I still had to find out what is Khazarvan? I asked Aparna and Shylaja, they didn’t know. I even checked the medical dictionary. Eventually I mustered enough courage and asked the kindest looking Malayalee senior. She was Annie from Bangalore. She was the only one who didn’t rag us and I knew she would help.
“Ma’am would you tell me what is Khazarvan?” I asked her
“I am not supposed to help you, but since you are a Malayalee, I will help you. Come inside and close the door.”
I did as I was asked to and She told me the answer.
“Don’t tell anyone that I told you the answer”
“I promise I won’t Ma’am”
I was so relieved to find the answer.

On tuesday, the whole class was taken for a visit to the anatomy dissection hall. As I waited for my turn to enter the hall, I was overwhelmed with the smell. I felt very nauseated. But still I was fine, until I entered the hall and saw what is laying on the table. Till that moment, I have never seen a dead body. I have never even been to a funeral.
No one ever told me, doing medicine was all about dismembering a dead body. I was under the illusion that, medicine was all about wearing a white coat and a steth around the neck and walking smartly in the hospital.
I looked at the shrunken cadaver on the table. It was a body of a girl, probably 13 or 14 years old. What is her body doing in my college? How did she die? I didn’t know the answer.
I sat on the metal stool. My eyes were burning and my head was hurting. The only question that went through my head is, What am I doing here? I wanted to get out, I wanted to leave the medical college. May be it is not too late to join B.Sc Home Science at BCM college.
I could hear my Anatomy professor Dr. Tiwari speaking about showing respect to the cadaver. I heard him saying
“Each of these cadavers are donated to the college, you will always treat them with utmost respect. Just because a dead person can’t talk, doesn’t mean, you can’t show respect. These bodies will teach you, how a human body works, these dead bodies will teach you, how you can help the living”
I looked at the body on the table. How could any parents donate the body of their child to the college? It was difficult for me, as my own family was trying to sell me and here is a body of a child not wanted by anyone else. What did this child do, that made her parents hate her so much,that they didn’t even bother to give her a proper funeral? May be they would have got paid for donating the body. I felt sick, thinking about the whole system.
“Tomorrow, all of you will read the first chapter of Cunningham’s manual. We will start the upper limb dissection” I heard Dr. Tiwari speaking. I knew, I don’t have to worry about reading some manual. I was leaving the medical college. I can’t do this anymore.
When the class was over, I was the first person out. I ran all the way back to my hostel. I will pack my bags and leave. I will take the Island express and go back to Kottayam.
I opened my door and the first thing I saw was the gunny sack. It was still in the same place I had left it last night, on the floor underneath my table. I felt the sack was telling me that if I leave this college, I would in all likelihood end up underneath someone else’s table in a gunny sack. I felt so sick and I sat on my bed.
I didn’t understand why my mother and my sister is doing this to me. What did I do to them? Then I remembered,’oh my goodness, Amma tried to introduce me to ‘him’ when I was 13 years old.
I was supposed to attend the girl guide Jamboree in Bangalore. Amma had to go to Delhi with my younger sisters to renew their passports. She was to leave for Delhi in the morning and I was to leave for Bangalore with the girl guides from Kottayam in the afternoon. Before she left, she told me
“By the way Nina, I have informed my cousin that you will be coming. He will be there at the station. So you don’t have to worry about anything”
“Cousin? Who?” I asked
“You won’t know him”
“Then how will I find him?” I asked
“Oh don’t worry. He knows you”
“Nina, Appam thinnal porey, kuzhi ennnano?”(you just have to eat the bread, why do you have to know where and how it is made?)
I felt something wasn’t right and the moment Amma and my sisters left for Delhi, I cancelled my ticket to Bangalore. I stayed one week alone in Kottayam. I had completely forgotten about that incident. So I am the chosen one? The sacrificial lamb? Why? I didn’t know the answer. I lay down on my bed trying to sleep. I could hear Aparana and Shylaja entering the room. I kept my eyes shut.
“Nina, don’t you have to meet the malayalee seniors at 5 pm?” I heard Shylaja asking
“What time is it?” I got up quickly to check my watch. It was already 5.20. I ran all the way to the canteen. There was a huge crowd infront of the canteen.Even Annie was there.
“So Ms. Kottayam, Did you find the answer? Do you know what is Khazarvan?” Asked one of the senior boys.
“Yes sir. Khazarvan is the dysentry commonly found in Karsargodu district in Kerala, that is why it is called Khazarvan. Symptoms are bloody stool and flatulence”
There was a pin drop silence, followed by roars of laughing. I looked at Annie. She was holding her mouth with her hand and laughing. I watched a burly looking giant walking towards me. He looked like an Arab.
“I am Khazarvan, how dare you call me a bloody dysentry”
There was no escape for me. The line on my head meant, that my family, my friends, my seniors and for that matter, any idiot I am associated with was out to make my life miserable. I wanted to die, atleast in death I would find peace.

17 thoughts on “khazarvan

  1. wow….haa…haaa, that was funny, i got ragged too, i had to sing a song and the only song i new was the “a sholay song- hum dost hey, remember singing this at least 15-20 times a day, then i had to go and find out the size of #### of the ladybombs of our college, well, i now remember those days with nostalgia, even though i did not enjoy it then,….

  2. LOL ..

    I was on a conf call while reading this post and almost burst out laughing aloud.

    We had several “out of state” students in our engineering college and the favorite prank was to teach bad words in kannada, and tell them it meant something else inocous.

    Good one Nina.

  3. So I am the chosen one? The sacrificial lamb?
    Man!!!! Sorry to say this but your mom is sick! She read the peadophilic tendencies in the man very well to have tried to trade you in when you were 13!! Man I want to puke!!!!

  4. Arrrgh! This is so sick. I am so glad you have good friends now. I definately like to be yours and meet you one day.

    I can’t imgaine what was your moms idea for wanting to send you off with that Moron at 13! Where does she live now?

  5. I usually tend to find some reason for why people behave cruelly… but ur mom is the limit…
    Guess her life didnt proceed the way she wanted and she was looking for means to put it back on track.
    But at the expense of her own daughter…cant understand how she could do that..

  6. Alex: Some people think it is funny to play with other people’s feeling

    Thanu: Oh yes..learned it the hard way

    Ronnie: Those were the days…

    Rajesh: Oh they did that too.. especially the telugu students..

    Gini: When I started to write my story, the title I gave was daughters of tomorrow.. Now that I am half way through, I felt.. I might as well get rid of the immigrant in canada and use the original title

    Sujit: Grrrrr

    Visithra: I wanted the earth to open me up and swallow.. I called a year 5 iranian student bloody dysentry!!!

    Silverine: I am a mother of 3 kids..and as a mother, I want to know, how can any mother do such things??

    Mjey: Thank you so much.. May be in 2 years I will be back in KL.. we will meet then!

    Scribbles: Niether can.. more so because I myself am a mother..and would never never never harm my kids

    Jac: U got it

    Hope: How was ur first visit to the dissection hall??

    Balls: Thank you! did the tag already!

    sk: Sad Nina!

  7. But, sarah, ‘ragging’ i.e the kind you mentioned was just to bring you in touch with the culture of the college, not to discourage you.

    It depends on how to view it.

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