Monday, March 10, 2008

Ravings of a fresher

How shall I begin? Shall I say that I came to the faculty full of pleasant anticipation?Was I apprehensive? Well maybe just a little bit. But I was sure of being able to take everyone's breath away; I mean I, who was surely much more desirable and delectable than any senior girl. Come on, I can just imagine all the raggers falling under my spell and how exciting, seductive and fun filled the rag was going to be. I couldn't wait.

What I remember most and will continue to remember of the many things that happened during those unforgettable three months is our first en masse encounter with the senior batch. The first of its kind that I witnessed having missed the real first encounter which took place during the intensive English course. So while others of my batch had some idea of what to expect I was unprepared for what followed and all the more thrown and shell-shocked afterwards.

What followed folks was this. The seniors (lovely, delightful people) poured in a line(or was it two lines? I forget) into the hall where we were seated waiting for them. Their young, innocent cute faces screwed up into such blood chilling, dead serious expressions of hostility that none of us dared to look around throughout the whole session (Although some of us were longing to take a second look at those faces with their sheer beauty and cuteness)Looking back at the incident now it occurs to me that such hostility and threat simply could not have been there. It was just that we could project what we liked on to those unsmiling countenances and while I being so paranoid and insecure read sheer hostility it's possible that some of my batch mates read brotherly concern or some such thing. Let it be understood that I am talking about male countenances here. The female ones being none of my concern. Both my wrists were full of bangles that day. Bangles being a banned item, I was desperately trying to cover them up with the umbrella that I was holding. (I am bats about umbrellas. I am forever holding them) Visions were passing meanwhile through my mind of being told to get up in front of the whole crowd and take the bangles off, me refusing and the bangles being torn off my hands by force. My imagination showed signs of going on to more alarming episodes whereupon I told it to shut the hell up. Meanwhile one senior was addressing the gathering.

We know don't we, that the course proper was starting from next Monday? We must be punctual in attending lectures and if for some reason we were late we should use the back entrance to enter and sometimes it would be wise not to enter at all. About the library, the canteen and the common room we must know that no one was forbidding us to go to those places, but no one would guarantee our returning in one piece either if we chose to be so daring. We were told weren't we at a previous meeting about how to dress?

While he thus went murderously on, other seniors kept screaming at some of us for smiling, for not keeping eyes firmly glued to the ground, for not keeping legs and feet in the proper position. I was sure that before long one or several of them would scream at me for wearing bangles. But none of them did. To this day I wonder why. Maybe they were afraid of me? (Ha Ha great joke what?That's what you'd like about me. My great sense of humour)They even made our batch rep (who is a saint) and repee (who is an angel and by the way 'repee' is French for female batch representative in case you were wondering) stand up and count loudly the junior heads that were present. It turned out that some juniors were missing, so they screamed some more at the rep, repee and us in general. Meanwhile I the heroine (calm down I don't mean as in heroic) expected the axe to fall on my beautiful neck (Ha Ha another joke to cheer you lovely people up) any moment. I was mentally making myself into a tight ball, having made up my mind not to give up the bangles no matter what. Once more visions came crowding in. Visions of me dying a heroic death never relinquishing a single bangle.

After it was all over and we got a chance to talk, my friend told me that she nearly got a heart attack fearing for me and my bangles, whereupon I smiled(beautifully? heroically?) and called her silly for being afraid. However all of us agreed that the seniors were one horrible species indeed.

Our university life started in earnest the following Monday. There were lectures from morning to noon. Lectures, where we with mounting panic at transparencies being removed before we were through with them scribbled away furiously. Sometimes when we came out of the lecture hall, we would find the seniors outside, standing in two lines waiting to go in. We passed between those two lines feeling ourselves under sharp scrutiny. This scrutiny reminded each of us of different scenarios depending on which way our fancies ran. It may have reminded some of us of newly recruited soldiers being inspected by superior officers or of a herd of sheep being looked over greedily by the Big Bad Wolf (A pack of Big Bad Wolves) or if your fancies ran a bit on the kinky side (like mine) of ladies of some sultan's harem parading in front of him hoping to be chosen for the night.

Poets say that the smell of love is the same as that of spring. The flowers and the dried leaves littering the ground, the rain water soaking through them to make the ground damp. All contributing to that heady spring smell which is supposed to make your heart yearn, ache and come alive. Wouldn't it be a laugh if the combined stink of body fluid and formalin had the same effect on a person's heart? You'd say that person's heart was very odd wouldn't you? Well maybe my heart is somewhat odd.

In case you are wondering what the above paragraph was all about, let me tell you of that memorable day, when we for the first time in our lives (so short, innocent and pure) walked into the dissecting rooms where the seniors and the cadavers (Don't get me wrong folks I am not implying the slightest similarity) were waiting for us. We walked with hesitant, faltering steps. My steps even more hesitant and faltering than the others, because I your heroine just happened to be wearing denim jeans and a kurta top that day.

I saw that every senior was looking at me. I tried telling myself that one should be glad to have so many people (males) looking at one. It would have been quite O.K too, thrilling in fact if not for this sick, paralytic, weak-kneed feeling I was getting. Still I tried to blot out everything else and concentrate on what we had to do, which was cutting the skin of the pectoral region. It was at this point that a polite senior with a murderous pair of eyes came and asked to have a word with me. But before he could begin not so polite seniors with equally murderous pairs of eyes kept coming our way. I never found out why they came (O.K. O.K I know the obvious explanation) because our polite senior sent them all away, saying that he would deal with everything himself. Since I was also wearing gloves he dealt with them first.

Did I know why gloves were banned during the rag season? "No" Because handling the cadaver with bare hands would revolt-proof us against all the unpleasantries of human sickness that we'd encounter in the wards, the wounds filled with pus, the smell of decaying flesh on living humans, the vomit, the blood and etc. Did I know what pus was? I told Mr. Wise Guy that I knew, but that was not enough Mr. Wise Guy wanted to make sure. "What is pus?" he asks.

If this had been the 18th century and I had been a man I would have challenged Mr. Wise Guy to a duel for taking that smug, patronising attitude with me. Being just a girl however, I found myself actually telling Mr. Wise Guy that pus was a yellowish fluid discharged from wounds.

Next he dealt with my denim. Did I know why denims and slacks were taboo for girls during term time? Had I seen senior girls wearing denims? I was in the medical faculty wasn't I? So I should dress in a fitting manner. Did I know that house officers (another explanation here. Gee thanks) who rushed to the hospital at odd hours in emergencies were denied entry by the hospital security guards who thought they weren't doctors because they weren't dressed properly? Now did I see the importance of dressing properly? Did I believe in dignity? Did I want to get more than a normal dose of the rag? Did I think I will be able to concentrate on my studies if I am always hunted? Did I know that the reason they hadn't broken me in two by now was because I was a girl? (Thank God I'll tear my Women's Lib membership card to pieces). Did I also know that professor so and so said last year that if he saw anyone in a denim at a lecture of his, he (the offender) would be kicked out as far and fast as was possible? Now what was I planning to do?

What I planned was to ask someone in authority, a student counselor for example, if there really was a ban on certain dresses. Now dear readers, your heroine is all set to go and see this student counselor. She somehow screws up the courage needed and marches into the student counselor's room. Is that surprise she sees on his face? Maybe she is being rather rash? The heroine hesitates but goes on anyway because now it is too late to turn back. "Sir, is there a ban on casual dress within the faculty during term time?" He is very kind and helpful and puts your heroine at ease. No there was no ban as such. Certainly in going to the hospitals especially in the morning it was the norm to dress formally. But in attending lectures he didn't think such formality was needed. No certainly nobody could kick people out for wearing denims. This was a democratic country after all. However it may be wise to lie a bit low, during the first few weeks at least.

I walk out of the student counselor's room a very happy person intending to wear denims practically every day. On the way however I meet our repee. I know do I not that she is my friend and I can come to her whenever I need help?But quite a number of seniors were asking her about my denim. I know don't I that short dresses, denims, slacks were banned during the rag? It may not be wise to offend the seniors because they can give the whole batch a tough time, maybe even postpone the freshers' night.

"Oh but would they make the whole batch suffer because of me?"

Yes they might for they were monitoring the whole batch and one stray maybe counted as a minus point for the whole lot. I hasten to assure her that I would not wear denims again while the rag lasted. The repee who is a real nice gal becomes apologetic. She hoped I wasn't upset with her, over this matter and I do know don't I that she wasn't ordering me or anything like that?

"No, no I am not upset, think no more of it" I say to her.

During the weeks that followed I kept hearing heartwarming, encouraging bits of news from my friends. One friend told me to be careful since the seniors were talking about me. I asked him "what exactly were they saying?" But he my friend refused to elaborate. Maybe what was being said was so unspeakable that he simply couldn't elaborate. There were bleak desolate days too when the seniors didn't so much as glance in my direction, days that practically broke my heart. And glorious days when I got so much attention from the lovely seniors that I felt like dancing for sheer joy. On one such lovely day when I happened to be wearing a frock which according to them was more fit for a party, a pack of lovely, adorable (such is my besotted state that I can keep on adding adjectives forever, but I must restrain myself) seniors bore down on me and asked if it was to land a boy from the faculty that I dressed like that. They then proceeded to tell the others of my body group that it was a good thing my wearing gloves because that way I couldn't contaminate them and the cadaver.

Meanwhile most of my batch mates were getting quite thick with the seniors. They kept rabbiting on about what fun the rag was and how absolutely adorable the seniors were. They were enjoying each other. There was mutual liking. I kept wishing for the same kind of feeling, wished for it with the same desperate hopeless longing of someone suffering from unrequited love. But it never worked out the same way for me.

The first term just flew by. One moment we were walking rather timidly into the dissecting rooms for the first time and the next we found the spot test only a week away. It was around this time that the seniors called another meeting. This time we were a lot less scared and felt free to look around. Once again I studied their expressions when they came into the hall. They were as unsmiling as ever, but somehow almost lacking in blood chilling potential. They used the same rude set of words, but we felt much less ill will. They had come to talk about the rugger match, the cricket match and the netball match between the senior and junior batches that would be held as was the tradition.

By the way they heard that our batch rep had been talking about a Freshers' Night! Which Freshers' Night was this? Maybe our batch rep was planning a Freshers' Night of his own? The proper Freshers' Night was as yet undecided on. They may even decide not to give it after all. The junior batch would have to answer to the super seniors about any screw up in the organisation of the matches. If the super seniors were offended they could make the 'rag' we so far got look like a picnic.

At the matches we made contact with our super seniors for the first time. They were lovely too and much less murderous. How did the heroine fare with them? Not too badly that is if you blot out certain memories. I suppose one must develop the knack of spotting silver lines in dark clouds in cases like mine.

After the matches the seniors left us pretty much alone. Sometimes we were even allowed the liberty of sitting down in dissecting rooms in their presence. Something had definitely changed. It was as though the matches marked the end of a phase, a rather jolly, exciting and thrilling phase. Studying started in dead earnestness after this, the signature and the spot only days away. The compulsion to shoot up from one's seat at the approach of a senior gradually abated. The juniors and the seniors became quite chummy together. During this time the seniors came to address us about the long awaited freshers' night, but ended up screaming at us instead having discovered that some juniors were absent from the gathering. So a second meeting had to be called at which we were threatened with chronic rag if we dared to absent ourselves from the freshers' night.

The term drew to a close. We had the signature and then the spot test. The first term ended and the vacation started on the day of the spot. I felt nostalgic, regretful and relieved all at the same time on that last day. But there was the Freshers' Night to look forward to the Freshers' Day in our case where we would again see those lovely, delightful people who were our seniors, where we would officially be welcomed to their lovely, delightful bosoms and where hopefully we would become bosom pals with them.

The End

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Earliest ravings

How shall I begin? This is supposed to be some sort of literary outburst in which I will bare my soul to you. On the other hand folks what utter conceit on my part to assume that you will want to read a lot of rubbish about me. But nothing else that I might write comes to mind.

We partly see ourselves through the eyes of others around us. The thing which stays in my mind of all the things that people have said about me is that I am different from others somehow. A vital characteristic which makes me what I am for better or for worse is my daydreaming habit. In my world of fantasy I live like I have never lived or will live in real life. Though I want desperately to be the self that I am in my dream world, I never quite manage this. Only a shadow of that self comes through to real life.

Now I am going to talk about two subjects that seem vital to us at this particular age group. One of them is "THE OPPOSITE SEX"

I find the opposite sex adorable. My only grievance against them, is that they don't pay me sufficient attention. The opposite sex has motivated me in accomplishing most things that I have ever accomplished in my life. In other words, it is to impress them that I do most things.

Let's talk about the other subject which is love. According to me, love is an aching tender feeling with a certain sadness underlying it I don't know may be that's only a facet of love. But for me it is the definition of love. And in my opinion it is this feeling which is rare. Good looks,the thrill, the excitement of being with a good looking person, those are wonderful things. But they are all too easily found (much less easily by some of us than most) However once you got this sad, tender, aching feeling about a fellow, you simply don't care if he is well educated, got a job, speaks good English or any of that crap.

I am of the opinion that I rather wasted away the best part of my youth. I sort of sleepwalked through my teens. How I wish that I would get back my teens so that I can live, really live through them in the truest sense of the word 'live' and not just sleep walk. Fading into the woodwork was something I did rather well in those days. I used to watch what went on all around, what other teenagers did from my vantage point in the woodwork and feel miserable. Wanting to take part in the action but never quite making it out of the woodwork.

Even now I sometimes feel the pull of the woodwork; it's horribly tempting voice tells me to stop my pathetic attempts to be like all the clever, beautiful, superior people around me, not to try to get into the limelight of the drama which is life. I do my best not to listen

One of my favourite fantasies is some divine entity appearing before me and granting me a wish. I would ask to be fifteen again and have my ageing process halted right there.

Talking of fantasies, here's one. This was triggered by some incident which happened to me recently.

Boy stares at girl. Girl goes over to him and the following dialog follows.

Girl- Why are you staring at me? I like the way you stare. Normally I like males staring at me, no matter how they stare. But I specially like your stare. It's half amused, half serious and so intense.

Boy - I was staring because you are wonderful. Funny

Girl - Is that so?

Boy - Do you have a boyfriend?

Girl - Two as a matter of fact. Want to be the third?

Boy- (Smiles uncertainly)

Girl - I am not joking

Boy - I want you

Girl - I think you will get what you want, provided you understand that if others want me they will get me too.

Boy - You are joking right?

Girl - No, I believe that if someone wants you and you want him, you should let him get you. Doesn't matter how many people have already got you. You could call it my policy.

Boy - Who are those people who have already got you?

Girl - None of your business. Let's talk about us.

I like reading novels. At one time of my life, I was almost a novel addict. I have got such a wealth of experience (albeit secondhand), most of my role models, some of my values and the basics of my moral code (which is very questionable according to most people) directly out of the novels I have been reading. I did not and do not like what goes on in most Sinhala novels. The playing down of the female characters, the one way moral codes which the writers seemed to insist only the female characters should adhere to, the absolute lack of potency in any female character, the absence of female characters that I could admire, sympathise with; in short me and the writers not being on the same wavelength. All that put me off Sinhala novels from a very early age. So almost all my reading consists of English novels. My favourite novelist is Stephen King, who writes horror stories. I have come across books both hateful and lovely in my novel consuming process. There's one such hateful type the writers of which must surely be sadomasochists. In those the heroine is kissed bruisingly on the lips, undressed by force, slapped and done everything short of rape by the hero. In one such novel the hero even gives the heroine a beating, which according to the writer is a very romantic thing; because immediately after the beating the hero and the heroine manage to resolve all their differences.

(An undisclosable number of years after writing this : How absolutely and entertainingly naive I was those days !)

There are more categories of hateful books. But I don't like elaborating on them all. The best novels I read had underdogs like me as their heroes and heroines; people who are unsure of themselves, worry constantly how they appear to others, are nervous, who observe golden, confident and beautiful people from afar and resolve to be like them and who actually succeed in most cases.

Now here's another fantasy just to break the tedium. This is an extension of the previous one. The girl and the boy are having a discussion about dress.

Boy - What is your aim in wearing things like these?

Girl - (Listlessly) Attracting the males, appealing to them.

Boy - Now I am a male or at least I think so. So why don't I find that dress particularly appealing?

Girl - Don't worry about that. No need to change your previous evaluation of your malehood just because you don't find this appealing. You see there are males and there are males.

Boy - I almost feel sorry for you, the way people laugh at you.

Girl- You are right. People laugh at me. The real men can never have any other feeling for me than sarcasm. Those finer feelings like love, desire,genuine liking, admiration, those are reserved for other women. I admit all that. I sure hope that makes you feel better, because your wellbeing is my most genuine concern. Or would you like me to admit a few more things too? Like I am a slut, I look the part in dresses I wear and I lack any decency? If you think of some more items to add to the list, please let me know. I'll admit to them too.

Boy - Admitting these things aren't enough. If you care about my wellbeing you should try to change those things.

Girl- Once a slut, always a slut. Admitting is the best I can do. I don't want to change things. I like the way I am, proud of it in fact. I think other women should follow my example too. Now why don't you just close your cute lips over your cute teeth and stay that way for the rest of the day?

Boy - Such anger! Do I have cute lips?

Girl- Sure.

Boy - Come here my love.


Monday, February 18, 2008

"Sit down, sit down" he says. The heroine goes and sits down. " You didn't come!" he says. "Sir, you weren't here" she says. "Well I can't sit here and wait for you to come. I have various other things to do. Patients to see. You should have just looked in and seen if I was here while passing"

"How are your studies going?" Our gal feels highly uncomfortable and so inferior even stupid whenever he asks this question, whenever anyone asks this question. So she just mumbles "well I am studying"

"Did you understand this morning's lecture?"

"Well a little" this poor pathetic creature who is our heroine says feeling even more stupid and ridiculous.

"Did you come to the last Friday's lecture?"

"No I had a sore throat"

He smiles as though someone who misses a lecture of his because of a sore throat is an amusing phenomenon. At the same time there's something indulgent in that smile. He has a cute smile, which has a profound effect on our heroine. But as yet she feels nothing. She is on the defensive, just watching him wondering about his next move. At this moment our heroine is at her least vulnerable. She watches him with detachment and objectivity. It is now possible for her to feel this objectivity about him, because his cold remote manner towards her throughout the whole second term has successfully killed his attraction for her.

Now she looks at him and sees a teacher whom she will treat with cold, mechanical, impersonal politeness and respect. In dealing with him she has come out of herself; it's not herself that she watches, not her own reactions, moods and feelings that she is mindful of when talking to him but his. She is finally feeling cool and impersonal towards him. He is a teacher playing the teacher's role in which he is quite naturally concerned about the downhill progress of her studies. This is all very proper and appropriate, fine she will react with propriety and normalcy with politeness. No more in-depth, analytical, warm conversations with the bastard. He is essentially remote, not of her world.

"Do you have a boyfriend?"


She wonders why he feels the need to ask this question repeatedly. He must have forgotten the answer she gave last time he asked. Very natural. He is a busy person, an important person, a person with a definite place in the BIG PICTURE, in the GREAT SCHEME OF THINGS. So very natural for such a person to forget a matter as petty as whether our heroine has a boy friend or not.

"Nobody asked you either?"

This time our heroine is stung; for a gal had to have some self respect even a gal as pathetic as our heroine. As a matter of fact, quite a number of boys had asked our gal. She tells him that.

"And what did you say?"

Our gal is not about to....

To be continued

Sunday, February 17, 2008


When you see a nice ass and the female it belongs to is not you and when you can see that the female it belongs to walks with the perfect awareness that her ass is great and when you also know that the depraved, perverted bastard you happen to love like crazy is at large in the Faculty walking with that tom cat walk eyes missing nothing and is liable to be treated to the sight of the aforementioned ass any moment, may be even several times on any given day what can you do? I mean how are you supposed to handle that?

Well, O.k. the very same bastard said one day, I mean he just voluntarily came forward with the statement without any fishing for compliments on your part that you yourself had a lovely ass. Surely that is supposed to comfort you, reassure you, make you feel secure? But the problem is that it doesn't. Instead you feel this sick pressure inside your head. As the day progresses this sick pressure builds up, oh due to various reasons. First of all, there's this great party coming up, it's called the Block Night or Nite rather. There are notices all over "Hey come and have fun!!! A night to remember, filled with music, dance and frolic. Come and riot!!!

Tell me is it inconceivable for a girl to feel sick under such pressure? Specially when the girl knows that miss nice ass(and tits) is probably going to be there swinging her nice ass to the music and matters are not helped when that depraved, perverted and lecherous bastard is almost a permanent fixture in the bloc nite accompanied by his cute wife and when they are supposed to be one of the best dancing couples in the faculty and when you yourself don't know a damn thing about dancing and all you are capable of doing when the lights are pulsating and the music is roaring is jerking your body in that unrythmical, boring, no doubt ridiculous way;when circumstances are like that is it unreasonable or mad of the girl to want to go home and sleep?