Thursday, 15 December 2011

The perfect past

It was the tenth time i suppressed a yawn! My head hardly registered the anything that was being discussed at the seminar. It was an exam oriented seminar conducted by another college and i overestimated my potential to patiently listen to over 8 hours of lecture with just a 30 minute break in between. I totally lost it when they started  talking about varicose veins at a speed of 3 words per minute!...i was still thinking about the palatable lunch i just ate, the chair that was abusing my spinal cord, the unbelievable eye popping students around who kept nodding for even the breath the professor took!

It was 2 o clock, in a jam packed hot, humid room where the air was completely paralyzed, that's when i spotted a student religiously take every one else (where is my pen?)  but this smart ass was typing away to oblivion on his laptop! I saw signs of mental disturbance in him for sure! But what really caught my attention was the laptop.

The laptop for some reason reminded me of long forgotten NATRAJ (THE PENCIL), my red and black NATRAJ pencil the most pivotal object  of my childhood.

I would sharpen it every single day before school (prestige problems)..Just for the heck of it i'd sharpen the other end too and show of with my dual ended writing instrument!...It was the only food i got in the exam hall!..i'd chew on the wood and stare blankly at the bent backs right in front.

I remembered  the notebooks, that were neatly covered in brown paper, with a "bata" or "kiwi" label on it. The double margins, the smudged pencil marks that made pages look grey, red marks and even worse "very bad handwriting" remarks and the occasional "neat" or a star.

The eraser, that was the most hardworking stationary in my pencil case. It would assume odd shapes by the end of term and ultimately disappeared as a tiny round thing in my friends braid.

The ever strong wooden ruler,in its yellow glory bearing compass marks and my name in bold letters. It must have definitly waged wars with other scales in class but was never used for the intended purpose.

And obviously, the very 1st led pen.Renolds! .the refill that had pathetic looking ends, and the the ink totally wasted in "correcting" news papers, text books, and dads office stuff(ouch!)

I saw the laptop again...what a shame! its just there, reminds me of nothing except wasted hours, and non productivity  multiplied by guilt.Its no match for the physically deformed and emotionally challenged stationary of my past.
I finally found my pen. That professor is still speaking 3 words per minute...i open my note book and take down an important point "Prof.X, varicose veins, 3 words per minute".
I would love to look back at this sometime in the distant future.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Forensic blues

I have always loved reading Robin cook novels, specially the ones which revolve around forensic investigation...CSI, Bones, be blind to not see the pattern! I was totally in awe of Forensic medicine. So my excitement was obvious when i started my 2nd year of med school, because FM is one of our subjects for the year! YEAAAAA!!!

1st day orientation to FM, that's when i realized i was grossly mistaken about the subject! I felt like i had been smothered in cow dung...It was way too remote form what i had read or seen or dreamed of!!!  We had 3 professors. The HOD who comfortably invisible, Mr.Y who was "this" close to kicking the bucket and Mr.A. Mr.A our savior!

This Mr.A was cool for many reasons.He was patient, sincere, and seriously worried about our lack of interest towards the subject. He did his masters abroad, hence came along the accent,the only thing that ever caught my attention. The classes were usually in the afternoon, immediate postprandial, the time when i suffer from serious attention deficit disorder...Not just me but our batch of 120!! That never Deterred Mr.A from screaming on top of his voice through a broken microphone form the podium about plant poisoning, alcohol abuse, road accidents...blah...blah..WAIT did he just talk about sodomy???? Clever man, he knew how to get the class to listen!

The biggest mistake he probably made, was returning back to India to teach forensic...Forensic of all the subjects. We never considered it a was the hour to catch up with gossip, upcoming culturals, finishing OTHER subject records and sure he must have felt more at ease with a a room full of cows chewing cud!!

A year passed and it was time for our university exams..and then we knew..NOTHING about FM!
we had to get through the exam! We tried to go through our class notes, sadly we never took any! The text book was brand new and i was the most boring book ever with least informative pictures and texts that said the same stuff over, the font dint help either!

We were desperate for help, and thats when we saw the big, bright, gleaming halo over Mr.A's head. He worked harder than any of us to drill the subject through our thick skulls .Im sure he had many mild attacks reading our answers and listening to pure ignorance that we shamelessly committed!! But he was a strong man!

The day of the practical exam, and we got the first look of our externals form other states..Im sparing you the horrific details!..But somehow, we went through the hell hole and it was not as bad as expected. The most anxious face in the practical hall was Mr.A's. His face was red, spectacles constantly slipping off from his nose thanks to the sweat! was a sight! 

With the exams over, the results out( yeah i cleared!) the chocolate distribution in progress, Mr.A  stood with an expression that made us rot with guilt...He was beaming! Mindless of all that insult we bestowed on him and his queer accent, of all the troubles we gave him, the records for which he literally had to beg....Did he have some memory issues??

He congratulated every one of us,  gave us a lengthy advise about how to tackle the 3rd yr subjects, and a lot of other personal issues....we dint deserve any of that. 

 I dont see him in the college anymore; Rumors fly around..some say he is suffering from alcohol withdrawal, a bitter divorce, cancer???

I have no clue. But he will always be remembered as our savior, the man who earned respect from 120 immature, arrogant, and indifferent students.

And for the record, Mr.Y is still going strong. His Bucket is that old fashioned type..the cast iron one...guess he will stay put....for many more years.  

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Beautiful Nightmares

Hmmmm another day! the second day of our final year. But we are yet to appear for our 3rd years practical exams!! wooww! cant wait :/
its been less than three weeks sice the theory exams,but the hell loads of information crammed into my head to tackle it is on the verge of complete evaporation.Though im scared abt the very personal  moment with balding examiners, i cant force myself to open my long forgotten books of the pre final year!
i can distinctly see the way my viva is going to proceed...the balding examiner will ask a question and i will stare at his shiny bald spot. For the second question i will devout my attention to the dirt on the windo panes beyond him.
The third, fourth and number of other questions, a bunch of attempted answers from my side.
A few outrageously insulting comments from the angered romantic,that will almost have my eyes flooded with laughter..then it will end!
this is followed by the magical words "GET OUT". Immense joy! the latest songs will keep jarring somewhere in my mind as i walk out!
as the viva for the day comes to an end we will wait for THOSE divine words "all PASS" and we will showere a bunch of blessings on the examiner who until then will be subjected to verbal abuse and unimaginable curses.
agreed vivas can be a terrifying experience, the most horrid part of the whole exam process...but when its over? nothin feels better!