As I walked back to the hostel, I realized now that I know the main question for Pharmacology Internals, I have 7 glorious free days. The days that I have reserved to study Pharmacology is now free, which meant I am free to do whatever I want.
I had just managed to get a copy of Sydney Sheldon’s Memories of midnight. I was excited and was deliriously happy.
There was something about reading a book written by one of your favourite author. There is a sense of anticipation that eventually makes you want to be part of the story. Sydney sheldon knew how to capture my attention and make me feel as though I am part of the book. The thrill of being something that I wasn’t, even if it was only for a few hours was worth much more than wasting a few a hours to study and win the Gold medal.
I was crazy. I knew for sure.
The sensible part of me did consider studying Micro and Patho instead of reading a novel. It was the sensible thing to do.
But when did I ever do anything sensible?
Happy as a lark I walked back to my room.
I had achieved the things I set out to do this morning.
I gave the med cert.
Met Dr. Murthy.
Learned the Pharmacology main Question.
I also knew Dr. Bhatti was not going to be upset with me for skipping the morning rounds. He probably would think that I was doing last minute study, which I would be doing as soon as I finish the novel.
I opened the door to my room, folded my blanket ( I admonished myself for not being tidy), arranged all the books and folders neatly on my table, fluffed my pillow and lay down to read. I also kept Ramesh’s micro notes by the side of my bed, so just in case I wanted a break, I could read those notes.

May be an hour or two later I thought I heard the sound of a very familiar bike. I got up quickly from my bed and ran to my window. I looked at the bikes in front of the Boy’s hostel. I couldn’t see any RX 350 there.
I had to make sure.
I locked the door and ran to the canteen. There were few seniors in the canteen.
No students from my batch. Not surprising as all of them would be at the hospital attending the morning rounds.
It felt weird to sit in the canteen along with seniors who were busy discussing and studying. Most them are writing final MBBS and I could see the stress on their faces.
I knew how I must be appearing to them. Relaxed and calm and drinking a cup of tea three weeks before internals.
But I had no choice. I needed to know if he is back and if that meant I had to sit in the canteen all day, so be it.
I was conscious of Seniors watching me. Every person who walked in to the canteen stared at me as though I was some kind of weirdo. I knew sitting down in the canteen and wasting time would be considered sacrilegious by everyone.
I regretted not taking the novel with me.
I was so tempted to get up and look out of the canteen windows. I could probably see the bikes from the window. I just wanted to know so badly if he is back in the campus.
But there were seniors standing near the window.
Eventually my classmates came back from the hospital and the canteen was crowded. Everyone was busy finding a place to sit.
“You bunked the rounds again” Ramesh came and sat in front of me.
Was he stating a fact or questioning me? I wasn’t sure and I wasn’t interested.
Then I remembered his notes
“Thank you for highlighting the important facts” I told him
“So you read the notes”
“Why are you so grouchy?”
“I am not”
“Do you want anything to eat?”
Ramesh ordered Masala Dosai.
“You are not going to the mess to eat?”
“Nah, I am tired of eating the same old food every time”
“We had a Dextrocardia patient this morning” Ramesh spoke.
“Really? How old?”
“29 yrs old male patient”
“Situs inversus or just Dextrocardia?”
“You already know about dextrocardia?”
“You saw the patient already?”
Ramesh was looking at me.
I knew where this was going. Everyone finds it difficult to accept if I knew more than them. It didn’t matter that I must have read it somewhere and have the ability to remember it. I never understood why no one can accept the fact that I was good in something.
“I will see you later” Without bothering to heat his reply, I got up and walked out. Arjun was standing outside the canteen and he saw me leaving.
“Hi” He spoke
I looked at him to see if he was ok? He actually said Hi? Did I hear it right. he was looking at me and smiling.
“Hi” I replied.

I thought about Dr. Bhatti saying ‘Everyone believes in something’
I wondered what do I believe in?
I knew without a doubt that I didn’t believe in Christ. I couldn’t accept immaculate conception for two main reasons. Scientifically it wasn’t possible and every major civilization had a historical story of Immaculate conception.
Birth of Horus, Egyptian god Ra, Phyrgian God Attis , Greek god Dionysos, Syrian God Adonis, Persian God Mithra were all supposed to be Virgin births.
There are even historical trinities like the Egyptian Trinity ( Osiris, Isis, Horus) or the Hindu Trinity ( Trimurthy Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva)
I also held the church ( whatever denomination) responsible for a lot of crime committed against mankind. One hand they preached the love of Jesus, kindness and compassion and on the other hand they practiced murder of innocent civilians.
I didn’t want the blood of innocent people on my hand and I refused to believe in something that continued to practice exclusion policies.
How can I believe God created all of us equally and still expect me to condemn homosexuality?
Who created the homosexual?

I realized I was still thinking of what I didn’t believe in when I should be thinking about what I believe in?
It was true that I didn’t believe in any religion.
I believed in Karma.
I also believed that whatever has to happen will happen.
Was there God? Probably not. I couldn’t say No for sure.
Would Praying to him/her alter the course of your life? No. I was pretty sure of that. because if that was true, then there would be no sick people on earth, no one would be hungry, no wars needed to be fought and everyone would have won the lottery.
I was confused.
Because I still didn’t know what I believed in. This question was becoming the Chicken or the Egg for me.
I will think about it after the exams. I told myself.
Right now I needed to get ready and shove the Med cert on Princy’s face. I knew I shouldn’t think like that. He is the Principal and deserved my respect.
But how to respect someone who was rude and obnoxious? I tried to convince myself that I had a reason to be angry with princy. But I knew I was wrong
‘Ok, Ok Ok, I am sorry for thinking like that. I will gently present the med cert to princy’
I got ready, ate rock hard Rava idli and then went to Princy’s office. His door was closed.
“yes” His attendant got up from the chair by the side of the door.
“I want to see Princy?” I told him, hoping he would notice from my stern voice that I don’t give a damn if he was the honourable assistant of the Princy.
“What for?”
To get married, I thought of telling him that.
“personal matter” I spoke
“He is in a meeting”
“what time will it be over?”
“Don’t know” He shrugged his shoulder, sat down on the chair and went back to reading the Kannada News paper. I knew, he knew what time the meeting will be over. He just wanted to make my life a bit difficult because I refused to fall on his feet and worship him.
I might as well go and see Dr. Murthy.
I walked back to the Pharmacology dept.
I was relieved to see that Dr. Murthy was in his office. I knew I didn’t do anything to get in to trouble, but still my heart started to pound. There was always the fear of the unknown.
Did Dr. Murthy know about me paying the peon to forge my attendance? But I never bunked any of Dr. Murthy’s classes. I only skipped the lectures by the chotta motta lecturers.
I knocked at the door.
Dr.Murthy looked up.
I smiled a brilliant smile worthy of an Oscar.
“Come in, Come in, Have a seat”
“Thank you sir” I pulled a chair and sat down while trying to figure out why he asked me to sit down. If he asked me to sit down then it means that we are in for a long discussion. What did I do for this long session??
Must be the attendance.
Damn. I shouldn’t have done it. If I had attended the class then I wouldn’t have had any trouble. I promise, I promise I will never bunk any classes. I told myself.
“How is your revision coming along?”
Revision? kadavuley I haven’t even bought a text book.
“Very well sir” I spoke.
“You are aware of the gold medal for the top student. Hmm?”
“Yes sir”
Gold medal? I just want to pass the damn exam.
“Good” Dr. Murthy nodded his head.
“Have you gone through the previous year questions?”
“Yes sir”
No sir, I am lying. I haven’t had a chance to even read the notes yet.
“Do you have any doubts?”
“No sir”
“For internals, You need to concentrate on Cholinergics. Do you understand? Hmm?”
What? Did Dr. Murthy actually tell me the topic for the main question?
I looked at him
“Concentrate on Cholinergics Ok. Hmm?”
“Ok Sir”
“You didn’t go for the morning rounds?”
“no sir” I almost whispered the answer. Now Dr. Murthy is going to tell Princy that I skipped the rounds. Oh, why am I so stupid? Why couldn’t I wait till the afternoon to go and see Dr. Murthy. idiot. I scolded myself.
“Busy revising eh? Hmm?”
“Yes sir”
“Ok, run along. If you have any doubt, you can come and ask me. Ok Hmm”
“Thank you sir”
I got up and bolted out of the room. I was so happy, not because of the Gold medal, but at least I knew I only needed to study Cholinergic to pass the internals. I still have another 6 to 7 weeks before the externals. Enough time to study.
I walked back to the Princy’s office. The door was still closed.
“here” I passed the med cert to Princy’s assistant.
“Please give it to Princy” I told him.
“What is this?”
Marriage certificate. I thought of telling him.
“Medical certificate” I replied

Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust

It is true that I can remember most of what I read. I can also see the pictures and diagrams in the text book even weeks/years after seeing it. So technically I didn’t really have to study to pass the exam.
But that wasn’t true.
I hated the feeling of not understanding something I read, which forces me to read more books so I can have a better understanding.
Certainly a valuable skill that makes a good student
But it is not a valuable skill when you only have three weeks to study. Three weeks is not enough to read papa Robbins (Robbins came in two versions, Original ie Papa Robbins and Abridged ie Baby Robbins).
During the next three weeks there is also our college Christmas Party to worry about. it is not that I participate in any programs, but who can study when everyone is out celebrating?

I contemplated buying Baby Robbins. But my ego was not something I liked to mess with, even when there is a chance that I would be writing Patho part 1 in six months time and will be saying goodbye to All India PG entrance exams.

I hate myself. I spoke.
My voice boomed in the room. I looked at Aparna and then at Shylaja. I didn’t want them to curse me for not letting them sleep peacefully. First of all they are annoyed with me for not turning of the light, I didn’t want to make it worst.
Fortunately they didn’t hear me.
I looked at the clock. 3.45 Am.
I looked at the notes in my hands. I turned the pages to see how many more pages I needed to read to finish studying the notes Ramesh gave me. There were so many so so so many pages.
When am I ever going to finish this?
I didn’t know.
I didn’t want to know.
Disgusted with myself, I got up and turned off the light.
As I closed my eyes I promised myself. I will never leave anything to the last minute. I will never do this to myself again! I promise. If I break my promise, I will change my name to something else.
I couldn’t think of a name I didn’t like. Then I remembered I am supposed to be sleeping not thinking about names I don’t like.
I just couldn’t sleep.
I had to sleep. I had to attend clinics in less than 5 hours time.
Human body needs at least 8 hours of sleep.
5 hours is not enough.
Sleep Nina. I scolded myself.
My room was absolutely quiet and dark. My eyes were closed. My body was tired. But my brain was acting as though it was in the middle of a thunderstorm. So many images were coming to my mind. I could see Ramesh grinning. I could see Arjun’s eyes fuming. I could see Dr. Bhatti drinking sambar.
I remembered reading somewhere
“Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase, the more it eludes you.” Whoever wrote it perhaps had no idea that it is not happiness that is like a butterfly. it is sleep!

“Hey, are you going for the rounds?” Aparna shook my leg.
I got up and looked at the clock. 7.45Am. I must have been knocked out, I didn’t even hear MS singing Suprabatham.
Too late to get ready for clinics. Besides I needed to hand over the med cert and meet Dr. Murthy.
“Nah” I replied
“Ok, do you want me to lock the door?”
“Nah. don’t bother”
“are you sure?” Aparna looked at me to see if I was serious. Didn’t I get in to big trouble for bunking yesterday?
” I need to go to the mess. I will get Gangamma to lock the door afterwards”
“Ok. Bye” Aparna left the room.
I looked for Shylaja. She wasn’t in the room. Must have gone to the mess without even bothering to wake me up.
I closed my eyes hoping to sleep for a little while longer. Anyway Princy won’t be in the office before 9.30.

By the time I came back to the campus I was exhausted. There was too much on my mind and I was really worked up.
I haven’t bought any text books yet!
I haven’t studied a thing for the internals.
I hate Arjun and I hated knowing that Arjun is mad at me.

I haven’t bought the text books at the beginning of the semester because I was worried that there might be a new edition coming out by mid year and now three weeks before exams I was angry with myself for my own stupidity. Robbins ( patho text book) was a huge book and how was I going to read half of that book in such a short time?
I started to walk fast. I really need to start studying. There was no time to waste. Tomorrow I will buy the text books. Tonight I will borrow the books from seniors.
I planned the things I should do.
I will go to the mess and have an early dinner, then have a quick shower. I could hear Ammachi telling
Kazhichechu kulikkunnavaney kandal kulikkanam! ( don’t shower right after your meal)
Too bad, I told myself. I don’t have time to follow all these silly rules.
But I was still feeling sad for breaking the old taboos.
What will happen if you take your shower after a meal? You are not going to have a Heart attack if you did that. I chided myself.
The lights outside the canteen was turned off.
Princy must be in the campus.
It was a warning sign for lovers who wanted to spend some quality time with each other that princy is in the campus. Not that the canteen operator was working in cahoots with the students. Princy decreed that the veranda lights must be turned off after 7 pm. His reason was to save electricity. But everyone knew it was to discourage students from sitting outside and chatting. What the Princy didn’t know was that the canteen operator only followed the rules when Princy stays back in the campus, which incidentally worked well for couples!
I smiled thinking about how stupid adults really are. They create all these stupid rules and we the youngsters knew how to work around those stupid rules.
Then I noticed someone getting up from the canteen veranda and walking towards me. I couldn’t see who it was because it was still dark outside though there was a light inside the canteen.

Twilight is an odd time in the campus. Most of the girls would have already gone back to the hostel., leaving behind the hard core smokers ( guys) in the canteen. Most of the guys don’t want to miss the dinner at the mess, which would be a sure thing if you are 10 minutes late for dinner.
It is not that the campus is unsafe, it just makes you feel a bit uneasy walking in a deserted campus.
There really ought to be more lights in the campus. I thought to myself.
From the gait, I knew the person walking towards me was not Arjun.
My heart started to pound.
I knew there was no need to panic. Anyone in the canteen can hear me if I scream. But still my heart was beating fast.
Flight or flee.. The adrenaline cruising down my circulating systems wanted to know what I was going to chose. The sensible part of me knew for sure that I was over reacting.
“Hi Nina” The person spoke.
“Ramesh you scared me” I hissed
“What did I do?” He asked innocently.
I wasn’t sure what exactly he did for me to be so angry with him.
“What are you doing here?” I asked the next dumb question.
“Waiting for you”
Waiting for me? Huh?
“You wanted the notes No?”
“You mean, you were waiting for me, so you could give me the notes” I know I sounded very much like an idiot.
“yeah” Ramesh spoke. He looked at me as though it was the most innocent thing to do.
“You could have given it tomorrow”
Ramesh shrugged his shoulder.
“Now you missed your dinner at the mess, No?” I asked him
I felt guilty. He missed his dinner because he was waiting for me. He didn’t have to, but he did.
“Listen, I feel like eating some dosai. Do you want to join?” I asked him.
I hoped he would say No for two reasons.
One, I only asked as a matter of courtesy. I wanted him to say No, so at least I would feel happy that I offered to buy dinner and if he declined and later if he is hungry that is his problem, not mine. Not guilty by association.
Second.Princy was in the campus and he would jump in to conclusion if he finds a girl and a boy sitting down at the same table and eating. he even sees the baby in the middle!
I had already got in to trouble for bunking the class. I didn’t want any more trouble.
“No more Dosai. Sold out. Do you want to have some tea?” Ramesh spoke.
How can I say No and then grab the notes from his hand and go back to my room?
Why do I do this to myself? ( Digging my own hole)
“Sure” I answered. ( you made the bed, now lay on it kind of logic)
“So what cases did you see today?”
I told him about the new cases.
we ordered two tea. I chose to sit by the side of the door hoping that if Princy comes for a spot check and stand by the door, he wouldn’t see me.
“Do you know anything about the four stages of grief?” I asked him
“No, what is it?” Ramesh asked
“I don’t know. If I knew I wouldn’t ask you, right?” I snapped.
“Are you always like this?”
“like what?”
“Do you always get angry when you don’t know something?”
“What?” What in the world was this guy talking?
“Do you always get angry when you don’t know something?” Ramesh repeated his question S L O W L Y.
“I don’t get angry when I don’t know something” How dare he accuse me of something like that?I was ready for the fight.
Ramesh was looking at me and I noticed a kind of tiny smile on his face. Not like the mocking smile Arjun always had on his face.
He kind of had an amused look on his face.
.Not something I was expecting. How do you argue with someone who was not fighting with you instead looking at you with amusement?
“Really! I don’t get angry because I don’t know something” My voice sounded so calm.
I still wanted the last word.
“Sure” he spoke
“What sure?” I was a bit confused with his reply.
“Sure, you could have the last word” He spoke.
I looked at him to see how in the world was he reading my mind. He was busy drinking the tea and I was completely lost. I absolutely had no idea what was going on.

When I sat down to study in the night, I noticed Ramesh had highlighted all the important facts in the notes he photocopied for me. He didn’t take money from me for the photostats. He even missed his dinner, so he could give the notes to me.
But more than all that I was terrified because he knew more things about me.
He knew my faults. Now that was scary.

I have been taking my kids to the same arena for skating since I came to Canada..I have seen the Mural by the side of the arena with wordings”Triple Lutz” innumerable times.

Never once did I try to find out what Triple Lutz means.

Today my son noticed the murals and asked me what is Triple Lutz..and I didn’t know.
( It bothers me that I had three years to find out what is Triple Lutz!)

Years ago I read an article in a journal about people living in vacuum..Those living in Vacuum will never notice things around them. Nothing piques their curiosity..

I am pretty sure most of you think that I am crazy.. but surely there is no excuse for living in a vacuum..
There is no excuse.
Triple Lutz

I have successfully managed to send uncooked maggi mee in the thermos for lunch.
Now I have to make something nice and take it to school in time for lunch.
I am thinking of making quesadillas, carrot cake and fruit punch.
See ya all tomorrow.
Happy April fool’s day.