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Monday, April 28, 2014

O! What has happened of Men!

(This article features in GOSUMAG 2013)

      If you call the 2nd year MBBS a honeymoon, call the final year a hell. The final MBBS exam, especially, is a living hell – an apt punishment for all our karmas – past, present and even the future! The dying declaration is considered to be the most truthful and as I write suffering these insufferable sulphurous fires of hell, what I say is nothing but the truth.
      Look back, just five years ago, how happy we were! Young, vibrant and enthusiastic! We were still ‘humans’, with social lives that could be measured on a Richter scale. Five years hence, we are now ‘zombies’! No pain, no emotion, no exhaustion! No sleep, no hunger, and more importantly, no joy. Generalized anhedonia now defines us.
      Is it so difficult, passing an exam? Aren’t we the cream of the intellects? Having cleared exam after exam, fortnight after fortnight, with an effort no more than required to slice a knife through a piece of butter, seasoned campaigners hardened by the toils of war. Innumerable times we’ve heard, “If you can clear this exam, you can clear any other!” However, at this time it seems more of a taunt and less of a consolation.
We have read, we have learned, we have understood, we have practiced and even rotted and mugged, but since the past few days the mind only draws a blank. All that has been constructed has just disappeared. Even when we read our revision notes, it seems something new. There is no déjà vu! It is said that one should sleep well before the exams so that one is relaxed and the mind can work at its optimum. But we’re just maniacs now, sans the excitement and the happiness that is.

Every morning we look in the mirror, and feel just that bit more ashamed. Somewhere, in another parallel universe, is another version of us, who is better, who has continued to travel on the upward trajectory, a path from which we have long deviated and fallen.
Once in school, a teacher gave me a mark less and I cried. Today they say – I will pass you because the examiner who will take your exam six months later will not!
Is this good? No. Because, we deserve better. The world deserves better. We do injustice to our capabilities, to our talents, to our capacities, the hopes that people – parents, friends and teachers – place in us. Usually, when greats retire, the fans feel saddened and it appears that the void will never fill. None of these accolades will ever come our way, though. We are way past our greatness!
Yet, we no longer feel disgraced. It hurts, but not that much. The more you think, the more immune you become. It is the oxygen in our lungs, the blood in our veins and the bile in our tummy. A Professor calls it shamelessness, I prefer the term complacency. As bad as it may sound, it is the antidote to our stresses, a necessary evil.
O! What has happened of men!