Saturday, December 8, 2007


The only disease I’ve escaped so far is asthma. Thanks to the work I'm putting in on my project, this issue is being addressed seriously. We need to do a research project on a topic of our choosing, and the department of SPM will give us brownie points. We (Arch, Lotus, and I) are doing a records based study (which is supposed to be easier than studies involving interviewing patients). I now spend my morning battling dust mites in the records library, searching for case records of patients with infections complicating diabetes (the infamous ‘diabetic foot’).

I was in the middle of a violent sneezing fit when I heard my cell phone announcing the arrival of a text message. Anticipating another one of those incredibly sappy messages my friends shoot me with, I snighed as I took out my phone to read it.

“The college day functions will begin at 4.30 PM today.”

Considering the fact that the preparations for the college day start well in advance, I can’t help but admire the organisers from the hiding this fact from more than a thousand students.

The announcement couldn’t have had a worse timing. I knocked over a pile of case sheets, escalating the sneezes to a full blown attack of asthma and had to be nebulised. (I didn’t, but, as any soap opera writer knows, everyone luurves drama.)

Oh, we also received our mark lists. So I now know my marks in each subject. Like I expected, it was Pharmacology that stole my distinction. (I was off by about 30 marks, but I need to blame someone, and I can’t be the scapegoat, obviously.) At least I managed to floor that sour faced examiner who was some sort of mutant vampire who thrived on the blood of us examinating students. She wanted me to name the non-antibiotic uses of Erythromycin. WTF?
SFE: What are the Ophthalmologic uses of Atropine?

Me: As a mydriatic and a cycloplegic.
SFE: Do I have to stand inside your mouth to hear your answers?
Me: M-m-mydriatic a-and…
SFE starts looking at me like I was a ketchup stain on her new white sari.

Me: M-m-ma’am…. Cyc-l-lo-p-ple-g-gic…
SFE: Tell me one indication for using it as a mydriatic.
Me: F-f-f-f-fu- *deep breath* fundoscopy.
SFE looks sceptical.
: Ph-ph-enyl-e-e-phrine is p-p-pre-f-f-erred.
SFE: Hmmm… When do you want both mydriasis and cycloplegia?

Me: Re-re-f-f-f-fraction t-t-testing.
SFE: (now looks like exactly like Umbridge spoting Hagrid with Buckbeak) Is it used for infections?
Me: Y-yes, M-ma’am.

SFE: (She was actually smiling. And not in a good way.) Oh, really?
Me: C-corneal ulcer.
SFE: (clearly diappointed) Oh, good. You can go now.

I went home to get ready for the fun after collecting the certificate, and that was when the horrible truth hit me. I didn’t have a thing to wear! Yes, ladies, thank you for your sympathy. Gentlemen, that does not mean I went in my birthday suit. After ringing up various girl friends (“wear the mustard yellow one”, “wear the sunflower yellow one” “wear the sunshine yellow one”), my mind still looked like my bed. Unmade. That was when my cousin (who is an unimaginative member of the male species) rang me up. I informed him that my style crisis was much more important than the death of his beloved dog he’s had for the last 10 years and that wet shoulders weren’t quite the look I was trying for, he asked if I wanted to be a show stealer. On salivating in the affirmative, he instructed me to wear a bikini and hung up. Men are idiots.

I finally settled on green, and then came other issues like hair, make-up, etc. I’m noted for the smooth way in which I handle stressful situations like those (Ammmm-mmmaaaaaaaa!), and I was ready to take on the world by about 6 PM. Those of you who know my college will know that I was too early.

The inaugural speeches were ending when I arrived, but Twin had sat through the entire ceremony, and now bore more than a striking resemblance to a moth eaten corpse. And as luck would have it, something important came up and her dad came to pick her up as soon as the last speech ended.

The lights dimmed, and the curtains did not go up. Instead, I saw my friend N standing in front of the curtain and singing ‘Dil de di-ya-a-a-a hain… Jaan tumhe de-e-e-e-nge…” He wasn’t excellent, but he could carry a tune, unlike some of the other fillers. The show kicked off with a group dance by Small, G and some of the girls in 3rd year. I fell in love with Small all over again. She is the best dancer I’ve seen in my entire life. Except perhaps Shobhana, but I’ve watched her only on TV, and she doesn’t really count. And Pavlova died a long time ago.

Some professional dance troupe danced to the theme song from Don. The lead guy looked like a badly shaved cockroach, but he sure could move.

All performances by students from the junior-most batch are accompanied by the vocal participation of the audience. I accepted A as my guru, and I can now boo in 3 different ways- from the back of my throat (will get hoarse after more than 5 seconds), from the front of my throat (painless, loud, and high-pitched) and without using the throat at all (after extensive laryngeal damage). After watching some particularly clumsy females attempt to shake it like Shakira, my throat completely gave out, and had to comfort myself with occasional croaks. I dance better than all of them put together, and that’s saying something about their total lack of grace and talent. They totally changed my opinion about Shamur.

The more inebriated male members of the senior and junior batches provided an alternate form of entertainment- action songs! Wrestler sang an old Malayalam melody (Alliyambal kadavu, no less, fellow mallus), and we had a lot of people rowing imaginary boats while drinking karikkin vellam (tender coconut water, like P. T. Usha wants us all to), and others pushing them into the imaginary water, after which the wet victim would roar with rage at the display of disrespect and attempt to crush the perpetrator’s ribs, and both of them would end up holding hands and slow dancing to “innum kalamayille ente kai pidicheedan”. This group rose to prominence when Shaan came on stage. Not that Shaan (I had the same reaction when his name was announced, and Tanha Dil started playing in my head). This guy is a Malayalam music director, and could be cast in the role of Luttappi (the little devil from our beloved Mayavi) without much makeup. Come to think of it, I know a lot of people like that.

R and I shed tears of happiness when Shaan asked us all to wave our lighted cell phones, us being the only cool girls in the area where we were sitting in who understood its implications. We rushed to get out phones out of our bags, when A told us we weren’t qualified, he had specifically asked for non-singles. Bastard! We eventually had our revenge when we noticed that he seemed to be avoiding looking at the (predominantly) girls’ sections of the audience/spectators/whatever while serenading the guy’ side with love songs and we concluded that he was probably gay.

While we were lulled into complacency by music, the terrible junior girls got on-stage to dance, again! My poor larynx needed lots of TLC to start functioning after that murderous assault.

Observe the blurred photo* on the right. No, it’s not an ad for some hotel. Neither is it a fly impaled on a spider web. It is an actual human being from a troupe of contortionists, and managed to do everything but hang himself by his neck from the rope (look closely, there’s a rope hung from the centre of the stage). He was preceded by two no less marvellous guys who could jump over each other’s heads. Wow!

4 of my batch mates have this rock/metal band known as the Ruff Rekord, and they drilled holes in our eardrums with their music. I have quite a lot of things to say about them, but I shall make do with one- the band would have only a drummer if D quit. I don't know how many actually enjoyed them, it looked like most couldn't wait for them to exit.

Small (she is plain awesome!) and Co. returned to huge applause, and theirs was the last performance we watched, after which the inmates of the Ladies’ Hostel were asked to return. R and I were spending the night at the hostel, our respective ancestors glad to have an excuse to get us out of the house for a few hours. We continued our daily night time ritual of staying up half the night to chat, the only difference being that Airtel did not in any way benefit from our conversation.

*It was taken on my phone, I'll put up better ones when I get them.


Compassion Unlimitted said...

//Men are idiots//
I take offence but agree..What to do.truth is bitter.
A wonderful narration making video of the entire stuff redundant,
airtel surely will pay less bonus this year

Keshi said...


**Men r idiots

I agree. But not all. Some men r angels.


Tea N. Crumpet said...

My husband would have been the opposite and started to comment on the best three outfits for the occasion and brought me the right shoes. He's not gay but his best friend is. (Hmmmmm? This only now occurred to me. . . I'll pretend I didn't think of that!)

Did you wear a sari to this? I am going to buy one for this coming summer. Summers are hot where I am at and one of my friends who'd been to India years ago let me try one on at her house last year. I wouldn't take it off until right before I left an hour later. Not only was it comfortable, I felt like I moved gracefully in it. People from India will probably point and laugh at me, but I still love them.

Asthma is terrible. One of my daughters had it for years before it was diagnosed. An ER doctor told us what it was after many years of ER visits and told us who to go see. I'd never seen it before-- we didn't have it in my family and I didn't' knwo what I was seeing.

Tys on Ice said...

man! how i hve seen everything! docs have cultural programmes? I thought the height of entertainment to a doc wud be ER and a gud open heart surgery...i stand corrected..

yeah, now u can truly say : men are idiots...

funny, funny , girl...but do tell me more abt ur nite in the girls hostel...this is something i always wanted to know but never knew who to ask

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

uhm.. **clears throat** you're single? ;)

Keshi said...

I take that back...Men ARE idiots!

Just today.


Sreejith said...

lol..according to me your cousin is a genius :P and whatever happened to the bonesetter pg guy?

Quietly Amused said...

men are idiots apart, where I work almost everybody is a vegetable. couple of things what's the plural of diabetic foot? what do you say when you have two people with an infected foot or one person with both feet rotting?
And erythromycin's used to improve gastric motility in diabetic and post op gastroparesis. Hell I'm a surgeon I'll show off :)

Spunky Monkey said...

Kerala is an extension counter of The Gellf no? Al Faisal and all!

Adorable Pancreas said...

@compassion unlimited:
Muchas gracias. :)

This idiot used to fall into the angel category. Ah, how times change.

@tea n. crumpet:
How come I don't know any men like that? Life's so unfair. :(
I don't wear saris very often. I find them a little restricting.
My grandmother used to have asthma. I remember hearing her wheezy breathing at night, when she lived with us.

@tys on ice:
The height of entertainment would be intubating someone while swinging from a trapeze. :)
I'd love to see the look on your face when you read this: We did not have pillow fights in our underwear. Now you know the truth.

@toothless wonder:
Errr... *blushes* Yes.

Welcome to the club.

Birds of a feather...
The bone setter sets bones, I reset my heart. *sigh*

@quietly amused:
Multiple diabetic ulcers? Gangrene feet?
And erythromycin, I assumed its gastric irritant property was stronger than its prokinetic action. Hell, I'm an undergraduate. I'm not expected to know this stuff. :)

@spunky monkey:
You dare mock the business class hotel that sponsored our college day? I hope a coconut falls on your head!

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

well..i was one victim...tried 'chand sifarish ' from fanaa dat day...had rahul chettan(2k3) wid chorus...hmm wat 2 music n chorus won huge applause..n my voice didnt actually have 2 reach de pack of wolves :)'pranamam'