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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 …


The Final Bow

- Ayesha Mushtaq

Straight outta First Prof Part 1

Episode 1: Click Here
Episode 2: Click Here
(By Hajra Saeed)
Episode 3: Click Here

Okay, okay, I’m not really a firstula any longer. But I just couldn’t let go of my Musings this easy. Now the account of our first year couldn't be left incomplete, could it?
So here I am, with the final installment.
Hmm hmmm. Covering six months of the happening KemLife in one blog is no easy job, people.
Where to start from? Lets see.

The second intermodular block, post spring break. Which started off with an Anatomy test (comprising GA, Histo and Embryo) on the very first day. And then the anatomy dept living true to its reputation, decided to hold a substage every week. Every week, I repeat.

Physiology was not behind either with the Naarveee and Maaassaaal test thrown in. And the result of Respiratory Module assessment which managed to leave quite some students in tears.
Biochemistry did not torture us with tests here. But Ma’am TT’s 9 am lecture every Wednesday, Ma’am Ismat’s Lipids and Minerals, and Ma’am Samia’s (Ma’am Proteins for those having a hard time recalling) GIT more than made up for the absence of tests.

Add to it the dreary labs – where we took out our own blood for physiology practicals; were grilled by the attendants of biochemistry; and had to draw layer upon layer upon layer upon layer of cells in histology, embellishing it with the little purple dots for nuclei till our hands ached, but no. The demo checking the notebooks would still not be satisfied by the diagram and demand amends.

 And no account can be complete, of course, without the mention of the stifling DH and the terrifying tutorials, as we would sit hunched in a corner, trying to be as far away from the prying eyes of Sir Shahid and Sir Khurram as possible. Yes, Sir Mubashar and Ma’am Sheena’s batches will never know what an ordeal a tutorial is.

Of course, how can I forget the uncomfortable days and nights at hostel, as we the poor hostellite girls had to spend long hours without electricity - till we got a generator for backup power so the only fan we had to keep us cool amidst the rising temperatures would run round the clock.
(Incoming first year can take a lesson or two perhaps from our suffering.)

But all was not bleak, no. There were also the events. Lots and lots of events. 
KELS Urdu Annual Mushaira
Shaam e Sangeet
Photos: KELS Urdu Media Portal
KEDS 16th All Pakistan Declamation Championship
KELS Short Story and Poetry Writing Competition
KELS Interclass Quiz Competition
Class function – a memorable night of stellar performances by batch ‘19

KDS Annual Play – where each show left the audience in fits of laughter, displaying the acting skills of various first year students and a large number of firstulas lending a helping hand backstage
SPWS Bake Sale – fundraising for various projects in Mayo Hospital, where First Year outshone all others by collecting a whopping 3.5 lac
Stage. Final Stage of Anatomy, and the preceding sleepless nights, day-dreams of BD (or Gray’s and Last for the smarter crowd), company of bones and high doses of caffeine to keep going.
Stage came and went, and we ushered into CVS Module, when attendance became inversely proportional to the soaring Lahore temperatures, and a couple more events followed.
KEDS 16th All Pakistan Parliamentary Debating Championship – a four day battle of words, witnessing fiery speeches, logical (and some not-so-logical) arguments
KAPS All Pakistan Media Festival – art exhibitions, musical performances, and interclass and All Pak short video competitions
Class trip to Murree
KELS All Pakistan Quiz Competition
KELS Urdu Literary Festival
The module test, right on the very last working day before summer break. While we did not have regular classes after summer break, there was the thorax stage and histology lab test. Meanwhile, repeater sessions also started.
The society season was wound up with the KEDS Intra-KEMU Debating Championship. Here again, like all other events, we witnessed an enthusiastic participation by the first year, and in the process our speakers did us proud by grabbing a handful of awards.

Then there was the simultaneous issue of getting our first prof exams delayed. And like all other *delay-endeavours* through the year, here too Batch ’19 met paltry success, our representatives managing to secure a 9-day delay. 
Hence began the last phase of our journey as firstulas, as we drew near prof. Not without the little upset in send ups first. Biochemistry dept dropped a bombshell with the paper set by Sir Nakshab, and for days biochemistry was the only thing discussed in the batch group, and our nights were marred by the nightmares of Harper.

A couple of weeks later, a renewed drive seeking a few days delay in prof emerged. Alas, some wishes remain unfulfilled. Hoping that our batch is luckier in this regard in the years to come.
Finally the monster of First Professional Examination Part I was upon us with all its horrors. Basement of New Auditorium witnessed- like it does every year- 328 (or 332? *never been able to ascertain the exact number*) students scribbling away with all their might on a sheet that was to decide their future. After every written exam, the MCQs key surfaced in class group that gave many people a few mini heart attacks. And then the absolute frenzy before the Islamiat paper, everybody wondering which book to use and what the syllabus was and which topics to cover and what the paper pattern would be.

Also exam branch ruthlessly scheduled our viva/practicals to commence a mere 5 days after the last written. And suddenly the class group was flooded with pictures of histology slides and x-rays and models, and videos of spotting; question banks of viva questions; and discussions about the attitude of examiners (as much as I may be having the urge to put in a few sentences about You-Know-Who, some words are best left unsaid). And then some people were left hanging in mid-air till 11th because their viva got delayed thanks to the holiday for local bodies’ elections.
Those who got free early vs those who were still stuck in prof. Courtesy: Kwemcoleans
But like all things, this taxing period too ended at long last, and for some earlier, than others.
Here’s the hope that all of us pass it respectfully, and to those seeking distinctions and positions, may you get those too.

PS: while hunting for photos for this blog I realized what an accurate job Kwemcoleans has done at the timely portrayal the sentiments of our class on each occasion :D


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