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The sound of Silence

A short story by Hamdan Ali Khan, 1st Year MBBS

The old man sat on the beach, barefooted and alone. Silence reigned everywhere except the occasional thrashing of waves which disturbed the acoustic equilibrium. Night it was, the sky filled with a million lanterns, the birds dozing off quietly and the sea like an old pirate sang a silent shanty. Oh! He missed his youth, when he could swim to the Black Rock without drowning, when he could shout at the vast ocean, his resonant voice fading upon the edges of horizon. But all good things come to an end, the voice that once resonated; now a husky whisper. The man who was the fastest swimmer; now an ancient remainder of time and its echoes. The doctors said he had terminal cancer that he would die in a week. He didn’t fear death, he had no family, nothing to lose except maybe the sight when someone would break his 50 years old record. The silence of the calm sea nurtured in him a desire to swim to the Black Rock once again, one last time. He …

Kellogs and KemUnited:Jab We Met

A common principle of approach in medicine is this: When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras. Go for the simplest, most obvious explanation. Avoid needless ambiguities. Expanding on the implication, when you think of contrast mediums, think of barium. Or iodine. Or better still, think of Angelina Jolie! I mean seriously! A jet-setting, international celebrity, who has the hottest (supposedly) Hollywood star dangling from her forearm, has a taste for teeth-gritting adventurous stunts(and disaster-struck orphans), is probably bathing in billions AND also happens to be a UN Goodwill ambassador! Now really! Can it get any more fantastic? Probably not. For you see, Jolie is the ultimate femme-fatale. The queen of distinction and contradistinction. Of contradictions and contrasts. And maybe many a fibrillating hearts too.
The point of the rant above, you ask? Contrast. That is our watchword for today, dear readers. Being able to embody separates and still be beautifully consolidated. A heterogeneous homogeneity. And we at King Edward English Literary Society understand that only too well. As of 3rd March, with the swearing in of the executive council of KELS for the year 2011,(and following the brilliant idea proposed by one of our Kellogs admins, M. Bilal) the two biggest blogs of KEMU have officially been united in holy umm…synchronicity. Kellogs and KemUnited are one. By the power vested in us yada yada yada, we now pronounce them joined and synchronized. *Confetti Shower*(Tissue papers anyone?)
People who’ve had the chance to visit Kellogs and KemUnited would no doubt agree that on the face of it, the two blogs have absolutely nothing in common. What could be more dissimilar than helpful study guides and foreign exam preparatory tips from the pros and past paper questions that seem to be set in stone(KemUnited) and the lyrical symphony of words and worlds painted with the heart's blood, on the canvas of imagination(Kellogs)? No visible similarity to speak of. But probe a little deeper and you'll see that the parallel tracks do infact converge and there is a symmetry in the chaos and a method to the madness after all.
Medicine is as much an exercise of the body as it is of the mind. To be able to think outside the box, to always be on your toes, to have the will to go the extra mile and bring forth and use every last bit of knowledge from the nooks and crannies of your mind...that in a nutshell is perhaps what medicine is all about. To have the stamina of pushing your way through sleep-deprived nights and backbreaking days, that too is medicine. Strenuous. Draining. Exasperatingly demanding. Just like literature. Think about it. How many times when you've sat down with pen and paper, have you had to restrain yourself from banging your head against the wall because you just can't seem to find the right word or capture the right moment in your pen? The experience can be quite fatiguing. Sometimes reams and reams of paper have to be blackened, smudged and cursed upon before you manage to seize just the right mix of words, thoughts and ideas. Nights would slip into days and the food on your table would get ignored while you ponder and reflect and simmer and stew within yourself. Arduous, maddening, terribly consuming. You begin to see a pattern? Oh and when you get to the finishing line, when finally after having sloshed through mud and muck for days, you finally see a ray of light fighting through the clouds...the flavour of that one moment when you think all the donkey work may have been well worth the effort all along! Managing to bring a suffering body back to life through the correct treatment plan you came up with all by yourself or penning down something so wonderfully moving, so beautifully touching it takes somebody’s breath away for a moment. One revives the body, the other rejuvenates the soul. Have the pieces started coming together yet?
‘And what ‘message’ do we get from all this?’ as my Medicine teacher(whose name I still do not know after two months of lectures because he never once mentioned it!) often remarks. Simply put, life’s nothing if not complicated and its biggest beauty lies in how all its diverse spheres overlap and converge and come together to form one indivisible whole. Do not, in your naivety, allow yourself to think that having decided upon a career and gluing your nose to the textbook is an end in itself. You deserve so much more and better! So discover your strengths and explore yourself to find a niche. Open the connecting door between the two halves of yourself. Oh and write. Write as if your life depends on it. Come to KemUnited if you wish to share something studious and interesting. Choose Kellogs if you wish to write something wonderful and intellectually stimulating. Both will take you with open arms. It doesn’t have to be huge. It doesn’t even have to have all those big words nobody understands. Just write with conviction. Write from the heart. At the end, you’ll find, as many before you have, that that’s the place where all the really beautiful things come from.
So let’s celebrate the union of two entities which really couldn’t be more different and yet perhaps are more similar than would’ve been expected. Here’s to the 'convergence of the twain' and a long and fruitful journey together.


  1. Observant and expressive is the oath
    For a super writer and a doctor both !

  2. Hey cooool post dude!! So, if we've been synchronised with Kemunited and if that somehow makes us resemble Angelina Jay... yo! I'm up for it :D
    But no (wedding :P)cake?! Oh Shuks!

  3. AWESOME job. really refreshing....

  4. you write so well.fantastic.


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