Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who knew I'd last this long, and who knew there'd be a post this soon.

But there is a reason. It has been one year since I have been perpetuating and unleashing unheard amounts of mediocrity upon you all. Cat's Cradle, Spunky Monkey, venivididormi turn one today. (How cool is it that they all share their birthday huh!)
So yay!

The blog has been like a support system in its own way. Every time somebody jeered at me, or said something rude, I'd say to myself, "Say all you want, I will go back to my place where there are people that actually like me". You all. Thanks for making me feel happy about myself. I know all this sounds like a beauty pageant winner speech, but this will probably the most I will achieve anyway. Especially since that book deal hasn't come my way yet. Dang, what must one do to get one. Get a life, and have lots of sex, and write about it, you say. But should it be that hard?

The blog has given me very good friends and most of them don't think I am obnoxious. So, that's lovely. The blog has made me respect writers a hundred times more (Chetan Bhagat is not one). It has made me realize that I write crap, and that there is so much to learn from so much brilliant, understated, clear, concise and beautiful writing there is in the blogworld. So until we get there, we will call this exercise typing.

AND, haven't you been reading the blog? This is a notification post; the latest one remains this. Go read.

So blog, today you can walk a few steps independently, transfer a toy to the examiner and say 2-3 words with meaning. You are one!
Thanks for everything.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Do Medicoids Dream For Salaries To Leap And Pizzas To Be Cheap? Yes they do, yes they do.

So, anyway. I cower in my seat and hope for the baritone behind the wickerwork curtain to convince me all is not lost, yet.
Yes, I confess.

I do not get poetry.
When I read blogs that are full of apparently fantastic verse, I merely nod and say "Ahaa ahaa, that is some deep writing, that is. Who knew it even had meaning?!"
I do not get it of course. I do not understand all the fuss about Neruda, or Ghalib, or Walt Whitman, or Wilt Whatman, or WhateverTheFuckElse, merely because well, I do not, I cannot.

Especially when they,
in specific,
exotic Tamizh species like

Kanniyakumari Kalabhimanjari Kattabomman insist
on writing
With obvious dis
regard for rhyme and more
so for reason and most of
meter! Do you under
stand this?

I do not, I can tell you. No stand, certainly no understand. But that does not mean I do not admire people who can come up with verse like that. How cool must you be to put together disjointed words and make people believe you are all super literary. It must be the FabIndia clothes you wear.

I give you - I do not attend book release functions and ask insightful questions about the implied profundity in lines like,

The opossum.
It wept, but its
penis did not,
The tail however
did not either.


I do not wear thick glasses, and smile beatifically at wistful turns of phrases printed diagonally in sombre-colored hardbound editions of The Poetry Of Azerbaijan, Palau, Vanuatu And Whatzitsname.

And I almost certainly do not "hang out" in coffee places, Koshy's leading the pack, because I don't know, there's too much South Bangalore in me, or there's way too much Cantonment in them, or may be,
A. I do not have enough kurtas
B. I do not read Kafka/Yamanaka/Kawabata/Gabagaba or hold books by them in public places and wish I be seen because,
C. I did not go to Christ College/St. Joseph's.
D. God, the coffee there sucks.

So yeah. One way to shut me up, or insult me without having me know is to hurl abuse in verse at me. I will smile like the village idiot, like Virus Cama, and you will have your two minutes of fame. But that's hardly the point.

While we are at it, let's also discuss why being a Medical Student/Doctor is such a bitch. As opposed to being say, a Software Engineer. Or, a Corporate Lawyer. Or better still, a Head Hunter (the name, damnit, the name.)

[Aside: This will be a long post. And those who do not like long posts, or me, or long posts written by me may leave right away. But this is what I want to write, this is my political purpose. The same political purpose that Orwell talks about in his magnificent, magnificent, magnificent essay about Why He Wrote. I found the essay, thanks to her.
In retrospect, it seems like an epiphany. He talks about everything I would ever have wanted to say about why I wrote myself, but could never bring myself to, owing to largely non-existent writing skills.
(I still write anyway, but that's because I have an inexplicable God Complex that urges me To Create. Inanity is what is mostly created, but then I call myself Demigod - that's what Shah Rukh Khan is anyway.)
Before you proceed to read this tirade, please go read it, and just may be, it influences the way you look at your own writing.]

Now for the express political purpose of abusing bandwidth. I have of course already discussed why I chose to be a doctor and the slightly unhealthy situations involving halitosis and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Syndrome that ensue because of it, but here I will tell you how the society discriminates against us and snuffs any retaliation from our side by calling us Gods and quoting random lines from the Vishnu Sahasranama to quantify as much. The doctor crowd is of course pleased as hell and forgives all iniquities on the society's part (including alcoholic mobs going on rampages).
But I, am already God, and hence do not take this downright lying lying down.

1. In the beginning, there was CET.

There are far fewer seats for the medical course than there are for engineering. I choose the latter stream in specific, as these two are the only career choices for Brahmin Boys In South India. No, make that Any Human In South India. Hence, the tirade will be mostly concentrated in comparing and contrasting the two streams (comparing and contrasting being a grand favorite with question paper setters in the medical course).
Now, right after class ten, some of us got bouts of idealism. Mostly because one certain Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty operated upon a 12 hour old baby's peanut sized heart, and it lived, and the press went crazy, and your mum did too. And you did too. So you went ahead and chose PCMB (Biology) and realized that you cannot rely completely on a medical seat, and hence had to read Math with the same fervour, in the hope that you would at least land in some Gowda/Reddy/Shetty engineering college.
So, while wondering about the point that lay in differentiating only to integrate, you also wondered ceaselessly about Angiosperms and Gymnosperms and where exactly their penises were. All said and done, it also meant you had to study that much more, and attend tuition for another subject thus also threatening bankruptcy at home, as a result of which you had to make do with two not-so-square meals.
And you still went ahead with all this.
And four and a half years hence you have an epiphany whose background music is the Tata Indica jingle. Dumb da da di dumb dumb.

2. Then there was college, but not before some serious injury to your crotch.

Ragging, as a rule, is more severe in medical colleges. Since you deal with the anatomy of cadavers, it is only fair that yours be dealt with by somebody - is the seniors' theory. Fair you might say. But that rule somewhat does not extend to all other arenas. After all,
- you are not washing your patients' bikes
- or running far and wide to get cigarettes to your patients
- or writing your patients' painfully overdue practical records
- or SMS-ing answers to your patients while they are giving exams.
- And you are certainly not chased by rabid dogs when you went asking for money house to house because your patients wanted to organize a college fest.

Slightly out of logic, wouldn't you say? But then, this is medicine. Logic is killed in its very inception. Sorta like how the iPill works.

3. Then there were urine, feces, irate pregnant woman, irate pregnant woman's irater relatives, touchy kid who wouldn't stop crying, touchy kid's mother who wouldn't stop yelling, and you in the midst of it all.

After the pretty much all-explanatory heading, I still feel the need to add, which should tell you that much worse has been had.
Did I tell you of the old man that had a hydrocele (Water In Balls) who was an exam case and who would just not strip?
Or of the man in the OPD who insisted on euphemisms like "I'm losing a lot of my genes"? If you thought he was sleeping around too much and forgetting his jeans the morning after, you aren't too wrong. Only in this case, the man was sleeping with himself, and whenever he felt bored, he saw the need to "lose more genes" and now it had become a matter of routine to lose genes around 12 times a day.
If you thought all this was funny, wait till you present these cases in front of your professors. They'll pretty much strip you, and you don't even have a hydrocele damnit.

4. Amidst all this, there are also minor distractions involving hairloss, traumatic nailbites, concussions owing to banging of heads, dehydration due to much crying, et cetera.

And they are mostly centered around exams. It is a rather curious coincidence. Also extremely funny, because the medical exams are designed to be student friendly after all. I mean, see -
- There is no choice in exams as opposed to Engineering exams.
- The passing mark is 50 as opposed to 35.
- There are no breaks whatsoever between exams.
- Which generates a lot of prayers for the Prime Minister/Chief Minister's death during these exams.
- If you fail even one paper - theory/practicals - in the first year, you are picked off the batch and ostracized and be made a separate batch which is fancifully, not to mention sensitively, called The Odd Batch or The Irregular Batch.
- The first class cut off is 65% as opposed to 60%, and the cut off for distinction is 75% as opposed to 70%
- The number of pages for compulsory reading during final year is around a mere 7500 pages.
- Do you want more than these to consider this, one swell setup?

Really, I have long failed to understand why my friends whine so much about the inhuman quality of these exams, or about why so many of them have nervous breakdowns.
Clearly, giving exams in MBBS is quite a joy.

5. And did we talk about the money involved? Did we did we?

We did not. It costs a LOT. Let's not get into the specifics for I wish to not be depressed for more things than I am already depressed about. I will however say that the money that has been spent is a tad more than the GDP of Burundi, or one of those Micronesian Islands. As a result of which I have had to look for early alternative employment to prevent choking myself using those darned fee receipts. As if that were not enough, the post graduate courses are costly enough for you to voluntarily up the dose on your Appa's anti-hypertensives.
Let's not even go to USMLE. Unless you want me to come and lynch you, or rob you as may well be the case.

6. It is time we documented the breezy working conditions.

It is true that those boxlike glass-steel buildings do get hurt at times.
Like when? Like when Rajkumar dies. There was one, and he died, case closed.
But us, is another matter. Rajkumar may be only one, but pregnant women there are many. And sometimes they die. Just like that. One moment they are all "AAAAAAAAAA", the next they are not. Just like that. In some cases, they fall off the table; but let's just say they can die. Despite medical help.
The mob goes on a rampage and destroys most things in sight.

48-hour shifts, cranky consultants, crankier patients, crankiest relatives, collecting reports from across the campus, generally feeling like the scum on the seabed - breezy.
And you computer types, that central air conditioning can be a bitch at times, no? God, 23 degrees instead of 24.5 the other day must have killed you.

7. And damn, at the end of it all, they don't even send us to the US.

These IT types. See, I have lots of cousins who are in this typist business they fancifully call IT (Or that's what their mothers say to matrimonial agencies).
They must type real fast - they earn too much and wring their wrists one too many times. Whatever the reason for that one may be, I know one thing for certain.
They only shop retail. And must have only cornflakes for breakfast. And must also possess a black large Samsonite suitcase. Which must have a handle to pull it with. Specially in airports. Which have aircrafts parked heading to different places. Specially the United States.
And when they consume cornflakes for a meal, pack Chutney Pudi and Puliyogare Gojju in the black Samsonite suitcase, and pull it in the airport, and say at the check-in "Frisco" instead of San Francisco, is when the entourage of 20 that has paid 50 rupees each to enter the airport is fully convinced that he has grown to be a Complete Man.
"All those days when I used to wake him up in the morning at 5:00 for those KSR tuitions, and those times when he used to take those godawfully crowded buses to Vijaya High School... it all comes to a culmination here. Bhagavanta, nijvagloo eega kaNN biTTyappa neenu (God, you opened your rather lazy eye now)", goes the mother who has to be dressed in a red Kanjeevaram saree and who would have instructed every one of the members in the entourage to not dress in black, "no, not even underwear". A final smearing of vermilion from the Dodd Ganesha Temple near BMS College of Engineering (where you studied Electronics/Computer Science), you are ready to take on the world.
At that one moment, you can take on even Chuck Norris.
And win.

This never happens to us.
Should we choose to go to the US, the entourage comprises of three people including yourself. And the father will be chanting -
That house we all live in? It's in the bank. Just saying.
That house we all live in? It's in the bank. Just saying.
That house we all live in? It's in the bank. Just saying.

I can go on, but I am tired, as are you.

I know that most of you computer guys will be frustrated bald old cubicle animals with a 6-month pregnant paunch and a bad digestion problem soon enough, but at least you will be rich frustrated bald old cubicle animals with a 6-month pregnant paunch and a bad digestion problem.

I know that our standing in the society is far higher than yours will ever be (suck on it, chumps), but our first 800s will come by the time you have your first Bentleys.

I know that we can do the eyebrow-raising and the I-Save-Lives-What-Do-You-Chump saying, but really, we wish we could just save enough money to pay our mess bills.

I know that money isn't everything, but I also know that Jangamesh Bileekattematha aka John Blake can pay for his own pizza. Every night.

And into this situation have I landed myself. Call it informed ignorance or conscious cataclysm or such other alliterative allegories, but this be the fate I chose for myself.
So, while you shake your head in disbelief at the length of this post, the ranting therein and want to scream out a loud "Monkeyyy", remember now that you have to prefix it with a Dr.
Yes, discerning ladies and gentlemen, I am now Dr. Spunky Monkey.

The world did not see this coming.


P.S.: I barely managed to scrape through. The university is getting an earful.

P.P.S.: To not forget the intent of this post, us doctors (ah, will you hear me be smug) have a fucked up deal. Respect-shispect, I 21, gimme the moneys.

P.P.P.S.: My anonymity is a farce. Apparently some three new people know who I am. So long as they aren't from college.

P.P.P.P.S: I do this P.S. thing a lot, don't I? Sucks.

P.P.P.P.P.S: What are you waiting for? Go drop a comment.