COGNITIVE ANECDOTES

An effort to recapitulate and share my ideas,views and thoughts in words...

Off the hat goes into thin air!

"Hurrah ! Long Live 53rd batch of CMC !" We shouted in unison.

I had become a graduate. The moment I had been waiting for since years. With the privilege of having my family, teachers and friends to witness the occasion, I soared with pride and joy. What was to follow was a multitude of cultural events, which included a couple of my programs too. We partied like never before, all night long. Elated, intoxicated, exhausted and sleep deprived - that was my state of mind when it all ended. I walked in my half senses to the house surgeons quarters, maneuvered myself into my room and crashed into my bed , my head completely buried in the pillow.

I woke up late. My eyes were stabbed by the afternoon sun beating in through my rooms window. It was a strange feeling to get up that day. I felt hollow like never before. Every morning I had a place to attend, a duty to take over. Its all over, I would have to vacate my room in a few days. What lies ahead is a cloud of uncertainty. I knew one thing for sure, it is going to be a hard year ahead.

Lying in my shabby cot alongside unwashed clothes, underwear, guitar and medical books, I gazed into the ceiling thinking about what I would miss the most when I leave from my college. I do not believe friendships end after college, especially these days when social media is so developed. I can always have my friends chatting to me just at the touch of a button. I surely would miss my alma mater which has made me the graduate I am today but it was something else that was giving me this hollow feeling. It was Calicut, the city I loved. The city where I spent my days as a teenager, as a medical student and as an intern doctor.

My mind surfed through the memories, of places and people in Calicut I met, got acquainted, fell in love with and lost. The journey was beautiful. Each place in Calicut has a story to tell.

The ever boisterous and picturesque Calicut beach filled with energetic robust kids, lovers walking hand in hand and the familiar gangs of teenage kids having fun and soaking up the evening sun; The lovely Mananchira park, almost like an oasis in a desert of chaotic traffic, offering greenery and calm to the families out to relax; The busy and lively SM Street, traders standing out of their small densely packed shops with a pretty grin on their faces to attract customers; The hangouts - Sixth Avenue, Downtown, Focus mall, RP mall, Hiltie mall. The best restaurants - Paragon, M grill, Kings-bay, Sea-queen, Alibhai, Majilis, Topform, Sagar, Mayflower, Mezban, Rahmath, Bombay Hotel, Zain's, Punjabi Rasoi..... The list goes on. Calicut, needless to say is the ultimate paradise for a food lover like me.

The beautiful people of Calicut; always ready to offer a friendly talk in kozhikkodan slang and a helping hand. My mind wandered from one place to another with memories of friends and special ones flashing by.


I shook off my blanket and started the day with the determination to relive those moments with friends in all these places before I leave Calicut. But I was sure that I would always come back even if I had no one to visit just to see my beloved Calicut, breathe its air and walk its streets, ruminating on the beautiful memories they possess. The City of love is not Paris, Its Calicut.




"For Robin, Mervin, Vishak, Kannan, Ani, Noble and the folks from colony"

The wonderful lunch with fried fish, curry and rice left a jaded little Vaisakh heading to the bed for a siesta. As he stepped into his room, he was captivated by the brand new entry into his collection, The Silver horse, which he had won by exchanging ten potato chip wrappers from the market. It was a time when collectibles meant everything to the kids of Gandhi colony. From stamps, coins, stickers, sports cards, greeting cards, the list of collectibles went to almost every attractive article that would fit into these 8 year old kids palms.

It was a habit; rather an obsession of little Vaisakh to ogle at his priced collections before he jumped into his bed. He opened his shelf of belongings, which was overflowing with collectibles. He tried to find room for the Silver horse in the shelf but in vain and so decided to keep it outside the table, anyway he had to show it to his mates who would come to play later in the evening. "How elegantly the tail, body and limb pieces fit!" Vaisakh exclaimed as he proudly displayed his priced possession to his sister, Chinnu. "The tail is the best part !!" Chinnu added, which drew a big smile on little Vaisakh's face."Yea!" he agreed.


Vaisakh woke up to the noise of the bicycle bells of his mates. There they were, Noble, Robin, Vishak, Kannan and Meera, waiting for him to join the bicycle ride through the colony and the grass fields which was the first of the many activities to follow. After a couple of rides, everyone gathered in Vaisakh's home to show off their latest collections. Noble pulled out the dinosaur which he had won with the noodle pack while Kannan boasted his pack of cards which his cousin had gifted him and Robin exhibited the bear rubber which he won with a biscuit pack. Meera and Vishak were silent as usual, they never had the eye for collectibles. 


Vaisakh pulled out his silver horse which stole the show. Its beautiful color and contours made every kid look at it in envy.
" That thing is not even half the size of my Dino!" remarked Noble arrogantly,
 "Oh yea? Its certainly not as ugly as your Dyyyno" Hit back Vaisakh, clearly not amused by Noble's statement. 
"Its beautiful Vaisakh!" remarked Robin. 
"Lets play Ludo, I cant bear the sight of that sick horse!" said Noble. Vaisakh frowned, though Vaisakh hated to play with Noble, he joined them so that his other friends won't feel bad. After the game, everyone returned to the table to take their belongings. Vaisakh screamed in horror, "The Tail is Missing!"


Tears pouring down his face, Vaisakh searched desperately for the horse's tail. Noble laughed wickedly. Vaisakh ran towards Noble and hit him in the nose. "I know you stole it. Give the tail back!!" Vaisakh yelled and Noble started crying too. The chaotic scene made Vaisakh's mum rush to his room from the kitchen.
 "Look what you did to poor Noble, You evil kid!!" Mum yelled angrily at Vaisakh.
 "But he stole my horse's tail Mama!!" complained Vaisakh. 
"Ssshhh!!!!!" 
said mum. She cleaned Noble's wound and sent the children to their homes.


Vaisakh sat devastated staring at his tailless horse and wept the whole day. It was a limited edition offer, there was practically no chance of winning a similar horse again.


Years passed, the kids crossed their teens and now each of them studied in a different part of the state. Rarely did they get a chance to meet each other. In one such rare meetings, Vaisakh, Noble and Meera sat in the grass field, chewing the cud of sweet old memories. Vaisakh broke the silence. "hey Noble! I wanted to ask you, Did you really steal my old silver horse's tail?"
Noble  laughed, "No dude, Why should I take it huh? I never liked that stupid horse!". Meera grinned and held out her clenched fist to Vaisakh, "Open up!". To the boys amazement, there it was, the Tail of the silver horse!
 "I never thought It would be coincidental, but anyway I wanted to return your 'precious tail', Vaisakh!" Meera laughed. 
"My Innocence has been proved!!! You Evil Girl, You Scoundrel !!" Noble Shouted and chased Meera who was running to avoid the outraged Noble.
Vaisakh stood smiling with the horse's tail in his hand as he watched Noble chase Meera.


Inspired from my childhood
                      &
"The Suburbs- Arcade fire"


Lying on the bed, I ran my fingers through my hair. I felt that annoying tuft of hair in the back side of my head. I checked myself in the mirror, my hair certainly looked gawky. I had got an ill-satisfactory hair cut last week. I had never been to that barber shop before and went there only because the shop which I usually visit was closed on that particular day. It was a very modest one and judging by its looks I felt not many people would have submitted their heads there. I tried to recollect the barbers face; he was a good looking gentleman of about 40. I have to admit, he did talk well to me and he had built a good liaison with me, hoping for more visits in the future. But the fact that his talk ruined my hairstyle made me even more angry and frustrated. Unable to bear the awkwardness, I set out to the usual Barber shop, in hope of a welcome modification.


As I stepped in, the barber closely scanned my hair with his experienced eyes. Since my hair was already short, I was quick to provide an explanation as to why I cut my hair from a different shop and also made my plans clear as to how I wanted to modify my hairstyle. All the while I doubted if the barber was thinking of the lost confidence in him which made me visit the other barber initially. The Barber soon inquired about the whereabouts of the barber shop which I had visited last week. With much difficulty I explained where it was. All the while, I talked about how badly the other barber had cut my hair; I also had the secret intention of restoring the barber’s confidence in me. However, the barber did not speak anything, much to my amusement.

I started to leave, satisfied with the minor works done on my hair. As I paid the barber, he told me that there is no point in blaming the other barber and the problem lies with my hair and accepted only less than half of full service charge. I reflected upon the good chat I had with the other barber and how much I had let him down just to gain the confidence of another man. 



Standing in the operation theater [OT] as a student, with nothing to do; not even having irritation from the houseflies is a tough task. It was yet another long day in the OT, standing and dreaming. Its amazing how thoughts from various fields of interest cross your mind while standing and watching a surgery! My mind wandered from the much waited football match I was going to see to the new rock single that has captivated my mind. Just then, the surgeon finished his first case. I hummed a mellow song as he let the intern do the suturing. After that was done, I settled down with my mates in a corner of the OT. As we relaxed, cracking jokes and sharing opinions about the doctors, the Surgeon approached us and asked,


 "So who is going to assist me in the next case? Its a fibroadenoma of breast


I wasted no time in informing him that he had been mistaken and that we were just undergraduates, not residents or interns. To our dismay, we learnt that he had meant what he said and he was well aware that we were students. As none of us were ready to step up to this gruesome task, the surgeon himself decided to choose his assistant and much to my horror, he chose me!


He showed me the proper way to wash hands and I mimicked every gesture of his like a silly chimp. The bad omens were starting to show as I opened the door with my hands, forgetful about the fact that I had just washed to make my hands sterile. A strange feeling hovered about myself, something that said the surgeon has selected the wrong person. I was happy my mask covered my nose and mouth completely as I was too embarrassed to face my mates [I'm sure they would remember the day when i cut the big Internal carotid artery of a cadaver into 2!]. I washed my hands again and thankfully, this time I thudded open the door with my leg [So forcefully that it reminded me of the old Wild Wild West films]. The next tedious process would be the gloving of hands. The surgeon had a horrid time explaining how to get my hands gloved up in the right manner. Much to my relief, no...his relief, I was able to do it on the third attempt. 


I watched him incise the skin over the breast, blood gushed from the cut capillaries, I was asked to mop it with cotton, he was not too impressed with my mopping as it was more like pampering the cheeks of a supermodel with powder. Rest of my job was pretty easy, I was busy retracting the skin while he worked meticulously with his skilled hands and removed the tumor. It was a great experience, something very different from working on the cold clammy cadavers. You could feel the pulsations, you could feel the warmth of blood and of course the agonizing cries of the patient whenever the surgeon transgressed to an area which had not been anesthetized. 


As my mates crowded around me to get a view of what was going on, my embarrassment started giving way to pride. I started feeling thankful to the surgeon for choosing me to assist him. After all I can proudly say that I assisted a surgeon. The surgery finished, the patient well and fine. As I changed my theater clothes, My phone rung, It was my best friend he asked 


"Where were you mate? Iv been trying to get you on call for half an hour!"


I replied with an air of confidence 


"Oh dude! Sorry, I was assisting in a surgery you know!".

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Acknowledgement

The images you see in this blog are executed by my sister , Sreevidya P.A...

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