The firstulla week: a Tom and Jerry Show

By Muhammad Mohsin Ali
(1st Year)

Die firstulla Woche: ein Tom und Jerry anzeigen 
(The firstulla week: a Tom and Jerry Show)

{Note: Some of you must be opening Google translate (no, it’s no use denying) to find out what the title means. It’d be better to linger not on things that are beyond comprehension and move on. And if you find my superciliousness distasteful, go get a cookie. Send me one, too.}
With beaming faces, shining brows (with perspiration resulting more from trepidation than excitement) and crisp cuffs, the freshmen make their way to the new auditorium, anticipating a warm welcome from the Varsity administration. They certainly get it, both from the administration, and from those to whom the administration administers.
Contrary to popular appeal (and if it must be said, widespread superstition) that once you are safe and sound in the new auditorium, you get to hear a most interesting introduction to KEMU, the premier med school in Pakistan, the actual proceedings are a bit what Robert Burns might call agley. Not that he is alive there to call such perfectly heinous names. 

Again, contrary to popular belief, no laptop distribution forms were distributed among the crème de la crème, the intellectuals who have studied for an eternity to study again for another eternity. Bad luck.
So we get out, and a bunch of seniors, looking the very picture of seniority, grabbed us by choosing. Now you might think that is a bit unlikely, but it happened. Those of us who were lucky enough to look like anything but freshies got away with it. What happened to the rest is history.
This year, we learned, the Vice Chancellor had introduced a modular system of learning, or, if I might be permitted to say, a semi-modular system of learning. As a result, we didn’t actually enjoy (if that is what we were supposed to do) the experience of dissecting a cadaver straight away, as I had expected (and if the truth be told, hoped) we would. 
So what did we do then? Well, on paper, it was the orientation week; practically, it was training in clinical ethics and something that I suspect sounded like the biopsychological perception method of treatment. We were taught how to break bad news (when they should have taught us how to survive bad news, seeing that modular assessment exams are looming near), how to keep calm and keep kam se kam, and how to dress up (seriously, man!).
And while this was being executed, we were, under the protection of teachers from different departments, being given a tour de varsity, the sole purpose of which, I have told (by trustworthy authorities) was to save us from the malicious aspect of fooling.
But simply having a teacher or two around does not give you a prominent edge, and some of us, to their great delight (ahem) found themselves in the gardens facing the pharmacology department, opening their shoe laces, dancing to the tune, and learning what is professionally known as the salute of KE.
To cut a long story short (which is a bit difficult), our first week was more of a Tom and Jerry show than anything else. We were always being chased; sometimes outside corridors and classrooms, and sometimes under the gleaning beams of the sun in the gardens where many a tale has been etched in the grasses of time….
On the whole, I feel that we learned only two things. The first was respect. For the bodies of those anonymous persons who (not without some distaste, though) gave themselves up for the progress of science. For the teachers, many of whom were long standing veterans. For the seniors, with whom one can sympathize more than empathize (more because of the new hostel rules regarding ragging). For everyone who is out there to help us achieve our aim. The second was humility. We may be the crème de la crème, but that does not exonerate us. We must learn not to gaze at what is beneath us, and be proud. We must learn to look at what is beyond us, and be humble. Only then can we hope to achieve what we have long sought.
Enough of this rant. I must go and prepare myself. For the journey I’ve long sought. The real race begins now. Let’s see who wins.

[P.S. I would like to thank some of the senior fellows at Kemunited who, with their helpful posts, cleared my apprehension about ragging and book-selection issues. Vielen Dank!] 


  1. Muhammad Talha ShabbirDecember 9, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    in 2004 when i came to KE, had to face fooling in hostel, but after that those seniors used to take us to dinner and then come with us to hall road hostel saying "u guys are new here we wont let u go there alone at this time of night." and we were told that "no matter what time of the day/night it is u can come to our room if u need any kind of help." and we really did go to them whenever we needed any help regarding studies specially anatomy, we used to play cricket together. those were the good days. now, seniors just make fun, enjoy and then forget the juniors.

  2. Nicely Done....! Keep it up!!!

  3. Thanks :)

  4. I can't say I agree more, Talha bhai :)

  5. exactly talha bhai. usually those who rag,forget u. those seniors who help,do this withour any regard. those are some different kinda people

  6. Nice Article

  7. Now this is really an amazing portrayal of your experiences as a firstulla in K.E! Wishing you many successes ahead in your medical as well as writing career! Keep posting such cool stuff :)

  8. Our first day was an actual Tom and Jerry show :p Great title for ur article and great conclusion... Thumbs up keep it up!


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