Let it be known that from now on, I’m not fighting any battles. Let anybody who cares, speak now or forever hold their silence. You can have my words and you can have my will… for what am I to anyone besides that. You can take whatever you haven’t managed to already, and you can have my blessing along with it too. All I ask in return is that you let me be. Let it end. Let me drift away. Let me move on. Let me return.
Sometimes in your life, you find yourself thwarted by your surroundings, imprisoned by the dowdy present, when you’d give anything to roam the olden-roads of the past or the sleek-highways of the future. Stuck in a multitude of average, numbed out of your very existence, when you’d rather be extremely-fudging-high or painstakingly-reckless-low, your eyes hungry for a lick of fresh crème’ paint, or even fraying, flaking sheets of radioactive lead, but not this dull, tasteless chalky white, oh god no. This was as rutty as ruts came. This was an abandoned stage and the act lay with the audience. This was an Earth that warmed the Sun. This was light that stemmed from the absence of darkness. This was chaos. This was a poor show.

So you envisioned a different land. And as your neurons clocked in overtime, the graphic engines roared to life and as your pia-matter started rendering you turned the bricks into stones and the faded red turned a fresh green and tendrils grew into the embrasures and vines climbed up the windows and the earth turned over in its grave, a rich black that swam up to the edges of the roads that were a murky grey like the sea and the sky was where the fishes now shined for the stars had fallen into the ocean. The people turned into frozen blocks of Lego, the animals became the masters, and the lions purred and dressed up in suits, the monkeys donned jeans and went to work, while the ants became the elite. The bulls gave up grass and took a fresh liking to veal, the bats became deaf, the caterpillars grew wings, and the penguins learned to run like the wind. The rats grew manners, flamingoes took up dancing, the spiders learned to fly, the silk-worms spun gold, and the camels learned to jump through a needle’s eye and land flat on their humps. They treasured time instead of money, and wore paper and wrote on clothes and if you planned on dying you dug your own grave and stuck it inside a rocket and others helped you climb on it. Such was the seventh thousandth year after man. Such was the end of the world.

The 43 Peculiarity.


- Only @harisghole knows what this is.

Van Dyke.


The surgery viva is in two days. The post-half-way-through-exams-relief has not yet abated so the only progress I’ve made is to take down my books that had been gathering dust on the top shelf. And to buy a new bad book. And a crispy new white coat. And tongue depressors. And a backup light bulb. Because one can never have too many light bulbs. 
A gazillion times over.

He typed with his index finger. Slow, calculated strokes. Strange days these, he thought. They never really began, they never ended. The calmness before the storm, the occasional bouts of madness, the flailing about of limbs and fins, year after year, running over the same old ground. Same old fears. So bitter-sweet, Floyd. So dark. Like the voices inside his head. What were they thinking. He had to know. He plucked a neuron from his head and crumpled it in his fist. It would never talk now. It didn't deserve to live. It was annoying. It could not be killed. Why was the paper so white. How would it ever bleed. Who would wear black, who would mourn. The neuron struggled, gasping for breath. A moment of pity. Bridges were broken, sandbags cut away, his fingers unclenched as the wood rose to greet another dying ember. That black eye, brimmed with secrets. Open up, he hissed. Prodding it didn't help. Engorgio! It grew. It blinked. Chromatin floated into words. Tell me a secret first. People had learned to fear that smile. He picked up a paperweight and ended it right there on the desk, under the distinct crunch of coagulated protoplasm, the ebony taking the beating quietly. But it would not die. It turned upon itself. It went berserk. It shook and it shivered, it rattled all the dead leaves in their graves, and it grew still. A kaleidoscope of emotions, but no flashbacks. There was no blood to spill. There never had been. No lone rose to bud out from its grave. He never cried over acid spilt. Tears feared such eyes. Blackbirds dropped pies on such heads. They roasted apples in such wrath. Madness, whispered the wind, as it painted a cross on his door. Lord knows it would be the first time.

Cheese & Onions.


No man is an Island, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankinde; And therfore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

~ John Donne

If One Of Those Bottles Should Happen To Fall.

Ghole: How much done?
Me: Started haematology. Halfway through.
Ghole: CVS tips?
Me: Taking a dump right now. :)
Ghole: How long will it take for the splash down? I need to know about how to do CVS in one day!
Me: You know you can't hurry love. Oh, you'll just have to wait!
Ghole: But love when you know how to love!
Ghole: Tell me the parts of the relationship that I should avoid. Its all filled with high blood pressure and heart attacks.
Me: That's a song, dipstick.
Ghole: Dammit.
Me: Wohooo! I'm on fire today!
Ghole: Stop talking about your pooping!
Me: -_______-

Namesake Issues.


One of the guards was at my door. A chubby, confused sort of man, not exactly cut out to be a guard, he looked more like a timid truck driver who’d fall asleep behind the wheel, any chance he got. Somebody called “Mubashar” was waiting outside for me in a car, he said.

It had been raining all day. I wasn’t expecting anyone, but I did know a Mubashar and so I grudgingly closed my chapter on Cirrhosis that was finally starting to make some sense and came out, ran through the rain towards the small black gate beside which the other guard paced, his gun slung over his shoulder, the bag containing the extra cartridges set on a chair behind him.

An old corolla was parked across the road, its engine silent, the windows rolled up. I could make out a guy inside, his face not familiar at all. He looked towards me but made no effort to move, so I went closer, shielding my eyes against the rain. He rolled down the window, but said nothing, and instead a quizzical expression appeared on his face. “Jee?”, I called out.

“Sajeel kahan hai?”

“Main Sajeel hun.”

“Kyaa? Wo kali gaari tumhari hai? Civic? Jo modified hai?”

“Nahi”, I blurted out, my mind racing.

“Sajeel kahan hai? Usaay bulao!” His voice rose as he leaned out out, the anger on his face apparent. I couldn’t see his hands. Where were his hands?

“Idhar to main hi Sajeel hun.”

He knew that I knew. I knew that he knew I wasn’t the one he wanted.

The events of the day before raced through my mind. A certain Mirza Sajeel had stayed at the place earlier this year. Yesterday, his car had been shot at, his tires riddled with bullets and apparently he’d then been threatened at gunpoint. We didn’t know why, but apparently the guy was a bit of a troublemaker himself, and had landed in some tight spots before too.

This time it was serious.

I couldn’t decide what to do. Should I confront the man, ask him what he wanted? Or turn back towards the gate, that suddenly seemed too far away if those hidden hands were to suddenly appear?  The expression on his face was steely, with just a hint of anger and frustration.

Just then, another car rolled up from the opposite side and parked right across from the first guy. The man got out and came towards us. The first guy seemed to recognize him because he called out something to the effect that it was no good, and the other guy leaned in through the passenger side window to talk to him.

And, I turned on my heel and rushed back up the path to the gate, my heart pounding.

And nothing interesting happened.

The Capgras Delusion.


There is a time period between when I wake up and when I'm actually aware of what I'm saying, in which I prattle on about like a drunk squirrel and you could get me to do anything you wanted and say anything you liked.

People have been known to take advantage of that fact.

Odaiba

Here's to my first failed test of the year.
*insert mad laughter*

Should've studied more and messed about with fake-prezis less.



Also, toothpicks.


And a page from a diary. Clearly, not my diary.


And Yakatabune, courtesy the Mamoo.


And, I failed a test.

Monty Python's Life of Brian


Matthias: Look, I don't think it should be a sin, just for saying "Jehovah".
[Everyone gasps]
Jewish Official: You're only making it worse for yourself!
Matthias: Making it worse? How can it be worse? Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!
Jewish Official: I'm warning you! If you say "Jehovah" one more time (gets hit with rock) RIGHT! Who did that? Come on, who did it?
Stoners: She did! She did! (suddenly speaking as men) He! He did! He!
Jewish Official: Was it you?
Stoner: Yes.
Jewish Official: Right...
Stoner: Well you did say "Jehovah. "
[Crowd throws rocks at the stoner]
Jewish Official: STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW! STOP IT! All right, no one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle. Even... and I want to make this absolutely clear... even if they do say, "Jehovah. "
[Crowd stones the Jewish Official to death]

Explosions In The Sky.


Pencils. I miss pencils. I miss the silvery graphite resisting its inherent slipperiness on rough paper. The battle of forcing words right to the edge of that little piece of wood, and then watch them bleed on the same parchment that one day, was destined to become like their own withering flesh.

I hate Lahore. I hate it. I don’t want to go back. I want open land. And no man around for miles. I'd rather choose my own company. I'd rather be alone. Solitude is where there's peace.

I hate what I'm writing. This is stupid. This is boring. This reeks of... neediness. I'd hate to be needy. I don't need anyone. Or anything. I'm past caring. Caring is useless. They need to learn that. They need to know why. Why we're so flippant with our souls. Why we chop parts of it off so nonchalantly. Why we’re capable of crumbling to dust at the slightest touch of death.

I suppose I have this need to make statements. This qualifies as a statement, doesn’t it? “I, Sajeel Ahmad, hereby solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.” No friggin’ good at all. Why would I even be? Why should I be any different? Let me be. Let me blend in. Let me disappear.

Maybe it would be a relief to go mad. Maybe that’s the only sure way of not caring what others think. Maybe the only prisons we should be concerned about escaping are the confines of our own minds.

Eighty by Sixty.

I wonder if anybody noticed that I wasn't present when the Medicine test began. If anybody even cared.
The Medicine test that will now probably be the only stupid test of Medicine that we'll get this year. And for which my internal assessment shall be sent as a fig, bat zero.

Matching Conversations.


Me: Y WE NO HAVE THREE-WAY-CONFERENCE-MESSAGE SISTUM?!
McDreamy: It would then be something like...

Me: Hi, handsome.
Ghole: Hey, thank you.
Me: Not you, dumbass. Him!
Sage: WHOSE HANDS ARE SOME?!
Me: I called you handsome!
Ghole: That's what I friggin' thanked you for, loser!
Me: Aargh! I wasn't talking to you!
Sage: Y u no tawk 2 me. Me iz sad.
Me: Get lost.
Ghole: asdgfdyfdufnt
Sage: Okey.
Me: Aargh!

That awkward moment when...


... you know you have to start letting go.

The Phantom Adenoma.


The surgery test went straight into the doldrums. Apparently, I was feeling a tad suicidal (which might or might not have had anything to do with the House series finale), and made up a primary hyperparathyroidism that arises due to a microadenoma in the pituitary gland. Somebody, kill me now!

In other news, I tried on the sorting hat. And this @harisghole won't send me his thesis to read.

The Tooth Fairy Conundrum.


Exodontia came to an end today. We (a classmate and I) wound up doing almost a hundred and fifty extractions during these last forty days or so and there never was a dull moment. Truly. Personally, I enjoyed the odd patient or two who just couldn’t help making a fuss, and was capable of screaming their lungs out on the mere sight of a needle. Or the apprehensive old lady who carried with her the memory of a traumatic extraction, and just wouldn't stop pestering you to go easy on her. My favourite though, remained the patients who would grab your hand in alarm when you were giving them a nerve block and point towards the tooth that was hurting and say, "Doctor saab ye daant nikaalna hai!" But the real fun part to all this was assuring the patient that it wouldn't hurt at all. Not one bit. We had the power to take away their pain, and we loved using it. And then smooth-talking them through the procedure before delivering with a flourish, the troublesome tooth, amputated from its comfy old socket, once and for all. And there you had it. Instant gratification. Who said it took too long?!*

*Princess Leia did, from Star Wars. And now I have this stupid urge to change this blog's name to "Postcards from the Edge".

Breaking The Fourth Wall.


Me: Red is angry, Yellow is frightened, Green is Jealous. And Blue is depressed.
Ghole: White is in peace.
Black is in the dark.
And you, sir, are in denial. #iknow

Some messages later...
 
Ghole: Learning things from a wrong perspective. What does a man with denial have to say about that?
Me: I wouldn’t know. I’m denying that I’m in denial, remember? :p
Ghole: Exactly.

Letters of Note.

I started reading this book called "Mohabbat kay amar deep". Its a collection of differents letters written by Khalifatul-Masih Raabay to this guy in Lahore, mostly in his own handwriting. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the book but it's been an interesting read so far. (more on that later, perhaps.) 
This being the answer to one of my own letters that I just received.

Even nice girls have anaerobes in their sputum.


As kids, we used to run around the house with dad's pulse oximeter stuck on a finger to see how fast our hearts would go. Quit playing games with my heart (rate) would be what you'd call that. Love, right now, is reserved only for my neighbour and his free wi-fi that gets me download speeds of over fivefriggin'hundred kaybees per second. And the three-way-stop-cock-like-thingy the good doctor uses to drain pericardial fluid in that Downton Abbey episode. And the stupid person who thought I deserved a 44 out of 50 in the surgery test. At least I didn't drudge my Bailey & Love around all day for nothing.

Cul-de-sac.

Cookie, on my nerdy new Clark Kent frames: "Boy, you sure do love making a spectacle of yourself!"

Crooked Owls

The good thing about skipping college is that you start to realize how rusty your pia matter has become after watching too many The Big Bang Theory episodes. Which makes you open up your new oral pathology textbook and look up Rushton bodies and heart shaped radiolucencies and 'saucerizations' of the maxilla. Which, in continuance with the circle of certain doom that you're now in, makes you realize that both your mandibular third molars are partially erupted with some free gingiva overlying the distal cusps too, which essentially puts you at risk of getting a Paradental cyst and going Bazinga and basically, dropping dead.

Which is why I need to make a will. Which is why ya'll need to make your peace with me.

Beatnik


Ghole: Qigong?
Me: Damn.
Ghole: What?
Me: Just that.
Ghole: What, that was a trick question?
Me: Sure.
Ghole: And I'm tricked into what?
Me: Ignorance. Of whether you were tricked or not.
Ghole: Wow. You tricked me!
Me: Good. Consider it an early birthday present.
Ghole: You're getting me an iPad? Awesome!! Buy me the new one... It has retina display...
Me: Dream on, Ghole. #striketwo
Ghole: What happened in oral pathology today?
Me: Made up a new classification of cysts. With potato shaped tumours.
Ghole: Really?!
Me: Hah. Strike three. You're out!
Ghole: Or am I?
Me: This is going to be like one of those endless chain of questions where you try to extract and I try not to divulge which usually ends with me dropping the circle of inquisitivity altogether and settling for an 'okay', isn't it?
Ghole: A little creativity is always welcome...

Every Tree is a Burning Bush.


Impossible thoughts are nice. This guy says he's burning up the sky. Why/how would anybody even do that anyway? We found love in a hopeless place, says Rihanna. Which is weird, again. But weird is always good. And flexibility is a sign of intelligence. Like pi. Like cello. Like Iron & Wine. Like intervertebral discs.

I dreamt lots last night. Maybe it was the chocolate biscuits I OD'd on after that drunk mosquito bit me, or something else. The contents of the dreams were dispatched straight to Gholekins twice during the night cause he's my girlfriend, and also because one of them featured him and the most ignored subject of his life.

The gatekeeper at the hostel just showed me a glass bottle inside which he claimed there was a Dengue mosquito, which frankly looked more like a baby dragonfly to me since it was huge compared to the average mosquito but the guy was insistent that it was the real thing.

Here I lie in my sparsely-lit room, musing silently in my brownness, aging quietly with the world, merging shadows of my monsters with their worst enemies. My Garbhagriha. Such Great Heights by The Postal Service plays in the background. Nagging thoughts come and lie down in my path, but I skip over them already aware of the whirlpool circling the drain that they lead to. But here we sit, trapped silently in great big glass bottles, struggling for survival anyway. Fight for this love? I think not.

Katy Perry says she's thinking of you. "You're like an Indian summer, in the middle of winter." Stuck in the shadow of my own mistakes, breathes this guy. Which is saddening. Ironic. Like a left bundle branch block. But not as infuriating as not being able to move forward because you have no oars. And you can only keep blowing into your sails for so long.

Klebsiella for King


Nickelback's "I'd come for you" is very hummable. I like it. Like Livers and Prometheus. Like how we studied pneumonia in Medicine today. Which explains why I have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on my mind. Or how its nice that they have fancy descriptions for all these sounds. Like vesicular is " the sound of wind blowing through the leaves of a tree." A pleural rub is "the sound made by treading on fresh snow". Like how the third and fourth heart sounds have the same cadence as  "Kentucky" and "Tennessee".

Which brings us to how I'm taking the weekend off again and running back home tomorrow. For the third time this month. Because we don't need no edjucaayshun. Pah. Like that's going to make a few good men out of us.

Sfumato.

If we were to continue from where we left off, our little train pulled safely into the station exactly two months from today, but with only seven-ninety out of the one thousand people on board having survived the harrowing experience of their grey cells nearly turning into potato mush. Which was an excellent outcome as it were, given the odds, and the little train was very thankful and humbled by the powers that be, but as little trains go, this one didn't seem to be too happy about things. There was for instance, this other train that'd passed through the same ravine and managed to bring back eight hundred and forty of her passengers alive. And another. And another. And the poor little train couldn't stand all this and it became very very ill.

Now the station master wasn't having any of this. He knew exactly what was bothering the little train but he was a little concerned too because he'd never seen the little train so ill in the past three, four years or so. So he sent the little train off to its home tucked between some distant hills for some well earned TLC.

And so the little train became well again. And then for the next two months, it took to the tracks with all the fervour and enthusiasm it could muster on having being ordered to craft dentures for the partially edentulous, along with other adventures that come with life on the railroads and all that jazz. And all was well with the world again.

Next week: Catch the Little Train and the Nasty Interdental Currettes and Hoes as they scale some of the most risky (and prolly stinky as hell) heights on the planet. Meanwhile, enjoy the March Madness and don't forget to feed the fish!