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Student Log: Stardate

- Nikhil Goyal
from Spandan 1997

7:00 AM: Home: Bed
In the past seven days, I have successfully completed 40 hours of sleep,including the 12 hrs. on Sunday. Well, today’s another day… New hopes,new opportunities, new thoughts, same old routine, same old faces, sameold stuff… Oh well, I’ll probably make it to the stop on time…

7:30 AM: Bus Stop
The paan-wallah at the stop is all smiles. Seems he has been tellinghis customers how this doctor guy is always late in the morning.

“Bhaiya ji, 447 to paanch minute pehle nikal gai, heh, heh, heh.”

That’ll probably be the funniest joke I’ll be hearing today. Anyway,a different bus…

“Kis Ka?”
“Maulana Azad
“Ticket le lo!”

Well, that settles it. Another 4 rupee note gone…

8:15 AM: Third Floor LT
I boldly go where few men have gone before… The front gate. Awesome!My feet slowly, reluctantly advance towards the doorstep. As I open thedoor, a loud creak emanates from the rusty hinges, crying out against yearsof disuse and suffering, trying to make its voice heard in this melee ofuncaring, lost souls. 30 pairs of eyes turn on me.

The professor smiles. Another delinquent. Do these pitiful souls thinkthat they can actually come late to this class?

“Why are you late? Stuck in a Traffic Jam?”

(Boy, he’s smart, probably knows all the excuses)

“No Sir, I was stuck in the NBH lift” (Big grin)

(Stares at me, cursing under his breath, I’m sure) “Very well… takeyour seat.”

I join my comrades, not awakened by this clever debate.

Me: “What’s up?”
Witty-friend: “The Sky”
Really-witty-friend: “Nothing under the belt...”
Some-guy-in-front-of-me: “A lecture, what do you expect?”

Sure, everybody’s a comedian.

8:40 AM: Where am I?
Having lost all sense of time, space and person, I sit and stare blanklyat the scene surrounding me. I think of King Ashoka, I think about theSahara. What is the purpose of life?

Me: “How can one sleep in this heat? Hey, are you sleeping?”
Target-of-question-friend: “Of course! I’m also sleep-talking”
Last-word-friend: “No, he’s Milkha Singh”
Me: “Sorry I asked”

My thoughts drift towards what I might have for lunch today. It’ll probablythe same old…

“Human excreta, dead and decaying organic matter”

Yuck. I forgot that this was a lecture on (something to do with cleanliness).As I look for a place to throw up, The professor sees a much-awaited opportunity

“You there! Get up!”

5 guys stand up, hoping to get thrown out.

“No, that boy in the pink shirt. Do you know where we are?”

All eyes are on me. (That’s the second time today. I must be lookinggood) A sea of innocent faces, squinting at me, trying to stop the sweattrickling down their forehead into their eyes. I see desperation, confusionand even awe in their faces. It was as if they were suddenly whisked awayfrom a magical, mystery land of books and transparencies into the harshrealities of medical school.

Maybe I should respond with “Third floor LT, Sir!” That would give themquite a shock. Some of those faces might even show a rare smile.

“Sir, We were discussing the various aspects of proper management ofhealth and its administration to prevent spread of common diseases amongstthe society, especially the lower income classes, in the context of dietand living conditions of an individual”

That should cover just about everything…

“Get out of my class”

Not much argument there. I walk out, telling somebody to proxy for me.Boy, it’s heaven outside.

8:50 AM: NBH: Boys’ common room(s)
I wake up my slumbering pals, for lack for entertainment. Their colourfullanguage sure perks up my day. If I’m going to attend the next lecture,might as well take a few more down with me.

Seems like everybody went to watch the late show of some movie and havesome great reviews in store. We spend the next 20 minutes discussing whyGovinda is a better actor than Robert De Niro.

Meanwhile, the other guys arrive.

Wide-eyed-friend: “Yaar, mere group mein 15 bandey ward ja rahenhain!
Wider-eyed-friend: “Abe, mere mein to saare 20 rooz jate hain!
Fashionable-friend: “Nice shirt!”
Cool-friend: “Sai, yaar, kya karenge ye log ward lagake? GoodDoctors banenge?”
Gray’s-Anatomy-friend: “Pata hai, kal forensic ka test hai!”

(Count on him to spoil the fun)

Me: “Chal yaar, kal padh lenge. Abhi basketball khelte hain”
Chorus: “Saaley, Ja Doob Mar. I’m going back to sleep. Meetyou in the LT at 12.”

Thus ending, 4 guys retreat. So much for great ideas.

12:10 PM: First floor LT (A lecture is in progress)
This time the scene is more lively. Seems like the death and diseaseone confronts in the ward makes one value life a bit more. My batch-matescontemptuously gaze at me, satisfied with the fact that I missed somethingwhich I’ll regret for my entire career. I must start going to the wards.

Me, I can’t remember how I passed the last few hours. I think I’m gettingold. You know, senile dementia.

Me: “What happens in senile dementia?”
Stoned-friend: “Who me?”
Funny-friend: “Abe Oye, gaali nahin deene ka, kya?”
Same-guy-in-front-of-me: “It involves selective degeneration…” (I can’tremember what he said, anyway, I’ll look it up in time for the prof.)

The sleeping beauties arrive.

“Why are you late?”
“I was stuck in the NBH lift”
“And you?” (Somebody should tell this professor how rude it is to pointat someone)
“Same lift, ma’am”
“OBH lift, ma’am”
“What about you?”
“I was kidnapped by kashmiri militants.”
“Sit down, all of you. And don’t be late next time.”
“Sorry ma’am.”

They join us, all smiles.

Me: “Late ho gaye kya?”
Hosteller-friend: “Nahin, to! What makes you think so?”

Me and my big mouth.

12:55 PM: Outside the ICH
We managed to finish the lecture 10 minutes early and well… here weare!

Broke-friend: “Yaar, Buy me a Pepsi.”
Me: “Sure, just pay the bill. I’ll help you finish the Pepsi”

(Boy, was that witty or what)

Still Me: “Do we have to attend the prac?”
Waiting-for-a-chance-friend: “Well, you see…”
Me: “Forget I asked.”

After a hearty meal at ICH, we stick 10 rupee notes into one guy’s handsand leave him to foot the bill.

2:15 PM: Some Lab
I think it’s high time I made a map of the college. I had to ask ademo for directions to the lab. It was really embarrassing… I couldn’teven remember which lab I had to go to!

Working at blinding speed, I finish whatever was supposed to be doneand join my pals hanging around the new cute ‘lil demo.

Wolf-friend: “Ma’am, Please check my file.”

(This HAS to be a first)

Her: “Leave it on my desk, I’ll check it later”
Wolf-friend: “No problem, ma’am, I’ll bring it to you when you’re free.”

(Perhaps he should add “Over dinner tonight?”)

I must leave now. I must leave now. If I stay a minute longer, I’llexplode. No Nikhil, count to 10… 1,2,3,4… HELP! WHY DOESN’T SOMEBODY TAKETHE ATTENDANCE?

And by the way, anybody know my roll number?

4:10 PM: Bus stop
Freedom! Ah, Joy! My tired body cries, but my mind is free. When Ibecome a doctor, I’ll rid the world’s students of this pain, this torture,I’ll redefine medicine, making it easier, I’ll…, I’ll…

Sure, and at the rate I’m going, It’ll take me another 10 years.

And of course, I’ve missed the bus… No! I can’t believe my eyes! Thebus is late! Happiness! Rejoice! Oh, thank you god, for these small mercies!

At least I’ll enjoy a nice peaceful ride home…

“Nikhil! Hi! What are you doing here? I haven’t seen you in like 2 WEEKS!Nice shirt! Boy, I have so much to tell you! You know, that day I wentshopping and yak, yak, yakitty, yak…”

My thoughts drift through camels, straws, murder and settle at forensicmedicine. Test tomorrow

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Copyright (c) 2004, Nikhil Goyal. All rights reserved.