The other day I was conducting a viva for my students and was getting increasingly amused with the sheer inventiveness of the answers given. At least those human right activist guys can’t accuse me of stifling the freedom of expression. You often notice that the more benign the teacher /examiner- the more imaginative the answers…but at least they do answer and more often than not we get a clear picture of their level of knowledge. ...something you never achieve when exams are conducted in something like a ‘war on terror’ atmosphere.
I was suddenly taken back a decade when we had our internal medicine postings with Dr S .I ‘m not really sure if Dr S was a genius…but she definitely gave us 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration (to stay away from her classes…especially when in a foul mood..which was basically like always)
Madam S , was terror personified…..to explain the gravity of the situation I present this dialogue horribly adapted from the hindi movie ‘Sholay’ of Gabbar singh fame :“If some medical student falls asleep while mugging for the exams, his/her roommate would wake him/her up and say “Wake up Baccha nahi to Kal exam me ‘Madam S’ aa jayegi” “
Every case discussion with here would be like a Hindi saas-bahu soap serial ….full of tears (especially if the person presenting the case was a female of the homo sapiens Linn species, barbed dialogues (all from her)…and seemingly no end to the story….see you tomorrow same time ,same place for more!!)
One of the most colorful episodes I remember with Madam S was when one of our colleagues, a certain miss KJ was asked a deeply philosophical question regarding the colors of the stools in various types of jaundice (Not the sitting kinda stools dude ..the shitting kind).Miss KJ was dumb-struck and color blind, for a precious few minutes and mixed up her palette. In the end Madam S decided to settle for the color of normal stools as a compromise , but KJ still wouldn’t give in. So ultimately Madam S handed KJ a rather colorful assignment …to check on the color of her own ‘you know what’ and return the next day. KJ was off-color for the rest of the day…..(The final results of this great scientific mission were classified – for Madam S’s eyes/ears only….so we never were enlightened regarding the true colors of human waste!)
(Speakin’ of stools , one of my surgery teachers would often comment on the vivid yet questionable descriptions in some medical texts. Apparently some medical conditions , according to some texts, are characterized by ‘foul-smelling stools’….now whoever heard of stools smelling of lilies and roses??!!!)
(N: All said and done I must admit that most of what madam S ,taught me still remains quite fresh…fear at times can indeed be a potent tonic for an effective memory!! And honestly looking back, many of the interesting lil episodes with her do tend to bring a little smile to my stupid face!)