First year internal exams were starting on monday the 19th and I spend all of saturday and the all morning sunday studying physiology and biochemistry.
By sunday evening, I started to study anatomy. I hated anatomy. I just couldn’t remember the origin and nerve, artery supply of each and every muscle. And we are not talking just one or two muscles!. Around 50 muscles in the upper arm alone! There are about 650 skeletal muscles in a human body!
As the clock needle moved forward, so did my frustrations. I had so much to revise and so little time.
Shylaja was studying with other Kannadiga students and Aparna was studying with the Tamilian students. By right, I should be studying with the Malayalee students, but they didn’t want to even talk to me. I was already a pariah.
It hurts very much when you see everyone having friends, that is everyone except you. Nobody wanted to be my friend. I was such a bad person. My sister had ensured that much!
I couldn’t do anything to change the situation I am in. Who would have believed me anyway?
Shylaja came to the room around 8.30pm.
“Guess what, Brachial plexus is going to be the main question tomorrow”
“Really? How did you know that?”
“Dr. Rajesh gave a hint this morning to Arjun and he told me”
“Are you sure?” I asked her
“Ofcourse, I am only studying that”
I was so glad to have such a good room mate. There was no need for Shylaja to come to my room and tell me the question. She is such a nice person. Most students would have just kept the information as a secret.
“Thank you so much Shylaja”
“That is ok” and she went back to her friend’s room. I took Chaurasia’s text book and started reading about brachial plexus
I knew If I wrote the main question well, then the chances for passing the exam is high. I only need 20 marks out of 50 to pass the test. Main question itself is for 20 marks.
I was so relieved. I sat and studied the entire brachial plexus till 3Am. I didn’t have time to read the rest of the anatomy, but I wasn’t worried at all. All I need is 20 marks!
In the morning, I got ready, revised the brachial plexus again and went to the exam hall. Everyone was doing last minute revision and I never liked to do last minute revision. Dr. Rajesh was standing near the door
“You look very confident, you must have revised well” He spoke
I smiled. I didn’t know how to tell him my thanks for giving us the clue. I felt I owe my success to him. May be I will tell him my thanks later, after the exam.
I walked inside the hall and sat at my usual place.
At 9am Dr. Rajesh handed the question paper. I watched everyone around me praying before reading the question paper. I knew what the first question is going to be and I was just about to draw the brachial plexus in my answer sheet, so I won’t forget the nerve connections, but then I felt, I should read the question paper and see how many short questions, I can answer. I took the question paper and read. I felt my eyes can’t read anymore. My vision was getting blurred. I rubbed my eyes and tried to read the question again.
1. Describe in detail the blood supply of mammary gland.
I turned and looked at Shylaja. She was already holding a blue and red sketch pen in her hand( to draw the artery and the veins)
‘Oh, my goodness, she cheated me. She lied to me, How stupid was I to trust her?’
I didn’t study anything about mammary gland. I looked at the question paper again. There was only one short question for 5 marks on brachial plexus.
I refused to cry, but I knew I am sinking. The marks from internal exams are send to Bangalore university and will be added to my final score. If I don’t do my internal exam well, then the chances of me failing the first year is extremely high. If I failed and repeated any subject during the 5 years of medicine, then I won’t be able to write most PG entrance exams.
I struggled so hard in my life, still I can’t win. Why is my life so difficult? This is the worst thaleyvara anyone could have!
I waited for the bell to ring and the moment it rang, I walked up to where Shylaja was sitting
“Why did you lie to me Shylaja? What have I done to you?”
“Oh No Nina, I didn’t lie, I was told that Brachial plexus will be the main question. Even I didn’t do the test well. I don’t think I will pass” She started to cry
When she told me that, she also won’t pass, I though may be she is telling the truth and I didn’t want to fight with her.
“Never mind, We will do the externals well. Don’t cry Shylaja. It is ok” I tried to console her.
I wrote Physiology and Biochemistry exams well and was so relieved that the exams are finally over. We had normal lessons on thursday and I looked forward to friday, because we are having holidays. My college was closing for Christmas holidays. I had already packed my bag. I just wanted to go home.
At the dissection hall on Friday, Dr. Rajesh came with our reports. He called each student by name and announced the mark. Aparna got 38 marks and I was getting worried. I didn’t want to be the only student who failed. I knew Shylaja would fail too, and when Dr. Rajesh called Shylaja’s name, my heart was beating non stop
“You scored the highest marks Shylaja. You got 48 marks. Congrats” Everyone was clapping their hands and Shylaja was beaming in pride. A pride she gained by cheating a totally innocent, ignoramus, village woman, who has to fight each day just to stay alive.
I knew women can be vicious, but some how, I never thought, you would find them in a medical college, where you are being trained to save human lives, where compassion is the most important trait.
oh I forgot to mention: I scored 4 marks! out of 50. One mark more than Himanshu, who has been writing first year exams for 3 years!. So I didn’t score the lowest marks.. yay!!