I always see one gentleman in Doha during the Sir Syed day Dinner wearing a Sherwani. No one else does. Most of them are in designer outfits as that is an opportunity to show that they are better placed than the other one.
By the way I forgot to introduce myself. I am a Delhiite, studied in Jamia. Not that I am proud of being a Jamiaiite. It was a below average university and is much better now than it used to be at the time I studied there. I have a lot of family who was educated in Aligarh. My father completed his MBBS from Aligarh. I have always interacted with them and been around them so I assume I can be a part of this discussion. If you have any disagreements with my post/ comments please feel free to write directly to me on my E Mail address. I do not surf mail very often due to my busy schedule but I check my mail every few minutes. Hope to have a fruitful civilized discussion, or else accept my apologies.

Monday, January 04, 2010 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Dear Mr Shadab (Anonymous),

Your comment seems to have been written in such a hurry and with so much of willingness to open a 'fruitful civilized discussion' that you forgot to mention you email address. Well, as a policy, I don't argue to justify my blog posts but I am open to have a 'fruitful civilized discussion' if you care to come back again to see that i published your comment and am looking forward to get your chat/email ID for making this a two-way communication rather than a one-way emotional outburst.

Monday, January 04, 2010 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Danish said...

Dear Shadab Bhai,

Glad to see your participation on the subject of traits of an Alagarian. The world sure consists of good people and not so good people. In the Hindu mythology there is a term called "vina mare hari ke darshan nahi hote". The question you need to ask yourself is can you take it what it needs to be an Aligarian. Your email does not bother me at all whatever you mentioned as the world comprise of good and not so good people. Here is a incident I want to share with you which dates back to 1993.

I was residing in MM hall in (+2) and My senior room mate Dr Shahid was doing MS the time was for the MBBS entrance we had another room partner from Delhi and one of his friend came for the MBBS entrance. Please bear in mind MBBS is the toughest competition in AMU. So this guy from Delhi comes after the entrance and says oh the paper was 100% there is no standard and I cracked the paper in less than an hour. I asked Rashid bhai yeh kya keh raha hai. Incidentally at the same time a Nepali guy I can recall his name was Mohan,he was close to 60 years and used to work as a waiter in the Mess. Came to deliver the food in the room. Rashid bhai says you know Danish, Mohan used to say the same thing when he came to Aligarh 40 years ago. No disrespect to Mohan miyan but this was a very good example.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 4:26:00 AM  
Blogger Qais said...

Hello Shadab saheb,

I want to move this debate from my blog comments to an email discussion. Please send an email from your personal email account to with subject line "How to spot an Aligarian".

Hello Aligs,

All those who want to present a rational rebuttal to Shadab saheb's allegations can send me an email too. We will run a thread on this topic.

This certainly has to be a "civilized discussion" as some aligarians may be a bad example or they might bring a bad name but all those who understood the spirit of AMU will always be recognised as civilized and sporting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger shadab said...

Salaam Alaikum,
Hope you are doing good. Things at my end are fine. I liked Mr. Danish's comment on the subject. But isn't that a case everywhere in every field today? I am associated with films and have worked in Bombay film industry prior to moving to television. I worked for channels like Star TV, Zee and finally MTV as a producer and Director. I used to come across tens of people who were serving tea or lifting lights on the film sets and all these guys came to Bombay to strike it big in the film industry. They may or may not have been great actors or stunning lookers but they could not make it. There are amazing looking girls in Bombay who are available for pleasure on hourly or nightly basis. They never left home to do what they are doing. So is it that dreaming big or having great aspirations or being confident (like the Delhiite in Brother Danish's rebuttal) a wrong thing? I guess confidence makes you do things better. I wish to Ask Bro Danish, well we know about Mohan, but what happened to the Delhiite? Did he get into MBBS or did he flunk? That is the most important thing. I guess AIIMS in Delhi is the elitist of elite medical college in India (GOVT FUNDED).
All I wanted to say in my comment was, come on guys, you have not taken the university to the standards that you can get it counted amongst the top 50 Univs of the world. So please give it to those who have. Admit the fact that the dream of Sir Syed has been lost amongst the misconceptions of the people who are running AMU or studying there. All I wish to tell them is there is a world outside Aligarh and look at it, accept it and embrace it. Our Prophet, Mohammed PBUH has left examples of accepting others and co existing with them. The many treaties he signed with the Kaafiroon were an example that you have to bend at times to pick up the goodies that you see.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:49:00 PM  
Blogger shadab said...

What I fail to understand is the denial of Aligarians that there can be others who are equally cultured or better at times, there are people who can speak better urdu than an Alig can and there are people outside Aligarh who can respect their seniors. At the same time I know of the Aligarians who do not speak good Urdu, who do not respect their Seniors and who are far from culture but are outright uncivilized. They are an embarrassment when they are around you. So I want the Aligarians including you sir, not to generalize. Generalization is a mistake. I am a Muslim with a beard, but I am not a terrorist, whereas a lot of people around the world would generalize that Muslims with beards are terrorists, on the contrary I am a liberal person who has always been peace loving and have always had some of my best friends from outside my faith. So my objection is not to your love for your University but your ignorace of others, my objection here is not for you thinking that you are the cultured lot but against generalizing that the moment a train passes under KUTPULA ( I love that name) people become respectful and cultured and vice versa. There are a majority of people in Aligarh who are opposite of your description of them. Today the majority of Aligarians are far from these traits and if you are going to look for these traits to recognize an Alig, trust me you will miss a majority of them.
Do pardon my ignorance if I have erred somewhere and forgive me if I have unintentionally been disrespectful. I hope my father doesn't read my comments. Because he is also like other Aligs. He always told me " Deoband main aadmi Deen ka ho jaata hai, Aligarh main aadmi Duniya ka ho jaata hai aur Jamia main na Deen ka Rehta aur na Duniya ka." I always hated that comment, but could not say that to my father so I had at one point of time started believing it and now I know how ignorant of me and how ignorant of my father. My father would take us to Albert tailor all the way from Delhi, to get Shervanis stitched for us. I know there are better tailors in Delhi.
I hope I have been on the topic, I did waver a bit but then this is connecting one thing to another and my style of story telling is a bit different from the others.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Qais said...

Thanks Shadab saheb for sharing your email address and replying to Danish saheb's comment. If Danish sb or other learned gentlemen want to carry it further, please send an email to

Personally, I would reply to your last comment through email.

Thursday, January 14, 2010 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gulrez said...

My favourite one is salam in reply to salam...

Monday, April 19, 2010 8:19:00 PM  
Blogger Shahbaz Ahmed said...

Danish Sahab Salaam Alaikum,

Please forgive me if i will become too personal, what i have observed is your dislikes about people of Aligarh that are very personal view of your's.First of all do you have even groups of Jamia people over thr??.if no, then please try to see the bright part of people of Aligarh that they came up with the idea of having a group and remaining in touch with people in ths fast moving lifestyle with an attitude of "i dont care" but "we do"..and if yes..then are you sure that you dnt show the same trade, you are disscusing here in very few people of Aliagrh,with talking about the places in "jamia" and honest to yourself, which bring me to the "second of all"..i know you are very civilized and a generous person but we all are but at some stage we do like to feel like college going students who likes to pull legs and use abusive language againts our friend irrespective of the people around, this behaviour is not specific the people of Aligarh only.And you know what,when we head back to our homes after these sessions of "fun" (can i call it fun??, be honest and ask yourself)..we do realise that we should not have used those words and talks in front of some guy who is not from Aligarh and is not familiar with Aligarian u realise that?? later question bring me to the "third of all" you realise that its your father, cousins or family members have painted ths image of Aligarh in your mind..its not their fault..only you took it otherwise,i am sorry to say.They were not bragging about Aligarh my friend, they were just telling you the truth they wanted you to feel the aura of Aligarh..Your father wanted you to be in love with Aligarh like he was/is.Its not even your fault my hearteous friend..sometimes too much of a dose starts acting otherwise..same is the case with you..lastly i want to say its not the number its the few distintive people who make the difference..just like Sir Syed Ahmed khan and in your case Shahrukh khan..i would love to see Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia in top 100,50,10 or 5 or probably No 1. University of the world and i will work for it.Till then help us in any ways in living the dream of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and u r most welcome in becoming a part of it.
THANKS & Regards
Shahbaz Ahmed Azmi.

Thursday, February 10, 2011 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger khanazam said...

a very real fact about ALIGARIANS ..... i proud to be an aligarian..

Sunday, June 26, 2011 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger SYED FAYYAZ ALI said...

very true bhai......apart from dealing.....

Monday, June 27, 2011 9:08:00 PM  
Blogger Samareen Khan said...


Wednesday, June 29, 2011 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Fakhir said...

Mast hai!

Thursday, June 30, 2011 4:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently Ahmad Zia , the Grandson of Sir Ziauddin Ahmed the famous Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University and a good friend of mine passed away He died due to high fever while he was traveling to a Hospital between Aligarh and Faridabad on 7th March 2008. As soon as the news spread a large crowd gathered outside his home and people continued to come for many months at Zia Compound, to mark the respect the shops were close. He was burried in Zia Compound next to the grave of his father Zakauddin (son of Sir Ziauddin).
I heard about Ahmad Zia that when he was born Sir Ziauddin got the news that a grandson is born in his family but he could’nt see him as he died in London.
He is also related to Maulvi Bashir Uddin who spend all of his assets to establish Islamia College, Etawah.
He studied in Minto Circle with me and PUC after that he did his Bsc.(hons) in Geology and after that he did MBA from AMU Aligarh. In 1976 he was married to Mrs. Roohi Zuberi who is a famous Congress leader . During those days she was Cabinet member of Students Union. Ahmad Zia always showed selfless dedication as done by his grandparents and family, he refused to join as a lecturer in Aligarh Muslim University which was offered to him and continued to support Aligarh Movement, thus he was the true Aligarian in spirit ,though from a political background and family he did’nt join active politics.After completing his MBA ,he got a job in Al-Futtaim Group in Dubai, Zia was a good person and always ready to work for the needy and poor and also the People from University. Ahmad Zia provided the poor with the accommodation with no or little rent. He is aslo associated with Aligarh Muslim University Alumni (Old Boys Association). Service to Aligarh
and continued to support the Aligarh Movement as he know that formal service will bound his effort and zeal, thus he was the true Aligarian in spirit .He lived a simple life. people remember him travelling on an Old scooter .Although originating from a political background and family he did’nt join active politics.
He used to help orphan and widows by sending them moneyMany people were witness of his selfless service and dedication for neglected people’s cause and much things came to be known only after he died. People saw him going for other peoples even 2-3 days before his death. Even shortly before his death he was making a call for somebody else work.
Shahid Hussain

Saturday, January 28, 2012 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Alig said...

Bro. Qais,
Its an excellent write up,
I seek your permission to copy and paste on my Page.

Sunday, February 26, 2012 1:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Dr.Fareed Ali Shamsi said...

Assalamu Alekum,all Aligarins,I am out of India these days and unluckily could not find an Aligarian except my wife who is also with me.As for spotting an Aligarian,there are other hints like "Baroola","Cafe De Phoos","Ghora",Aligarh Exhibition and women's college,beside "Chhuwara" and many others.
Aligarh Zindabad.AMU Zindabad.

Thursday, March 08, 2012 7:01:00 PM  
Anonymous najmul Islam said...

Partner I copied and pasted this on my wall without yr permission...It was too good to ask for yr permission.
Najmul Islam

Friday, September 14, 2012 3:09:00 AM  
Blogger Qais said...

Najmul Islam sb, Thanks for the compliments. I just hope you mentioned the blog URL with the wall post.

Friday, September 14, 2012 9:55:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home