Deep from the recesses of my mind I dig back fourteen years in the retrospect,a medico trying to make sense of a culture so foreign to the one I was brought up in.It was the days of intense heat,mosquitoes,ghugnis,rickshaws and manjula the maid who was forever on the tree-top.Sitting out on metal beds to get that whiff of a gale that frittered past ,watching,waiting,chatting,living a life so different and yet so enlightening.
The smell of formalin reeking through the perspiration of the fifty heads poring over a dead body,pulling a muscle here,a nerve there,memorising,agonising over some nameless body parts.
An illiac bone used as a sun-shade,femur a support.....it went on...it never seemed to end.The day I could chuck the bones was the happiest day of my life and the night before the anatomy exams the most harrowing.
What kept me going were those poetry sessions that could flourish where-else but bengal-it was a life-line indeed.Nothing was spared,not the mosquitoes,not the rickshawpuller,not even the dead bodies that lay on the dissection table!
I remember Deepak Vohra,the kindly breakfast show host in Doordarshan, which then had monopoly over the television rites, reading my poem out in the national television.I just loved the man .The last I heard ,he was in news for some diplomatic wrangle at the airport!
The poem was titled'Awakening' and it was about mosquitoes!
Now I seem to have lost the words -I have those diaries somewhere-a part of my growing up years.