Nungambakkam Medical College Hostel.
Aravan is half dead. His eyes sunk deep sunk into the sockets. His hair was scruffy. He looked like gripped by the mortal fear. Sentil was irritated by his awfully deformed countenance. He consoled Aravan who bunked the class and stayed in hostel" You hadn't have a wink of sleep the previous night. At least now, you have to sleep for a while. You look like a fused bulb. No, he looks like a man possessed by demon. saying so Agastya entered the hostel room.
Sentil looked frightened. His eyes are wide opened with Agastya's words. "De.. de . demons?! Don't talk about demons. I don't believe in them." He said with quivering voice. just then two more seniors came in. " We are with you don't worry nothing will happen"
Agastya: Okay, leave them when you don't believe in them
Sentil: Are demons real?
Agastya : why do you bother when you don't believe?
senior students : Sentil is shit scared of demons.
It is surely the job of the demon. cried Aravan.
Sentil was more appalled then before. "How do you know?" He croaked like a hen.
Aravan: It is a love demon but now the demon has left !
Seniors : what is the use the police will catch!
Aravan shuddered with fear on hearing the word Police
Where was the fear before attempting bike wheeling Agastya cautioned you before you attempted stunt biking. You threw his caution to the air.
Agastya : Aravan the police have already arrested you
Aravan's face turned pale. Sentil and the seniors scolded Agastya " Are you nuts!!! Aravan is right before your eyes. Agastya was nonplussed. He opened the newspaper he has brought with him and showed everybody the news of arrest. " Look, the news of his arrest was reported in the news." said Agastya vehemently. Aravan has a bizarre look on his face.
one of the seniors read the news loud " Youth arrested for bike wheeling" There is no mention of his name. they said. Agastya was shocked. " I am very sorry I did not read the news completely. I just saw the title and jumped to the conclusion that Aravan was arrested.
"Aravan performed stunt biking last night how can it be published" Sentil said loudly.
just then administrative staff members passing the corridor stopped at the opened door .
Sentil suddenly changed the topic. Aravan Don't worry for not attending the classes yesterday. Be brave and confident. Our principal and Dean are very kind to the students. Our seniors are very friendly. You can learn from anybody. why, you can learn from my failures.. I did not till the final hours before an exam. I did not attend the wards sufficiently. I showed up on the college on mass bunk. I followed 5–10 books but never studied anything effectively. I thought of dropping MBBS and going to Engineering.
seniors : We also thought of dropping Medicine. Thought of marrying. Most people feel like that in the first year. First year is the toughest because of 19 subjects but 2nd year is known as honeymoon of MBBS life because it has 1 and half year duration and only 4 subjects. Everything will be alright. The two white coats at the door smiled and left. Senthil sighed a big relief and was closing the door when Perumal got in.
He appreciated Sentil's performance qualifying it as better than that of Aravan's stunt biking. The next moment started scolding him. Why did you not delete the video? stupids! have some sense! Aravan deleted his video from internet and thanked Perumal.
the seniors said " The police must have downloaded the video. No use of removing it now. You should have confirmed with Ragini. " confirm what ?" said Perumal
If she had noticed the video. " said the seniors. " I have the video with me!" said Senthil
"What avail is that video? The video doesn't matter but the views." pat came the reply from the seniors. Aravan was fraught, he was distraught " No mention of Love and Ragini again" He shouted.
"Nobody understands what kind of love it is. your love is just like Italian poet Ovid's narrative poem "metamorphoses." Nobody was able to determine the genre of the poem , whether epic, elegy, tragedy, pastoral" Said Agastya.
Who the hell are you adding to my tension by mixing literature in Medical sciences. I know that the police are looking for me. They will come and arrest me. Let me hide. Said Aravan irked by Agastya's words
Shut up ! Aravan, the police will not come to medical college hostel to arrest, They will never come to your class. They will talk to the Dean. Agastya was infuriated by the prospect of arrest. He dashed to Ragini's house without waiting for a second.
She has the luminescence of the moon in her face with dimples in her cheeks look like craters in the moon, She has two sparks of fire in eyes that are more dangerous than nuclear missiles, that can cause nuclear fusion in any man. Perhaps Cupid has saved his bow on the vermillion zone of her mouth. ( The juncture where the lips meet the surrounding skin of the mouth area is the vermilion border). Her upper lip inspires even the senile for the act of intimacy. Her conch shaped throat is sensually attractive , more sensually attractive than her throat is her neck and the hair flowing on her shoulders.
Her facial beauty is alluring , Her eyes are igniting, her lips are inviting, her figure is intriguing. Her name is Diana - a name epithet of her beauty. As your gaze goes down it dashes with the fundamental and the most essential part of feminine beauty, her aesthetically perfect breasts. And your gaze gets trapped and mind gets blocked,. The frontal and and lateral views of her waits and half moons result in the sweet secretions for the beholders. She is the irresistible visible expression of libido. She creates a romantic tempest on the campus as she walks.
This trilingual beauty - speaks Tamil, Telugu and her mother tongue English - is coquettish and eye teaser by whose sight men become besotted. She has the art of evading the hunting gaze of men. The director of Jasmine International school Ramachandran has divorced chemistry philosophy and joined the school of romantic philosophy. He was one of those victims shot by her eyes. The only man who shows no convulsions of a man to Diana is Varadachari, the dance teacher. He is Angayar's unmanly man.
Daina the kindergarten rhymes teacher walked to the staff room. Angayar was alone reading the "Disappointment" Diana came in and pulled the book from Angayar's hands and put a small steel box in her hands. "Serve this sweet to your husband you will have sweet experience this night. You will have no need of such philosophy she said showing the book Disappointment"
Angayar: It is not philosophy it is poetry. In this seventeenth century, poem ‘The Disappointment’. Aphra Behn, writes about the ‘imperfect enjoyment’ of thwarted sexual activity. The female poet and playwright Aphra Behn gives us the woman’s perspective of the painful experience. wooed and seduced by the male until she’s willing to give up her virtue, she then finds that she is to be disappointed because he is unable to perform…
Diana took the book and opened it. Her sharp eyes ran along the lines. It is a 14 stanza poem with 10 lines in each stanza. Her eyes slowed down at the 4th stanza and read it out
But he as much unus'd to fear,
As he was capable of Love,
The blessed Minutes to improve,
Kisses her Lips, her Neck, her Hair !
Each touch her new Desires alarms !
His burning trembling Hand he prest
Upon her melting Snowy Breast,
While she lay panting in his Arms !
All her unguarded Beauties lie
The Spoils and Trophies of the Enemy.
Very romantic said Diana with eyes wide open. She slowed down at the 7th stanza
When Diana finished Angayar tried to open the box. Diana stopped her. " No, don't open now. There is cupid inside." Said Diana. " Will he escape ? if I open the box?" asked Angayar pretending innocence. Diana is no less, she is a quick wit. "If the cupid acts on you it is a bigger problem. You are already hot!" replied Diana. Angayar has beaten Diana on her back with open hand.
Isss.... haaa ! Diana started rubbing on her half moons and said, " you are not only hot but also seductive, I don't understand why you are wasting time of your youth?" said Diana jokingly.
Angayar let out a lifeless smile and said "for you life is fun but for me life is an exam."
Diana : Yes it is an exam but in exam the time is very valuable , don't waste it.
Anga: There is no use arguing with you Indian philosophy is different. You don't know that.
Diana: I agree that I am an Anglo Indian. Perhaps my knowledge about Indian philosophy is surficial but I know the man's nature. If he were in your place he would not wait so long. Did Indian philosophy tell you to waste your life? For ten years you have been struggling with your husband. You are married at 25 and you are now 35. Tell me is Indian philosophy all about sexual chastity form woman? Nobody bothers about man having man having relations or wives.
Angayar: It is not chastity it is loyalty to husband. It is our culture.
Diana: Your culture is a mill stone around your neck. I pity you and Meenakshi.
Angayar : Meenkashi is very noble. He comes from noble dynasty. She showed motherly attitude to me and to all. I consider her my mother.
Diana: Oh Come on! Ange! You consider Meena your mother I consider you my sister. I wish you all the best tonight.
Angayar : Thank you. Let me try once more.
Agastya came back to the boys hostel. He was fuming.
Senthil asked" what happened?"
Agastya: I went to Nungabakkam to meet Ragini at her house.
Senthil : You should have tried in the hostel.
Agastya : She is least expected in the hostel. She is local.
Senthil : But tomorrow our medical college celebrates Annual day. The girls are practicing for tomorrow's classical dance show. You can see her if you want but can not talk to her. would you like to see her?
Agastya reluctantly accepted. They were walking to the ladies hostel.
Agastya: It is not the right time to talk to her. Where is Aravan?
Senthil : Don't ask me about him.
Agastya understood that he is in hiding. He smiled and said " Poor fellow!"
Senthil : Tomorrow you can come and watch our annual day program.
Agastya: I will come day after tomorrow by then you will be done with Annual day?
They reached the Ladies hostel. Agastya stood out side in the corridor. He was watching from the widow. The girls were performing a group task. Ragini is splendid. She did not see Agastya, but Kani saw him. Agastya's leaned to the wall of the corridor. His curly hair was swaying gently to the cool evening breeze. Senthil got into the room. The dance movements were slowed down when Ragini saw Senthil.
Senthil: Wonderful! Ragini, You should have participated in western dance."
Ragini. : I am performing both western and classical dance.
Senthil : Superb! I wish I would dance with you.
Ragini : Perumal is doing western dance with me.
Senthil: Oh God! He is as cunning as a fox. He did not tell me.
No, please drop him. I will dance with you.
Ragini: But the lists are made.
Senthil: I will look after those things. You will find as me a right partner.
Ragini: This is the problem with three of you. I don't want to dance with you . You can not compel me. Perumal is not like you.
Senthil: Ragini, During the two years of my study I have carried you as an extra subject.
Ragini: I have not seen a medico like you. Medicos have different ambitions. I have yet to see a man with love ambition. I am really confused.
How much more confused a I will be after two years ...
Okay, Okay .. I will give you a small task if you can do that tonight tomorrow night I will be your dance partner but remember you can do it only tonight not as and when you like. She was explaining what Senthil has to do. Agastya could not stand any longer. He started walking away. Kani came running after him. She met him at the gate.
|Gandhi medical college, Hyd - photo representation of medical college fest|
The following night the Annual day program of GMC Nungambakkam commenced. It was named AMBROSIA. The Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Delhi, the Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General, ICMR, the Director, GIPMER and other dignitaries were present on the occasion. The programme was inaugurated by the principal of the medical college while the Dean of the college invited the Medical students on to the dais who performed a skit on thalassemia honouring the theme “blood donation”.
The cultural program was inaugurated by classical dance at 6.00 PM in the college auditorium. The stage was lit by colourful lights , surrounded by amazing acoustic music. A group of girls appeared in the shape of closed lotus. Each girl in green is a bee. They slowly opened showing Ragini yellow clad in the centre. While Ragini in yellow clad sat on haunches the girls in green bent over her and covered her up. They slowly rose revealing Ragini. They danced with slow and gentle steps. The hand movements were quite uniform and repetitive. The bees are after the flower seeking the nectar like the suitors were after a girl seeking love. Ragini was the sakhi and the other girls were lovers showing the nine basic emotions' which are integral to Indian Classical dance.
Sakhiye Varnam song was performed by the group. Love and Srungara rasa were shown predominantly by the adolescent girls in green who acted as lovers. They were dancing around Ragini but at intervals all the dancers stop. One girl shows the facial expressions. She starts lifting and shaking the eyebrows communicating feelings of deep love while Ragini showed amazement in her face. Her response to the love is surprise.
The dance started again after Ragini replying to the facial feelings of the first girl. After a while the dancers stopped. Another girl showed feelings of love. Ragini showed feelings of fear. Her response to the love is fear. It is bhayanaka. The dance started again after Ragini replying to the facial feelings of the first girl. After a while the dancers stopped. Another girl showed feelings of love. Ragini showed feelings of Anger. Her response to the love is Kroda. Thus when the dance stopped each lover showed feelings of love and passion. But Ragini's response was not the same. She showed laughter, disgust and shock. The last suitor expressed her passion with Compassion ( karuna) and Tranquillity ( shanta rasa). Ragini took her hand into hers and they danced together. The subliminal message of love - Karuna and Shanta are exposed through dance. There was a big applause in the auditorium.
Later the western dance by ladies in jeans and gents and gents in Dhoti kurta. Permal was seen dancing energetically. Several times he lifted Ragini in his hands. Ponmoli and Kanmoli were also seen dancing enthusiastically. After the dance show is over Kanmoli and ponmoli came to Agastya who is sitting in the ring side. They also sat with him.
Elegant fashion show "style and statement" was announced. The fashion show began Ragini looked more attractive than in the dance show. There is no trance of Aravan and Senthil. What happened to Senthil? Asked Agastya. He is in the hospital. said Kanmoli.
Is he in our medical college? Asked Agastya. No, he is in MGM hospital. His parents are with him. said Ponmali. The music is going on. It adds flavour to the spirit of Ambrosia. The fashion show is going on . Agastya could not sit longer. He walked out.
Agastya was walking on the road. He did not know that Kanimoli was following him. His mind was agitated and turbulent. He has many questions swarming like flies around his mind. "S A P are only roommates. They look like friends but are they friends? Does Ragini love any of the three?" He was disturbed by such questions as these as they have no answers. His lips uttered loudly.
Conspiring minds never good friends make
nor lustful glances love
plain hearts foul play hate
A jilt can never be my mate
As he finished he heard the claps. He looked back and found Kani.
These beautiful lines resemble those of a historic poem Stone Walls do not a Prison make, Nor Iron bars a Cage. Every one who knows English are familiar to these lines.
Yes these lines are from the poem " To Althea, from Prison". In 1641 Lovelace was arrested for his involvement of the abolition of Episcopal rule which led to his arrest. He wrote from the prison
Stone Walls do not a Prison make,
Nor Iron bars a Cage;
Minds innocent and quiet take
That for an Hermitage.
If I have freedom in my Love,
And in my soul am free,
Angels alone that soar above,
Enjoy such Liberty.
Sounds great! complimented Kanimoli. Agastya smiled and said " That's alright , why are you following me" I have noticed that your heart is filled with hatred for Ragini. Are you here to advocate for your friend's noble ways?" asked Agastya. Kanimoli understood the irony in his words. " Men are on the top when it comes to nobility. women's nobility is only complementary " jeered Kanimoli. Agastya understood the sarcasm in her words. " wars are waged for land, gold and for women" said Agastya. If you fight today tomorrow you have to compromise" said Kani.
Agastya " Are you a doctor or a lawyer ?"
Kani" Neither , I am a friend" Agastya was amused by her wit and quickness of response. He wanted to say something but Kani " Love is not ready made. one has to build it through understanding and patience and strive to maintain before or after marriage, lest you should lose it" after speaking those words she turned back and walked away. Agastya kept staring at her back. Her beautiful shape was less appealing than her words. He found some deep philosophical meaning. He remembered his mother. Did his father he strive to maintain it?"
My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
He remembered the words from the ode to a Nightingale written by john Keats. What a suffering it is! The night was cool. He walked on. He wanted to see Senthil in MGM Hospital but thought it would be meddlesome. " I hate these three friends. They loosly fall after the girl. She is not a chaste." he told himself. " what did I do? I am doing the same thing like them." When that thought struck his mind he stopped the auto passing by and got in. The auto was moving. He stopped the auto by and reached writers' cafe. Vikram estates gleaming with lights looks like a different world.
He was walking to the entrance gate when two people were coming out. An old man and a young man. Only fat people can live here. said the old man. " Look at these 2bhk flats. They are simple. Perhaps they are meant for us. Those who get dirty money can live in those tall buildings. Agastya looked that side. There were two ordinary buildings meant for the middle class living. He walked towards those buildings. I must think about my mother. Is she so rich? She must be rich! She is the Managing Director of this estates. Then why does she have no car? She must have saved cash. who knows how much she has in bank? Agastya was answering his own questions. He entered the lift and pressed the button. The lift was moving up. My chennai visit is unexpected, my stay is unexpected, My stay for Ragini is meaningless, The medicos adventures and the results are their business. What business I have here? My mother. Let me ask directly. But how? He was thinking like that.
The lift stopped. He opened the door and entered the house. The door of the apartment was open. Angayar was there with Meenakshi. Meenakshi was shivering. Angayar was calling Taxi. Agastya asked Angayar " What happened to my mother?" " she has fever very often these days, She has vomiting and head ache too. She must be taken to hospital immediately." Said Angayar. "Mom, How are you? don't worry I am there." said Agastya.
Meenakshi smiled. the car did not come, but the neighbouring flat owner a jewellery merchant's wife Kukum Agarwal has come. Agarwal said " Let us go by my car. Meenakshi said " Government hospital." Agrwal recommended a near by private hospital but Meenakshi insisted that she be taken to the govt medical hospital.
Kumkum was driving the car Angayar sat beside her. Meenakshi sat in the back seat Agastya and Diana sat on either side of Meenakshi. What happened to you Amma asked Agastya. " Ammavukku uṭampu cariyillai" Said Kunkum. He doesn't know Tamil said "Meenakshi. " I can understand " said Agastya and felt her forehead. She has temperature. "Meenakshi had fever a few days ago. She had taken leave, again she got the fever." said Angayar to Kunkum. "Is it serious? you can take medicines and take rest" said Diana. "Yes, yes" said Meenakshi. Shut up Diana! Your specialisation is different. You have no say here, fever head ache and vomiting are grave symptoms!" said Angayar. Kunmum also agreed to Angayar's view. " Is it dangerous?" Agastya's voice quivered. " Don't scare him" said Meenakshi and fondling Agastya's curly locks but suddenly started throwing up. She controlled it by pressing her hands on her mouth. She was transferred to the window. kunkum downed the window glass and Meenakshi vomited. Agastya said " You should have called the doctor to home." There was silence. The car was going smoothly.
After two minutes Angayar asked Kunkum " Where are you going?"
Angayar : Why Bharatinagar? What is there?
Kunkum: VHS is there in Bharatinagar Kennady street, It is the nearest Government hospital in Taramani. Voluntary Health Services, popularly known as the VHS. It is a multispecialty hospital in Taramani that serves the economically weaker sections of the society.
Agastya :Take her to a corporate hosp... Meenakshi pressed Agastya's hand, he stopped abruptly. " But it is seven kilometers from our place Gopalapuram. It takes minimum 20 minutes." Said Diana.
Angayar : We have Roypet government Hospital here. It is only four minutes if you go via Peter's road. Kunkum turned the car to Roypet. The traffic is not much. She was driving fairly fat. Meenakshi threw up again from the window. Agastya got panicked. He asked Angayar " Aunty! what could it be?" Angayar looked seriously into his face.
Meenakshi looked at her facial expressions and smiled. She has an objection to the word Aunty. Agastya ate a humble pie and bent his head. He looked at her apologitically.
Angayar did not reply because that car reached Roypet Government Hospital. The car stopped before the emergency ward. Meenkashi was laid on a bed as she was week. In a few minutes a doctor came.
Doctor : since how many days you have fever?
Meenakhi: Since a week.
Doctor : Do you have chills? head ache? vomiting ?
Meenakshi: I have head ache and body pains.
Doctor: Do you have pain in the neck ? How many times you had vomiting?
Meenaskhi got tired and breathless . She was panting and gasping
Angayar : She never complained of neck pain, She vomited at least five times.
The doctor checked her pulse and said "Vomiting makes anybody week. we have to go for CBC, NAATs , NS1 Rapid test , MRI scan , CT scan...
Agastya: Please tell me doctor what happened to my mother.
Angayar : Nothing to worry Agastya..
The doctor was angry. He said " Ok she will treat your mother" with a grumpy face
Agastya: The doctor and I will finalise.
Doctor: You and I can not finalize , only the blood reports and scanning reports can.
"Doctor! why so many tests we are afraid" said Diana.
It could be meningitis , it could be dengue or something. NAATs test complete blood count, serological test or blood culture needed to determine Dengue fever. MRI scan , CT scans show how the brain is affected by meningitis. these tests take time only after the test results we can start the treatment. we don't have all these tests, better go to private hospital get the tests done fast and come with the reports. said the doctor.
"Who will be with the patient tonight here?"
That question comes after the patient is admitted in the ward. we will give you a pass since you are the son. until the patient is admitted in the ward and case sheet is prepared the nurse will take care. visitors can come in the visiting hours. said the doctor and left.
Angayar and Kunkum decided to shift Meenakshi to private hospital. I will pay for the tests, said Angayar. I will pay for the to pay the treatment said Kunkum. Mean time Agastya checked his mother's bag. He found twenty thousand. "Nobody needs to pay. My mother has brought the money." said Agastya. "Agastya It can be dengue or Meningitis. It may cost 2 two 3 lakhs. You can not, let us" said Angayar. Agastya wanted two things he didn't want to leave his mother. He didn't want others to pay her hospital bills. " No I can" said Agastya. Let us move from here said Angayar. Diana suggested that they should go to Apollo Hospital in Greams road since it it just 2 km from Royapet. Meenakshi was instantly shifted to Apollo.