There’s a new cause of stroke that I am contemplating to request for inclusion in the next edition of ‘Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine’. The cause is rare, affecting only people of ages ranging from 24-27 years, who are bound by a common variable of ‘dreams of attaining a post-graduate medical seat’. It’s ‘The Deccan Chronicle‘ newspaper.
Let me elaborate.
Picture a girl diligently burning the midnight oil for six days a week, surviving on catnaps and caffeine shots. Sometimes the words blur and amalgamate into a lumpy mass in the middle of the page and she rubs her eyes. The clock strikes 3am. She yawns and curls up on the little space available on the bed (which she prefers over a study desk), strewn with books and a laptop, only to be awakened three hours later by the weirdest alarm clock ever: a rude rooster, a (what seems to be a) gurgling cow and the synchronized wing flapping of three scary pigeons, all of whom the universe has conspired to allocate within ten meters of her window.
|This is her bed, her books, her pillows and a giant yellow turtle.|
She has an exam in three and half months, the same exam that she got through last year, but in a move of sudden boldness, decided to give up the allocated seat for a better subject the following year. She had taken a risk, and that’s the strongest motivation to force herself through the grueling schedule, just so that her risk doesn’t translate into foolishness! So, she studies. She had sketched out a routine that would enable her to complete her syllabus by the end of November and devote the next one and half months for mock tests and revisions. The routine strives to include time for indulging in her love for blogging, reading novels and watching obscure foreign films.
She is perpetually tired and people, who hadn’t seen her in a while, ask her if she had been ill. But she is satisfied that she has a chance at scoring a good rank if she continues to work hard, and that too without giving up the things that she finds enriching. A lot is riding on her exam performance; her career, gaining back the time she had lost, marriage (that her parents keep dropping subtle hints about) and just ‘moving ahead‘. It doesn’t help that she is eligible only for the nation-wide exam, and that she belongs to the unfortunate batch of guinea-pigs the examining authority had decided to test with an entirely new pattern of exam, the sacred details of which is religiously guarded by them! She has no option but to indulge the speculations of the coaching centers who are cashing in on this panic among students.
She had been a good girl throughout the week and had abstained from all online social networks. So as a reward, she logged on to Zuckerberg’s money-making enterprise yesterday evening (irony?).
This is where the stroke comes in!
There is an article ‘liked’ by few hundred PG aspirants and a string of comments longer than she ever got in any of her photo albums. She is a curious creature, have always been so, and she clicks on the link. The article is from ‘The Deccan Chronicle‘ and as her eyes read the first few sentences, she suffers a stroke. Everything blacks out for a moment, or maybe it was eternity. She tries to move her eyes away, but all voluntary movements had come to a standstill.
The article stated that the exam that was supposed to be held in January second week, and based on which she had carefully chalked out her study routine to complete her preparations, has been scheduled for November third week instead. Seven weeks preponed and informed just two months prior to the exam! She is a ruined woman.
This is “Zor Ka Jhatka” on steroids! She is still experiencing episodes of residual absence seizures every few hours every time she contemplates the news. By today evening, she has gained some composure and is back to pursuing the only thing that is in her control: studying!
The coaching center is placating the mass hysteria among the students by assuring that it is just a rumour but, why take chances? Laboratory guinea pigs can’t afford to do so!
(Note: 1) Observation: Blog Updated. Inference: The above news is a rumour, and she’s ecstatic!
2) Observation: Blog updated only in December. Inference: The above news is true! She barely managed to scrape through the ordeal.
3) Observation: Blog never updated again! Inference: She’s dead. Or rearing llamas in Peru.)
Other Updates (non stroke-inducing):
Books: I’m reading ‘The Marriage Plot‘ by Jeffrey Eugenides. I’m in love with the narrative. On page 52 now. Other books on the nightstand are Hanif Kuireshi’s ‘The Black Album‘ and Dorothy Parker’s ‘Complete Stories‘. I loved reading Nora Ephron’s breezy essays in ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck‘ so I read another collection of essays last week, ‘I Remember Nothing‘. It doesn’t live up to the preceding volume of essays but there were things that caught my interest, like ‘My Aruba‘ (which is the name Ephron had given to the particular arrangement of hair strands on the back of the head that gets clumped sideways at the slightest provocation of a mild breeze or a bus ride, and it appears to be a bald spot or a sign of never owning a comb. It is named after the trees in Aruba, that are all bent to one side owing to strong winds. Now I have a name for it!). I found it hilarious and painfully familiar.
Movies: I watched Shyam Benegal’s ‘Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda‘. The language was a constraint, and I am not sure the subtitles were accurate enough. But I enjoyed the story-telling, the gradual unfolding of stories within stories. It’s about what love is NOT. It highlights the various socio-economic factors that come into play when we pursue love. The characters were flawed, and hence believable. They break your heart, especially Neena Gupta‘s character. Planning to watch Pestonjee next week.
|Doodling on a post-it.|
Travels: Does the gym count?