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A collection of true stories of fun, mischief, friendship, successes, failures, ambitions, love, hatred, triumphs and dreams of a teenage boy studying mbbs at shree pramukh swami medical college, karamsad, gujarat, india.

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  1. 1. MY FIRST MBBS the white rainbow neh
  2. 2. MY FIRST MBBS the white rainbow neh
  3. 3. This file was generated by an automated blog to book conversionsystem. Its use is governed by the licensing terms of the original content hosted at Powered by
  4. 4. those who inspired wife jasmine and writer chetan bhagat
  7. 7. SECRETS OF BOYS HOSTEL : FOOLS WITHOUT APRILApril 01, 2011well friends, i was trying to write about our awesome experiences atpanchvati slum with dr rajesh metha. but 1st april reminded mesome events in our hostel. so over to hostel room no 19 new boyshostel, psmc campus!i have had little chance to mention something about my roompartner biren, i mean, biru dada to put it more correctly! myself,tapasvi and biren remained room partners from day one tothroughout our mbbs years.biren was from gandhinagar and hisfather was a govt servant. his complexion was a bit dark like me andwas little short than me in height.he had typical amdavadispeech.while tapasvi was a giant, myself and biren were thin andlean weighing hardly some fifty kilos at that time.biren used to speak very less-only when needed.but he had soundknowledge of the world he was living with. while i and tapasvi wereliving in our own dream world sometimes, biru was always in realworld.far more practical."you know neh, why we all do study?" once he asked me." so that we be doctors."i answered wondering why he asked such aquestion."oh really? you mean is that the goal?" he really had something inhis mind."what else?" i scratched my head."see, i can prove something else. he smiled. okay, now he would 1
  8. 8. reveal the secret."neh, you study and you will be doctor after sometime. so what nextwill you do?" he said."i will get some good job and will practice." i had a plain answer."and then? no plan to earn some money?""naturally, i will earn my salary.""is that all? what next?" he was playing game."that is all...and then...." nothing more i could isaid"probably i will marry"- "yess! thats it!" he promptly interruptedmy answer with sparks in both of his eyes." so neh, you have learnt a lesson. we all study ultimately to marry."he laughed and folded both his hands to make a heart shape andagain spoke loudly "ULTIMATELY TO MARRY....!"biren never used to hide his innate feelings despite speaking less.he had stuck a big cut out of his favorite heroine on his cupboard.heused to goto his home gandhinagar every week and used to bring alot of tasty breakfast and college gossips especially about girls toshare with late evening, when biren, myself and tapasvi were chatting inour room no 19 after routine tasteless dinner, one of our good friendentered our room. biren was sitting on a study table with support ofhis hands behind, while i was sitting on my cot and tapasvi was inhis chair."whats up friends?" our friend appeared very happy somehow thatday."nothing yaar, just chatting" i answered."hey biren, what is there near your left hand?" our friend asked biren 2
  9. 9. pointing to a small glass bottle having some white crystals inside."you mean this?" biru swiftly lifted the bottle in his hand andpretended to examine it very carefully by taking it near his eyes."this is...salt. simple salt." he stretched the word salt five times thenormal." i think there is sugar in it."our good friend opined as he nearedbiru." hey man, do not try to taste it" biru hid the glass bottle with hishand behind him as if it was something like sugar admixed with realdiamond powder."oh really? see, i cannot be fooled like this. i know it is sugar andyou are teasing me." said our good friend."why should i lie to you? this is saaalt and i am not giving it to you atany cost."biru started controlling the mind game."you give me and i will prove myself." a bit agitated, out good friendrushed to the bottle.biru transfered the bottle from one hand to theother ans stretched that hand away from our good friend. our goodfriend tried to snatch the bottle, the struggle went on for a fewseconds."ok ok.."said biru ultimately "you won. there is sugar in the bottle. iwill give it to you but for gods sake, do not taste it!" biru threw hislast yorker of the mind game.our good friend, because of biru, had become so desperate to provehimself, grabbed the glass bottle from birus hand.he opened itwithin milliseconds and threw the white powder directly in his wideopen mouth. 3
  10. 10. ouch!! his mouth was full of salt! the muscles of the face of our goodfriend were stretched to all possible directions to make a horriblelook of his face which we never would forget!!at another occasion, one of our good friend was boasting a lot abouthimself and to his gross misfortune,biru heard it. all of us includingsome of our lobby parters were there in our hostel room no 19. ourroom was something about 20*12 ft spacious with the cots andthree study tables.from the balcony, we could see jungle of oureukeliptus trees. it was beautiful scene.i have forgotten the exact topic of conversation, but our good friendwas boasting about himself being a real man."man, you have to stand up for the cause you feel if you are a realman! i do it and face the world.i never step back. a real man like mecan shape his own future in his own way! i tell you, only a few manlike me are having such capacity." he was preaching all of us ashow a man should behave and how should he make himself.biru listened to his version of being a man for a few minutes.then,without looking at our good real man friend, said in a plain voice "see man, i do not understand whatever you are saying aboutyourself. the world will believe you a man only when you havesomething really between your two legs!""hey do you mean i dont have it?" suddenly our good friendsattention shifted to the unexpected attack.all of us were just stunnedby birus attack." i never said that but what i said is an ancient fact.i will havereasons to believe you otherwise, if you dont have that." my good 4
  11. 11. friend was sucked in the argument."leave this! i can prove i am a man anytime" now our friend wasalmost screamed."oh really? how can we believe you? if you ask me, i will not believeanything without proof." still biru was purposefully looking away fromour good friend just to drive him mad!you have your chance today to prove.prove it the way i tell you"what biru was up to? asking him to strip naked or something in frontof all of us? i could not believe it!"why should i prove it to you? who are you?" our good friends facewas seen grossly irritated"relax man! i am nothing."biru chuckled " if you wish, you can proveor otherwise..""-what otherwise?"our good friend stood up in excitement almost toattack biru."hey if you hit me that is not going to prove you a real man..."biruwent a step back. " see....otherwise all these friends of ours willhave chance believe what i believe right now for you..!" pointing afinger to all of us biru saidour good friend gazed us. we all probably looked serious to him. hisface also turned serious."okay, what should i do?" he asked biru accepting the challenge. 5
  12. 12. "nothing. just show it!""show what?"" the vital masculine part of your body that you are missing in myopinion!" biru was a cold blooded killer!"no. that never can happen" he resisted almost screaming." see friends? i am right!" biru smiled."no! "he shouted " i am a real man!""then prove it!"our good friend was highly agitated and was breathing fast. helooked desperate to prove himself."okay,okay..calm down... i have a suggestion.. "all looked biren witheager faces. what suggestion?"you can show that to me in private and i will tell all the friends if youare a real man."our good friend seemed puzzled but for him, i guessed, thesuggestion was better than to strip in front of all of us."come on!" biru swiftly opened the door to balcony. still lookedpuzzled, our good friend went to biru and the door was closed.whatwas happening?after couple of minutes,as we waited eagerly, the door opened."he really showed me!" exclaimed biru. " i never expected you sucha fool!" biru told our good friend.he looked very confused and depressed. his face blushed red. we 6
  13. 13. could not stop laughing as we saw him." i really do not know" our good friend probably spoke to himself asgrasped his head with both of his hands and threw his loose bodyon one of the cot. "why i did this at all? why did i listened to biru atall? but why me?"what a mind game biru could play and win and could make foolswithout April! 7
  14. 14. MARU JIVAN ANJALI THAJO!March 23, 2011it was not only me, my best friends tapasvi and hemant both werealso touched by dr rajesh mehta."tapasvi, i intend to go to dr mehtas weekly meetings. will you joinme?" i asked tapasvi. though hailing from ruthless darbarcommunity, tavasvis make up was all different.though tall andpowerful, he had very soft heart and was very emotional. he was ason of a famous poet,writer and director shree indu puwar. probablyhe and hemant were my only friends which could understand someof my odd ideas and emotional outbursts."yes neh, definitely we will go together. hemant also would like tocome." i was almost sure of that.dr mehta casted a kind of magicalspell on us.hemant, son of a medical officer, dr. ghanshyam shah,working at an interior village gothwa, was fanatically charged withemotions to serve the underprivileged. his family originally lived intodays pakistan before partition. on sundays when all others,including tapasvi, were gone home, i and hemant used to enjoy oursolitude.many a times we had hot discussions for burning issues ofour people. we would agree most of the times and some times not.we highly depended on each other to bring our ideas to action.when we discussed, he used to be very emotional. i remember onesuch night,when we had a very hot discussion. there was some disagreement at a point. after fierce arguments, no one couldconvince. it all culminated in deep silence ultimately. after a fewminutes i saw tears rolling by hemants eyes.that made my eyes wet 8
  15. 15. too. that disagreement was the greatest agreement made betweentwo friends!some of our seniors were already going to dr mehtas healthcircle.some had gone just for their curiosity. naturally differentpersons had different view points for dr mehta " that weird doctor?what he feels is he? his dressing and way of talking just irritates me!i never can accept such a doctor." said one of our seniors." you will spoil your time for nothing. he will take you to nearby slumand ask you to serve! he is a kind of half mad man.if you join him,you will also be like him! people laugh behind all those who go to hismeetings!" another opinion from a senior."see, going to slum for service, talking about countrymen and howto uplift their life....all sounds sooooo good! but in reality whatdifference would it make to crores of such poor people? does hebelieve he can change the world just by this? i dont believe him!"some had more rationalized version to spell their negativity for drmehtas activities.however, apart from a few such strong critics,most of the students, even if not going to his meetings, had respectfor dr mehta and his activities.on the day of meeting,there was nothing much to discuss amongstourselves. we all three went there. the meeting was in our collegebuilding at a small garden of deptt of PSM. some students frommedical college and some girls from the nursing college were sittingfolding their legs making circle on the was evening time afterthe college hours. dr mehta was also in the circle.he looked nothing 9
  16. 16. different than in the class room.somehow i felt very soothing there.itwas as if my hidden wish to do something for the poor was about tobe granted. there were no any formalities. soon, dr mehta closed hiseyes for prayer.from the way he sung, it was obvious he was not asinger but you could feel he could sing from his heart. all othersjoined him to complete the chorus. i remember only a few lines ofthat prayer presently.jeevan anjali thajo maru jivan anjali thajo!bhukhya kaje bhojan banajo, tarasya nu jal thajo!( but i got full prayer from the net and copied it here!)ssss sssss ssss !sssss ssss sssss ssss !sssssss ssss ssss ssss, sssssssss ss ssss;sssss:sssssss ssss ss’sss ssss sss s sssss!sssss ssss sssss ssss !ssss sssssss ssss ss sssss sss ssssss; 10
  17. 17. sss ssssss sssss sssss ssss sssss ssss!sssss ssss sssss ssss !ssssssss ssss ssss sss ssss sssss ssss;ssssss ssssssss ssssssss sssss sss sssss !sssss ssss sssss ssss !ssssss sssss ssss sss ssssssss ssss;sssssss ssss ssss ssss ss sssss ssssss!sssss ssss sssss ssss !sssssss sssss 11
  18. 18. the prayer churned our heart. it reflected our emotions soaring highat that could wet corners of our eyes. but to be emotional wasnot everything. that emotion had to transform to a definite action.probably, i felt, dr mehta was able to give us that chance."friends, we have some new friends with us today" said dr mehtapointing to us." can you please introduce yourself?"" tapasvi puawar from ahmedabad."" hemant shah from visnagar""neh vaidya from bhuj""ok ...let me tell you something about this activity. health circle is alike minded friends group interested in doing activities which couldhelp those who are in need.routinely , we go to nearby slum and runa clinic from them.we provide them free drugs.we also do preventiveactivities in the community. we believe in holistic medicine andrational use of drugs. we believe all human beings equal may theycome from any religion, social or economic status. we have equalrespect for all the religions. we want youngsters who believe inhumanity and are determined to work for the change in the society."thus our journey with dr mehta started. it was because of him, wecould meet several good friends like kp, ragnesh, neeraj pandit,chavli, kadri, uma sister, meghna sister and many more. how could iforget jagdish soni? a gem of the persons i ever had met. he turnedto be a true friend forever. dr. bhalendu vaishnav was a very goodphysician devoting time to activities of the health circle. 12
  19. 19. dr mehtas push gave us capacity, strength and determination to dowhat we really wished. he nurtured our tender feelings. it wasbecause of him , we could meet some great people like vinaycharul, daxaben-anilbhai-rashmibhai, dr ketan zaveri, dr shreedhar,dr anurag bhargav.they all were great inspiration for us ( and stllthey are! they all need separate chapter for proper introduction.)of course, not every thing about dr mehtas personality i liked. hewas a staunch devotee of shree swaminarayan bhagwan. he hadgreat zeal to read and to follow the holy book written by bhagwanshree swaminarayan, the shiksha patri. live me alone, i never evenliked to go to any temple. some of his ideas were simply away frommy routine reasoning. even if working vigorously in the villages, hewould not eat anything from the market. leave the market, he wouldnot accept any kind of food from the homes of the villagers- noteven as a reciprocation of love shown by the villagers to him! heused to keep chana and peanuts in his pocket. that was the onlything he used to eat while working hours in the villages.most strange part of his personality, however, was not this. eventhough he had master degree in preventive medicine, to our grosssurprise, he was against the routine vaccination! this wascompletely weird! it was digestible if an illiterate villager refused thevaccination but when you know everything about vaccines and thediseases prevented by vaccination, how could you refuse it? still, hedid. probably that had some strong religious reasons beyond mycomprehension. 13
  20. 20. but still, could you stamp dr mehta a half mad man like some of myseniors? just because he dressed differently?just because he hadsome ideas to work for the poor? just because he was religious? forthose who work for some change in the society, probably had toface such a strong criticism some time in their life. history is full ofsuch so called half mad people which has contributed enormouslyto betterment of our daily lives. to my perception, dr mehta was oneof such person. his dedication, determination and truthful naturewas unquestionable.dr mehta remained teacher, guide and a good friend for life time forall of us. 14
  21. 21. THE ENCOUNTERMarch 17, 2011Most of the professors in our college, especially in 1st mbbs, weretypical professors. They had a specific way of dressing, usually,wearing suit and tie, nicely ironed, well polished shoes, and tidyhaircut and always clean shaved. As for example, take drmazoomdar, head of deptt of the physiology. He was seen in suitand ties most of the times and used to speak mostly in English. Hehad a halo around him. When he taught, his body language was likeany professor teaching since ages! We also had seen realprofessors like dr s d nishith, an ex army man, teaching physiology.Our dean was dr gulati, a pharmacologist, a very serious man,wasalways seen well dressed. His expressions some how appeared abit concerned and tense. He had big spectacles with thick plasticframe. I never met him, rather may be because of his halo, somehow, never dared to meet him. Our vice dean was dr rey, again anex army man,who even though serving in medical college, probablystill believed himself in the army! He had typical army like way ofdressing and talking. I had to meet him couple of times for gettingmy identity card signed.Barring a few, most of the teachers were unapproachable for asimple student like me. May be, it was because they were fromdifferent cultural background or mostly because my perception wasso. for me and probably most of the other students, it appeared,professor of medical college meant a highly polished Englishspeaking suit tied person. 15
  22. 22. however, if there are no surprises, it is not the life! It was a routineafternoon lecture of preventive and social medicine[psm], a subjectdisliked by most of the students. Usually, dr arya, who dared toteach richettesia (an organism somewhere between the viruses andthe bacterial world, mainly responsible for trachoma, infection ofeyes) in the very first lecture of PSM, used to come to teach us, Imean, to bore us with the subject.However, since it was necessary to attend at least some 70% of thelectures to be eligible to give exams, the class remained mostly fullin even such boring lectures. We were expecting dr arya in hisroutine professor’s suit, but that day, an odd man, rather, a highlyodd professor entered our class.He was lean thin and of average height. He was not in suit, neitherhe wore shoes, rather, even his chappals were not polished! Hewas dressed simply in shirt and pants. He probably did not care todo in-shirt. He had simple plastic framed spects and there was a bigswaminarayan tilak on his forehead. His Hairs were immersed inhair oil. He looked more like swaminarayan devotee than aprofessor!“ mitro”, to our surprise, he started in gujarati as he climbed thestage! “ maru naam dr rajesh Mehta chhe. (my name is dr rajeshMehta).” And he continued in gujarati “ friends, can you all tell mewhy did you choose to become a doctor?”He asked a very basic question. Probably a soul searching one forall of us.the class was a bit taken for a surprise. 16
  23. 23. “ when you did choose, you must have thought of about this. I reallyam interested to know about it. Can we go for a simple exercise?”his eyes were on all of us. “ I am giving you options. You choosefrom them and tell me.” The class responded silence as theagreement .“ these are the choises… first, to earn a lot of money, secondly, toearn and to serve the society, thirdly to work and to see the god…be honest.. this has nothing to do with either your curriculum orexams..” and he started asking from the first bench onwards.Almost all students chose the second option. but many of honeststudents emphasized on good earning too that made dr. Mehtahappier. For me, money was not important at that time, I mustconfess. And my idea was mainly to serve the masses for which Ileft my much liked physics and engineering career while choosingbranch at the time of counseling after routine 12 std exam results.As far as seeing god, no way! Even a half believer at that time, Inever had a zeal to encounter god. if suppose, i some how saw god,what difference would it make to others?would it improve their livesanyway? It probably was not important to see god but was importantto care for his creation as I believed at that time.So, for me too, it was the second option when was asked.“ I really am happy. Almost all of you are you know withwhat dream i entered the medical college?” Said dr mehta, lookingdeeper in his own heart.”i entered medical college dreaming to be ahumble servant of villagers and poor people. through their service, iwanted to realize god. i dreamed myself going to interior villages on 17
  24. 24. my own bicycle carrying essential medicines in a small box! friends,this dream, in a way , has not changed even today." he looked onour faces, unknowingly appealing some where inside." Ok let usnow move to the subject..” he paused a bit before starting." do you know there are thousands of people getting dreadeddisease like cancer just because of tobacco chewing? do you knowso many deaths can be prevented just by saying no toalcohol?....yes..probably all of you know this fact." he continuedfurther in his unimpressive voice and un polished gujarati. "we needto spread this message to our people. we can go to people and tellthem the facts,educate them and their lives can be saved.""sir" suddenly i stood up. "sir how to convince those which alreadyare addicted to alcohol or tobacco?"" you can tell them the ill effects and tell them that they would die ifthe continue to their bad habits." dr mehta tried to convince me first."sir, such people would say they would die someday evenotherwise. why not to first enjoy the life by all bad and good waysand then die?"as the students listened the discussion, i cited one ofthe basic argument of all the addicts. sir could not reply for this,whole of the class clapped!probably the claps were for myargument.this was very first time when whole of the class showeredclaps for me. i was a bit flattered and felt like winner. dr mehta 18
  25. 25. raised his hand to stop the noise of the clapping students.afterabout a minute, when noise lessened, he said "you can tell themthey would die an early, slow and painful death."i sat down and dr mehta continued with teaching.this man was reallya weird one! could you imagine such a doctor? he was not at allworried for the way he appeared to MBBS class and even to hisown counter parts. no one asked us the basic question that heasked.and why should he be interested in asking such a question?may be he just wanted us to introspect. or did he really hadsomething in his mind? when he spoke of his dream, i felt probablythat was my dream too. though his voice was not impressive butwas really truthful and was perceived directly from his the end of the lecture, he said, "if some one from you is reallyinterested in serving the poor, they can come to a small friend circlewe have created. we have named it the health circle. we meetevery week and we go to nearby slum and do different healthactivities. i invite only those who really are interested. this activity isnot going to help you in any of your exams. it will eat away your timerather. so you are welcome only if you really are determined ." andhe left the class. 19
  26. 26. WELCOME PARTY:A SECRET REVEALED!March 10, 2011arrival of new batch remains ceremonial in any college. since ourswas a rural college, away from the city atmosphere, we hadadvantage and disadvantage of being alone. we were like a smallvillage where every one knows each other in detail! addition of 100new students every year added new strength and flavor to thecampus. seniors were,naturally, interested in juniors to make newfriends and add to their groups.for the boys of the campus, a batchwas perceived beautiful when there were more beauties in it!to show and to prove how the ideal introduction of the freshersshould be, it was our dream to organize an introduction party for ourjunior batch. we could not arrange it for our immediate juniorhardiks batch but we could do it for the next batch.(vasu, chaula,chavli,kanuji).our way did not include any ordering, questioning orforcing anything. we wanted our junior students to come on stage,give their introduction and perform any item of their choice.thatcould give a chance to show their talent.demoralizing them in frontof the audience or making them feel low by commenting veryabsurd was not a part at the same time, routine ragging was going on despite ouropposition. from those happenings, everyday, some news used totrickle about the juniors. there was one girl which threatened seniorswith police because her father was a policeman! one other girl wasvery smart and also fearless. it was heard,her quick answered madethe seniors speechless! 20
  27. 27. one of the boys was taken to the terrace and was made to sleep onthe floor in burning sunlight. we opposed that type of ragging. andso we had quarrel with our seniors as i mentioned in my previousblog.on the other side, some of the boys had no fear of raggingwhatsoever!whole of our batch took the responsibility of the event.we alreadywere meeting every Thursday. we used that platform to organizewelcome party for the junior batch. the best part of any of ourprogram was, we never invited any so called big people like dean,heads of the deptts or professors to our events. so the eventsremained highly personal and liberal for all. also, we never usedmoney for any event. a fine evening was chosen for the event. ourbatch mates invited all the juniors with a great our surprise, the juniors were very much talented.there weregood number of stage performers.soon there was list of studentswho wanted to present something on the stage apart from routineintroduction. everything seemed so smooth. but it was probablypeace before a storm!"whatever you say or do, we are going to teach a lesson to a girl inthe program." one of my good friend warned me." that girl is oversmart. she feels she can handle anything. we have decided to pullher legs when she comes to stage. we will not let her perform!"surely, they had the news from the routine ragging about that girl!"that can spoil our event. i urge you to not to do any thing that ruins 21
  28. 28. everything!" i requested. they laughed at my point nastily."neh, we promise to not to spoil everything but we definitely dosomething that the girl remembers for the life!"the red light was fromthe most mischievous group of our batch but we had no choice. itold the situation to my friends. since we never invited the big headsin any event, the events had to be self disciplined. we felt we shouldhandle the situation as it arises. so despite this, we went onorganizing the event.the day came and we assembled in our lecture hall. we had a verybig lecture hall having capacity of about 500 people.the hall was fullwith the spectators.there was no space to even stand in the hall.thebunch of the students which warned us also took their position. thenoise of the students subsided as jasmine shah startedannouncement. if i remember, beji and anish were also managingthe stage. juniors were warmly welcomed by our batch.the juniors started performing. what would happen when that girlcomes on the stage? that was the question repeatedly striking mymind. the event was smooth and all were enjoying the performanceon the stage. i saw that girl sitting with her friends in the audiencewaiting for her turn. she was a fair lady, had boy cut hairs andEuropean eyes.she looked a bit fatty and doll like. Would it bepossible for her to perform? only time could tell. at the most shemight have to leave the stage, or we might be forced to take someaction on our batch mates. still, it was a matter of worry.the performers mesmerized with their talents one by one.chaulamadhavi and vasu sung nice songs as i remember. there were 22
  29. 29. many more performers including vimpal, shikha, chavli, ronak,jeet.(correct me and add to this please)finally, name of the "over smart" girl was announced increasing myheart beats. i really was afraid as any mischief could hurt her a loton one part and could spoil relations amongst us on the other part.also, our ideal way of taking introduction of the junior batch was at astake. now, this is what i remember perfectly- the boys startedmaking noise with the announcement. who would save her? my surprise, the girl gracefully climbed on the stage andintroduced herself.her hight was less. i felt as if she was not at alldeterred by the noise and shouting by the boys.she confidently wenton the stage and started speaking. as she started, the shoutingincreased, but she probably was made of iron. she was speaking asif the mischief makers did not exist at all! the way she spoke, all theboys against her simply were over ruled! all had no choice but tostop the shouting! her confidence was far more greater than anymischief makers would have thought of! she nicely performed dancewith her friends crushing all the expectations of my good friends likea big bulldozer.i simply was speechless.the girl was none other than soniya! hatsoff to her!practically she ragged all the seniors. the event was agrand success. 23
  30. 30. RAGGING JUNIORS?March 04, 2011(i must admit that even after having bitter relations with some of theseniors in those days, after wards, almost all helped us and becamegood friends. it was just difference of opinion at that time. i mustremember sanjeev rao and sajan nayar at this point.)when our immediate junior batch arrived, we were just adjustingourselves in the campus because that batch arrived within just sixmonths of our admission to pramukhswami medical college. butsince we had grown a bit, we had our own ideas of first timeinteraction with the junior batch. memories of our own ragging wasafresh. we, especially, hemant, tapasvi and myself were highlyagainst routine way of ragging.bimal, vimal, anish, kapil were withus.when the new batch arrived, ragging re started like a routine collegeceremony. some of the boys were made to do things which werehighly demoralizing. it all disturbed us a lot and we felt ashamed ofbeing senior students and doing nothing to stop this madness. evensome of our good friends turned bad raggers as they becameseniors.the girls hostel was also not an exception to such activities.(beji, one of our best friend, was considered a good ragger. i still donot know for what reason!)hemant being a highly idealistic man, complained about all of this tothe authorities. naturally many of our seniors disliked his action. wehad some good and fearless seniors like jagdish soni and amiruddin 24
  31. 31. kadri to be on our side. there were some good teachers who wishedto see good culture in our college. notably, dr rajesh mehta and drbhalendu was not surprising to find most of the seniors and even our batchmates against our anti ragging ideas. while some of them justenjoyed ragging the juniors, others rationalized their actions inname of "good introduction leading to good friendship". somestudents had feelings of revenge translating into repeating whatthey suffered as freshers like mother in laws seen in tv serials! wesaw our own batch mates, which were highly against ragging at thetime of our batchs ragging, turning raggers when they becomeseniors. some wanted to rag just to prove themselves superior andauthoritarian, while others believed to do such duty to save theculture of the college.A few had an argument that since the world was full of bad peopleand experiences, they were just preparing their juniors for such aworld by ragging them badly! they simply wanted to make thejuniors bold. so in their opinion, they were doing a great social work!we felt ragging an in human and cowardly act in which a group ofseniors would order some weird and demoralizing actions to ahelpless fresh junior.but to our surprise, many of the teachers had pro ragging ideas.some of them used to ask seniors " teach some good manners toyour juniors!" so, made up of such a students committee,even afterhemants official complaint, the authorities did nothing to prevent 25
  32. 32. ragging. thus , in a way we were in a great minority and figures ofdislike in the campus.however, there was something more to happen. one day just when iwas going to college, rao, our student leader,stopped me near theboys hostel staircase."what do you believe you are? we are not going to tolerate you...understood?" he really was unhappy.i had no answer. he gave me astaring look for a few seconds and climbed the stairs making noiseof his foot steps.even today, i am not knowing, whether there was any relation of thefollowing event with what rao said.for some reason, hemant had to go to his home for a few days. atone good evening, i and tapasvi just were entering the boys hostel.we were stopped by some strange looking outside boys."hey you both! stop here. are you friends of that white boy hemant?"one tall boy inquired. "where is that (...)!""what is wrong? he has gone home" i replied." he has assaulted our sister. tell that (....) we will break all hisbones if we find him!" he warned us "take this as our last warning.tell him to behave well or we will create hell of his life... ok?". theywent away.hemant mis behaved with a girl? no one on this earth could believe 26
  33. 33. that! in fact he was a boy never interested in any of the girls of thecollege or outside(except one- with whom he married afterwards.)he never spoke a single good or bad word for any of the was very clear to us that the out side boys just wanted to havesome point to start the quarrel. it was easy to blame any college boyfor such a reason. any one would be furious to such a falseaccusation.when he came back, we decided to not to let him go anywherealone. he was a fearless man and nothing could deter him fromwhat he was doing. despite threats, he continued to work againstragging. later, in his own secret ways, he met the leader of thosestrange boys and resolved the issue as far as i remember. theywere locals from karamsad and were told to give threat to us,especially hemant.since we were the minority, our movement probably could not domuch in our perception. but definitely, it created a firm opposition toraggers which had effortless dominations till then. (only, students ofour junior batch, chavli, kanuji, hardik, padhiyar,sejul can commentmore on the impact of our opposition)i remember taking introduction of some of my junior friends in myown way. sejul was one of them i still remember. i do not know howhe remembers this event or if at all he has the memory!i met him at old boys hostel in bimals room. bimal, not a flagshipanti ragger but definitely a humanitarian, was talking to sejul and 27
  34. 34. rajul. he asked me to have some word with sejul. i rememberrequesting sejul to come for a walk with me and we talked on theway. i asked about his native and interest, told about mine. we alsotalked about our hobbies and i offered him friendship which heaccepted and remained so till date.some of our seniors asked us a genuine question. " boys, if you areagainst the present way of introduction, how senior batch shouldinteract with the freshers? the must be some way. or there will be nointeraction between the batches at all. what kind of culture do youwant in the college?"But we had ready made idea- we wanted to arrange an introductionparty to our junior batch. the idea was to invite all of the juniors tothe function and let them perform on the stage any thing of theirchoice. our batch was already meeting every the ideaclicked.(see my next blog story) 28
  35. 35. CONNED BY GIRLS?February 09, 2011CONNED BY GIRLS?[kindly hit "like" button if you like he story]Any medical college class is blessed with at least 50% population ofgirls! So was ours. Our engineer counterparts were very poor ! theyhardly had a few girls in whole of the campus. If you want to reallyfeel “the ground impact” of reverse sex ratio, just visit anyengineering college campus! Our campus was colorful that way.Also, there were many couples in every batch, making our campuslively real college campus.Every corner of our college corridors was mostly occupied by one orother couple. You could see the senior batch’s couples happilyriding on bikes, chatting under beautiful mango trees, walkingholding hands late night on our no traffic campus roads, eatingtogether in the mess, reading side by side in the library, orsometimes some couples were seen in dark corners and deepeucalyptus jungle of our campus.Heena, my classmate, sometimes used to say jokingly “ I really amfed up with these couples. No corner, no tree, no reading place iswithout them! They are creating indirect pressure on all of us!!”Our seniors rightly named our campus mini Switzerland. It reallywas that in all the aspects- beautiful, near the heart of the nature, 29
  36. 36. away from routine life of a city, perfect for romance! Chemistry ofour magical campus also started to have its own spell on our batch.Sameer, one of my good friends, was a tall, handsome, stylish andfair boy of my batch. Also, he was my dissection and lobby partner.Because of late admission, a girl was added to our dissection batch-margi. She was a frank and friendly girl. She used to talk a lot withall of us. as seen in our films, after meeting on dissection table,shortly sameer and margi fell in love. They got wholeheartedsupport from almost all the batch mates. while Their union wasmatter of celebration for all of us, Their news created a shock wavein the campus because they were just 1st MBBS students! Somepeople were really not happy with the news as margi was from ahindu family while sameer was a muslim. However, I must say, theymade a perfect couple ! soon, their families agreed to their decisionand they became the first official couple of our batch!From our senior batches, there were number of couples. Asurprising fact about all the couples was, we had never heard anybreak up at that time! The couples were respected by all, even theteachers. The couples were graceful. I must remember priya andGD at this point. They were icons for us.For me, naturally, the subject of love was more of human rights thana personal one! Like in any college, There were many boys in linelooking for perfect love. All had their own way of presentation. Somewere stylish, some were impressive. I must admit I never was partof the line but at the same time I was not completely averse to it. 30
  37. 37. To my perception, I was an average boy, un stylish, non impressive.Most of the time, I used to wear khadi clothes. i Never usedanything more than a routine soap, not even shaving cream! Khadigave me probably a staunch gandhian look. Was not this enough tobe a repellent for fair sex? Add to this my inclination towards one ofthe most hated subject by elite class and most of the medicalstudents - social work and community medicine! My portfolio wasstill not over. I was one of the most irritant student of the class as Iused to ask many questions to the teacher when everybody elsewanted to complete the class. despite my un ending queries, Ineither was a ranker nor was a scorer of my class. rather, I hardlywas able to clear the routine exams…. nothing impressive! I wasn’ta sportsman. Skating, cricket, swimming, table tennis even chess,carom – I knew nothing. Yes, I was a bathroom singer and a halfpoet! I never had a bike. leave the bike, in fact, I did not know howto drive even a gearless scooter like kinetic!As our first terminal exam approached, I started reading thesubjects my way. On the day of the exam, we went to big lectureroom of our new college building. We were given seats and theexaminers started distributing the question paper. The exam was ofanatomy. It was my habit to not to read the whole question paperand start answering it. Hilariously, I used to write whatever I knew atlength- so my short notes looked assay and assays appeared likeshort notes! I never used to see the clock while answering. It wasfoolish, I accept, but It was routine for me to sacrifice couple ofcompulsory questions as I used to write everything including theoptional questions! 31
  38. 38. When I was trying to prepare myself again for such “heroic” blunder,suddenly , I noticed a crying girl in the class. I gazed there and sawa girl crying and telling something to our tutor and supervisor, drrakesh Gandhi.Dr Gandhi, being a perfect teacher, was talking empathetically withthe girl. He persuaded something and within about 10 min, the girlagain sat down for exam. Why should one cry at all for such aterminal exam? Was it as important as life? Even if you fail, therewas not much to loose as it was only a terminal exam.. It soundedridiculous to me. ( at that time I was not aware that the crying spellsjust at the time of exam were awaiting to create hell for me infuture!)When result was out, despite coming from gujarati medium school,that girl scored the highest, while I hardly passed. In our class, sheused to sit on the first batch vigorously noting down probablyeverything spoken by the teacher. While I used to ask questions inthe class, she never did that.I had very little information about her as heard from others. She didnot stay in the hostel. She was a local coming from vallabh vidyanagar. While I was sharing third rank with shantilal in my v.d. highschool’s 12th std class and was second last to get in the medicalcurriculum, getting admission only at psmc, Some one said shestood first in anand district 12th exam and was getting admission inall the medical colleges of Gujarat. She opted for psmc onlybecause it was near to her home. I came to psmc all the way frombhuj because I wanted not only to be a doctor but also wanted to 32
  39. 39. learn independent life. She used to wear thick minus glasses. Shealso was the shortest girl of our class. she was the youngest too assome one told me. I was the oldest.She used to come to college on her kinetic Honda. Mostly, she wasseen with beji and anu, on her back seat while driving in thecampus. I never had spoken to her.Once just after the class, she asked me “ hey neh, how come youask so many questions in the class?”“Just like that….you know..” I fumbled. She smiled and went away.She was jasmine.For my college day’s poetry, Good friends like vimal used toencourage me in those days( as today!). vimal was kind enough toshare my poems with his like minded friends. Also, he used to readmy poems to jasmine.One day, just after our anatomy dissection class, jasmine was outside the hall waiting for some one. I casually said hi to her.She said “ your writings are nice, neh! I like them. you are a goodwriter..”“ when you stand in front of sun, your shadow will appear far biggerthan what you are!” I told jasmine “ it is because you are kindenough to praise me.” thus, gradually, our friendship got tuned in!Soon after, jasmine became an uncontested 1st ranker of our class.the second number usually lagged far behind her tally of marks.There never was neck to neck competition for her. Competitionpractically started from the second rank onwards in our class! 33
  40. 40. Jasmine was very good comparer on the stage and she had naturalcapacity to keep the audience spell bound. She could handle thewhole college mob with microphone in her hand. Her voice was assweet as honey. I witnessed her capacity in our college function‘brain wave’. She used to win extemporary public speakingcompetitions. She did contest in a personality game conducted bydr hegde and gave tough competition to raju panjwani, the 1stwinner.Our Thursday meetings were probably best place for our interactionwhere jasmine and anish used to be the default announcers.Amongst the three, jasmine, beji and anu, beji was not only talkativebut also naughty. Her gestures and behaviors were sometimesdifficult enough to interpret. She was able to create a slippery andmysterious land of her own. Probably she liked to be of such sort.Jasmine was very transparent that way and anu was a bitnarcissistic.One day, beji and jasmine came to me and tapasvi.“ hey, can you be a part of our group?”I, hemant, tapasvi and bimal used to hate the groups. We believedin friendship with all. Groups were perceived against ourdiscernment of equality. They also had same way invited ramesh, aranker of our class.However, I and tapasvi felt there was nothing wrong in being goodfriends wether you name it a group or not.“ that is ok. But we dislike groups. We will be good friends…”said 34
  41. 41. tapasvi. They both looked happy.“ so we are to meet at college terrace today evening. Is thatunderstood?” ordered beji.and we agreed.Back at the hostel, when hemant heard the news, he ridiculed us. “girls and girls! You have fallen prey to them! Lattu thai gaya ne!”“ hemant what is wrong with just friendship with like mindedpeoples? You name it a group or not. You also may join with us.”but hemant was staunch enough in his ideas as always.“do you know neh, one of your group member had proposed to aboy while singing poem!! Now you are going to be part of such agroup! Ha ha ha!” he made mockery of us. ( note : hemant waswrong. He had misinformation.)That was not all. Bimal also had a very strong opposition. “ youhave betrayed our ideas neh!” he said unhappily “ now you will doeverything that we hated till date. I never can be part of suchactivity”Still, they could not deter us from “joining” the group. We met on theterrace of the lecture hall.CONNED? i still am searching the answer!!.... :)) 35
  42. 42. WINE (AND KETAMINE) HAS TRUTH !January 20, 2011WINE (AND KETAMINE) HAS TRUTH!(I was not an eye witness of this incident but I am putting it here aswas told to me… making minimal factual changes like changing truenames)Nishant was a real macho in our college. No one would dare to gonear him. His speech was loud and clear. He walked like a tiger inthe college corridors. He had a bike matching his body image. Heused to wear a weird type of goggles when riding bike. Those weirdgoggles probably were a benchmark for him.But this was not all. He was from a rich family and had everything aboy would desire to have. Rather, he could give everything a girlwould desire from a boy. No doubt, he was a leader of our college.“DO you know nishant? Girls of our class are dying on you.” Vikrant,his best friend told him one day when they were on the way to thelibrary late evening.“Yes I know…” he gave a flat answer not looking at vikrant.“But probably I know whom you like the most.” Vikrant hadsomething more to say. “I saw you staring at her many times... infact you go to library just to find a seat near her. Am I right?”Last few words were enough. Nishant stopped.“What do you mean?” 36
  43. 43. “You know what I mean... you can not hide your feelings from me,good friend!” surety and affection in vikrant’s voice were enough tomelt down the college tiger. There was silence for a few secondsbefore nishant opened his heart.“You are right….apeksha… she is the only thing in the whole world Idesire...” he stared deep in sky and continued “whenever I see herexpressive black big eyes I forget everything. When she puts hergolden skinned hand in her silky hairs, I get simply lost in herthoughts. Her smile gives me a zillion watt current. When shepasses by, my heart stops beating. Faatko chhe yaar!”“You are in love man! Go and tell her... what you are waiting for?”vikrant directly said what he wanted to. “You are a macho man. Thisis the time to prove it!”“It is not that easy friend. I feel she has probably feelings for me buthow can I be sure for that? If I confess prematurely then she mayturn away from me. Many a times, still, I try to open up my heart toher but my brain becomes numb and my heart feels like failing atsuch times…”“May be… if you wait for sometime, she may confess and makethings easy”Soon after, nishant’s choice became buzz of the campus. Every onewas surprised how a man like him felt helpless when it came toconfessing love to a girl! Probably all the boys knew nishant’schoice. The information also leaked to the girls very soon. Fornishant, it was like…Patta patta butta butta haal hamara jane hai, 37
  44. 44. Jane na jane GUL hi na jane baaag to sara jaaane hai!In fact whenever some one referred to that girl, he used to usewords like “nishant wali". Still, it remained impossible for nishant togo to her directly and open up his heart until a special incident.Despite boasting healthy body, nishant had some anatomicalproblem in the nose. Because of this, he had a lot of problem inbreathing at night. Finally the ENT surgeon decided to operate himfor that.A day was fixed for surgery. The operation was a small procedure.But it needed a general anesthesia.“Hello nishant…I am to give anesthesia and you will sleep within afew seconds. Do not worry. There will be no pain at all...” theanesthetist gave him routine advice. Nishant was injected with alatest molecule available at that time. Soon, the procedure to correctthe anatomical defect was started.All friends of nishant were out side the operation theatre. Since ourswas a small campus, every one knew about the operation. Theprocedure lasted for a few minutes. But mean time, gradually, wholeof the nishant’s class gathered outside the theatre, including allgirls.At last nishant was out from OT. He was shifted to a recovery roomon a stretcher. Whole of the class followed his stretcher. Everyonewanted to wish him early recovery. 38
  45. 45. Nishant looked half drowsy. His eyes were still closed.“Hey nishant, how are you buddy?” some one asked.In response, without opening his eyes, nishant just nodded hishead. Everyone was happy to see him recovering from anesthesia.Suddenly nishant started shouting.“ APEKSHAAAA…….APEKSHAAAA….. I LOVE YOU!” everyoneincluding apeksha was shocked by nishant’s shouting!A confession which seemed very difficult even in private was madein public by nishant laboring under effect of the drug. The druginjected to nishant was the same that presently is used by forensicexperts for narcoanalysis.The effects of drug were known at that time also. It removes allcontrols and inhibitions on the subconscious mind. It was someone’s serious mistake that let the whole class to enter the recoveryroom when our tiger was recovering.However, this story had a sad end. Since even after this incident,apeksha never showed any interest in nishant.( fresh note: soon after our marriage, i had personal experience withthis anasthetic molecule, ketamine, when i was injected with thesame for a short procedure at resp dr ajay vyass hospital. dr vyas, 39
  46. 46. being friendly and jolly, purposefully asked me whom i love. i spokejasmines name at that time! ) 40
  47. 47. READING …. IS THAT NEEDED?January 12, 2011READING …. IS THAT NEEDED?My maternal grandfather gangaram bhai varu was a gandhian andplayed pivotal role to establish baal mandirs in kachchh. Mypaternal grand father krishnalalbhai vaidya was an English teacher.My mother was a secondary school teacher and she taughtSanskrit. Thus I hail from families of teachers. My father wasprofessor of economics at Porbandar College for a few years.Despite all this, my father was and still is highly against schooleducation. He believed in natural learning and hated sending cryingchild forcibly to school.I faintly remember visiting once a baal mandir run by my nana. Thathorrifying memory consists of crying children all around me!However, all were taken to visit our famous garden khengar parkand were given breakfast there.First official attempt to send me school, of course against myfather’s will, was made by my mother, when I was 6yrs old. Nanalalmaster’s Gujarati primary school was nearby my home and I wassent along with virbai, our maid, who cared for me like my mother.It was really difficult to face the new world at the school whereeveryone had to obey the commands of teacher. There were otherchildren like me, some comfortable, some crying but all strangers tome! For child like me, everything remained in my control at home.This world was up side down! It frightened me. I remember shouting 41
  48. 48. name of virbai every 5 min to get her help in getting out of the newweird experience. Virbai was made to sit near my class by myparents. The scary experience lasted till I was given back to virbaiafter a few cry filled minutes! I never went to school there after!At last, when I was 9yrs old, my mother finally decided to send meschool. Since I was late, 1st standard needed to be skipped. I hadto pass an exam to directly enter 2nd std. I remember some personfrom education deptt took my exam. He was really unhappy with mymother since despite being teacher herself, she did not send me toschool in due time. My mother told him that I was her child and itwas none of the officer’s business to see when I am sent to school!So, the horrifying experience re started. Sanjay patoliya, ravindratravadi, darshan rana were my batch mates. They were verycomfortable in the class. My mind was always occupied with fear ofbeing scolded by teacher or teasing by the other children.Practically, it never happened.My father always wished to be against the system and so I washighly irregular in school. I never studied or did home work properlyat my home. My mother used to give help in my home work (I hatedfrom my heart!) which mostly consisted of “pada”. Now and then, Ihad letters from my parents citing reasons for not attending theschool and not doing home work!But since I was 2 years older than my batch mates, I was better atstudies. Even in bigger standards, I never studied and read forexams at home like other children around me. Several times my 42
  49. 49. parents had to present medical certificates so that I could appear inannual exam! I never liked school and lessons.I do not remember I ever have studied at home. My father used togive only two advises- “school n jajo” “lesson n karjo”. Thuswhatever was taught in my class room I used to use it in exams. Inever went to separate tuition classes except for mathematics in10th and 12th std.Weird, but I got admission to a medical college despite all this. Iconfess it as my sheer luck! The college was a totally new world forme where I was advised to read by not only the teachers but alsothe batch mates. It was my firm belief that one should not read thebooks and learn everything with help of lectures and practicalclasses using little bit of the “common sense” and questioningteacher. I used to ask a lot of questions especially in physiologyclasses while all other students were bored with my questions!On entry to the college, I had fantasy to acquire great knowledge.For me, library was not a place for reading the texts, but to getsome deeply hidden knowledge buried in the journals and the bigthick books of various subjects in distant corners of cupboards. As Iremember, I used to get into the journal section when I had not evenslightest idea about those black long descriptions tagged with some“ET al”s! Though it sounds ridiculous today but I used to open upthick books of psychiatry and neurology from haunted cupboards inthose days!Our library was a nicely designed one. It had two floors. Thearrangement was such that three students could sit on one side of 43
  50. 50. table, separated by partition. I used to see my seniors reading veryseriously the texts of medical subjects. Library was usually a silentplace for reading but some girls used to enter with heavy sandalsmaking noise of their steps announcing their entry .some boy wouldstart tapping the reading table harmonically with the steps of the girland the whole library would join that tapping. This was followed by awave of laugh and usually termination of reading!I get very violent sneezing. Sometimes in library, my sneezing usedto disturb the reading session especially when it was near 10pm,the time of closure of library!Initially I tried to manage vivas and exams without reading. Butgradually it became clear to me that except for physiology, all othersubjects were just tons of information without much use of logic. So,one was not left with any choice but to read.Thus on exams, I forced myself to read but the efforts were mostlyfutile. My reading was diverted more towards stuffs unimportant forexams. Most of my friends were from good schools and had goodunderstanding of how to read for exams.One of our friends had habit of reading the texts aloud or withmurmuring. He was named “gun gun” that stuck to him through outmbbs!Library was not the only reading place for us. Many students liked toread in the college corridors and the steps of the lecture halls. Somecould be found reading under the trees of our beautiful campus.I found even better place to read. Since ours was a rural medical 44
  51. 51. college, our hostel was surrounded by farms. I used to walk andread in the farms. Till today, when I remember red nucleus, retculoendothelial system, optic radiation etc, I remember those beautifulfarms where I used to read. There were many eucalyptus trees inour campus and many students liked to read there.It was only after meeting jasmine my approach for reading changedto professional one. She had capacity to know and to plan what toread, when to read and especially how to revise before exams. Shehad great sense of smelling the important questions to be asked inexams. Also she had enormous capacity to analyze the questionpaper and predict the marks. It is only because of her I got throughnot only the mbbs but also though pre pg exams.. 45
  52. 52. STORY OF A SPECIAL DONATION SEATNovember 29, 2010[this is a true story of a girl student of pramukh swami medicalcollege, heard from a very authentic source. Obviously, the truenames have been changed..]When dr.joshi passed out from the medical college, before abouthalf a century, there hardly were any doctors in the area he chose topractice. Dr. joshi could have been a money making machine likeothers. But he had a different mission. He believed in providingmedical service to the poor people around him first. Money was apure by product of his service. Day or night, winter or summer,dr.joshi was always there to serve his patients.Soon, he became very popular in his area. The public around himrecognized his services. One day, when he was busy in his clinic, ayoung vibrant sadhu rushed in his chamber.“doctor, can you please come to visit my guru? He is very sick andis not able to come here…” said the sadhu breathing fast.“ ok. Where is your guru?” dr.joshi was ready to serve as always.“just a few kilometers from here..but I have come with a car. We cancome back as soon as possible.” said the sadhu .Dr.joshi took his emergency bag and went along with the youngsadhu. Soon, they reached. the guruji was really very sick. The 46
  53. 53. guruji was none other than shri yogiji maharaj from aksharpurushottam sect of swaminarayan. Dr.joshi examined yogijimaharaj and prescribed medicines. Dr.joshi’s knowledge ofmedicine worked again like in his hundreds of patients and after afew days, maharaj became normal.Then it became routine for the young sadhu to come to dr.joshi andescort him to his guruji whenever it needed. Guruji was very happywith his services and he blessed the doctor every time.Years passed by. Dr.joshi almost forgot the incident but his selflessservices continued. Meanwhile, dr.joshi became father of a beautifuldaughter…meena. From his busy practice, he always would findtime to play with his beloved daughter. She grew like the princess offairy tales. She Not only was intelligent but also she was verystudious. It became very clear to friends and family around her thatone day she would become a doctor like her father. She alsowanted to be a doctor. Dr.joshi was also very sure of meena’sacademic performance. Soon , meena passed out her 10th stdexams with flying colors, adding ambitions to her father and thefamily.But life is full of surprises. Even after her genuine efforts, meenacould not score the required marks needed to enter a medicalcollege. She just missed it by a few numbers.The dream appeared broken.“ dr.joshi, is only because of bad luck that meena could not score in 47
  54. 54. 12th std exams. Why can not you send her to pramukhswamimedical college on a donation seat?” some of the friendssuggested.“ no. I can not do this. If she wishes to be a doctor, she has to be onmerit. A doctor has to be meritorious.” Dr.joshi had his own ideas.“ do you really believe that those who have scored few marks morethan meena are far better than her? There are 10 donation seats. Ifyou do not try for meena, they are to allot it to some one else withmay be even far lesser marks than meena. Would it be good for thesociety?” at last after much more persuasion dr.joshi agreed to tryfor a donation seat at pramukhswami medical college karamsad.“dr.joshi, don’t you remember your services to yogiji maharaj yearsback? Major donation to pramukhswami medical college is fromthem. You can remind them while you represent. They are the finalauthority for all donation seats.”“oh. That was decades back. Who would remember that.? And shriyogiji maharaj has passed away years back.” dr.joshi was skeptical.However, in whole of his life, dr.joshi never asked any favor fromany one around him. It was really very difficult for him to go to someone and request. But this was different as it was related with life andcareer of his beloved daughter.Dr.joshi finally convinced himself to go to pramukhswami maharajand request him for a donation seat for meena.“ in which words should I request? Will they listen to my request? Orthey just will not let me represent? Would it be prudent to remindthem of my services to yogiji maharaj?” dr.joshi had flood of 48
  55. 55. thoughts in his mind on the way to meet the swamiji.Finally, as per the appointment they reached the place to meet andrequest shri pramukhswami maharaj. Dr.joshi felt nervous morethan he ever felt in his tough medial exams. His heart really beatedfast.As they entered the hall, they saw pramukhswami maharaj sittinggraciously in front of them. Some one started introducing dr.joshi toswamiji.“ he is dr.joshi from…”swamiji stared at dr.joshi and to his and all other’s surprise, stoodup from his seat !“arre joshi saheb tame?”he was none other than the young vibrantsadhu who used to escort dr.joshi in the car to shri yogiji maharaj!!Nothing more is remaining to end the story! 49
  56. 56. !st GIRL I MET IN THE COLLEGE...October 28, 2010[This chapter should have been written probably at the beginning ofmy series of blog. Since the matter is very personal to me, I tooksome time to finally make it public. It is my humble effort to showtender emotions of a teen- myself. Till date the true story washidden from even some of my best friends.You go to college and on very first day you meet a cute girl. Shecomes near you just to give you a nice slap for the way you lookedat her. At the end, same girl would fall terribly in love with you andultimately you have to win her rescuing her from villain. Such goodygoody stories are for Hindi masala movies. Real college life is,naturally, very different and it unfolds itself on its own. Followingtrue story is about me and the first ever girl I met in my college.Name of the girl is to remain a secret!]When I was traveling all the eleven and half hour journey from bhujto anand by ST bus for the first time, I felt my body was not left witha single painless bone and muscle before I reached! Still, afterreaching anand, I had to search for bus to karamsad.The bus was about to reach and I was looking for help.Just about 2-3 seats from my seat there was a girl talking somethingabout psmc that made me attentive like a street dog!‘Should I ask her how to reach psmc?’ I thought. She was 50
  57. 57. completely unknown to me. If she was going to psmc, she could befrom my senior batch or she could be my own batch mate. It wasnot that I was shy but still it needed good amount of courage toinitiate talk! Reasons for that were very obvious.Back at home, in my home town bhuj, I had quite a few girls asplaymates in my childhood. However, after reaching teens,unfortunately, there was no good friendship with any of the girlsbecause there were no girls around me! It was not surprisingbecause from 5th std onwards till the 12th std, I studied in exclusiveboys schools.Let me open up a secret... some of my school friends, shanti,premal, chintan, chande used to sit on a bench near jubilee groundin the evenings just for bird watching! Naturally, there were manybirds in bhuj which liked them to be watched. My friends used to siton the bench and I used to sit on my grandfather’s bicycle (my bike-you know!!) keeping my back towards the road where the birds usedto pass. Kalpesh, my dearest friend of school days (and even tilltoday) used to give me genuine company by keeping his back alsotowards the road.As any bird passed, I could see turning of heads of my friends 180degree en masse! However, I kept myself away from this sacredactivity, (which probably our ancestors did for centuries with equalzeal!) for some strange reasons. Firstly, I feared, a girl could driveme mad if by chance I start liking any! Secondly, I never wanted tobe cheated by good looks. And lastly, I had label of “good boy”! (SoI do not know any popular names of the birds of our times at bhuj.) I 51
  58. 58. was sometimes targeted by my friends for the same reason.However same friends used to put me forward if somecommunication was to be done with any girl. (“Tara man ma paapna hoyne! Tu barabar wat kari shakish...”). At occasional schoolscience fairs, I used to ask many questions to all contestantsincluding the girls amongst them. To my queries, most of the girlsused to get confused. My friends used to enjoy that. Apart fromthese sporadic communications, there was total blackout.But the situation turned different as I passed 12th std and entered amedical college. As I felt, good looks could no longer deceive meand “good boy” should have good girls as friends, I decided to havegood friendship with the girls of my class. And now, probably, it wasthe time to go mad for anyone if heart demanded!Again, let me talk about the girl in the bus. She looked an averagecollege girl with boy cut hair and spects. Her looks made it sure shewas from a decent family. This all gave me courage to speak withher.“hello! Are you by chance going to psmc?” I directly inquired.“oh yes… I recently got admission.” Her reply fuelled myconfidence.“so we probably belong to same batch. I also am going to psmc. Iam from bhuj. My name is neh”I introduced myself.“nice to meet you” she said honestly. I really felt happy inside as Icould talk nicely with her.“ I do not know how to reach karamsad. Can you tell me?” I put my 52
  59. 59. query as we got down from the bus.“oh sure. Come with us. there is separate bus station for vallabhvidyanagar and we may get connection to psmc from there.” Shehappily guided me to the destination and I followed.I thought I really was successful in communicating and creatingbase for friendship. Nothing more was expected. I was happy. Noone can imagine how a “virgin” boy like me would feel from such asmall incident. It was like starting of new journey of life, first breezeof self confidence.If this happened to my friends like jasmine shah or tapasvi, it wasnothing very special. They had very good capacity not only tocommunicate but also to befriend the girls. But I never was likethem and the small meeting took a special place within me.I never had any more expectation from the little communication I didwith that girl. I only expected a good beginning of friendship givingme confidence and opportunity to communicate more with the othergirls of my batch. Wasn’t that quite legible?Within a day or so, I saw that girl again! She was going somewhereand incidentally I was on the same way behind her. She probably,as faintly I remember, had some of her friends with her. I felt Ishould talk. Rather, I was eager to initiate talk!“Hello…!”Sure of response, I said over confidently.She was few steps away from me. However, she was walkingsilently with her friends. But she did not respond. I lost a bit of my 53
  60. 60. confidence but the very next moment, I felt probably she might havenot heard me well.“Hello there…!” now I spoke with some anxiety. Again there was noresponse. She did not even look back! She kept walking. I felt shewanted to neglect me. Was that really true? Was she avoiding me?Such questions mounted in my mind and wiped away all of myconfidence to talk with the first girl I met in my college.I do not know what happened afterwards. But I was hurt. The blowwas severe. The severity was such that I never took any chance totalk with any girl of my class again. I kept myself away from thegirls. My mind was full of fear of rejection. It was not that I did nottalk with the girls at all, but I talked only whatever was extremelyneeded. I never tried to befriend with any of the girls. College worldbecame somewhat gloomy for me for those initial few months.Though there was a big dent on my heart I was otherwise normaland even I could hide this fact from my best friends like tapasvi andhemant. So no one probably ever noticed what happened to me!Was that fair to not to talk with me even after my brief introductionand repeated attempts to talk with her by me? How could one be sorude? She could at least have told me hi or could have given me asmile. Or she should not have talked with me at the first occasion atthe bus station only.However, some angles had to come to rescue me! Notably, one ofthem, Margi, one of my dissection partners in anatomy classesunknowingly did that job. She was a very talkative (and still is!) girl. 54
  61. 61. She would not stop talking till you respond. Then there wasnamrata-Cool calm and gentle girl sure of her goals. Shilpa was notour dissection partner but she used to come now and then on ourtable to chat with our team in name of seeing “good dissection”.As time passed, I met beji, naughty and a bit narcissist, veryconscious of her. Jasmine, studious and innocent, anu, looked andbehaved more like a school than a college girl. I can not forget mygood friend heena, himani, jayshree and ripple. All of them treatedme normally.Gradually, like the river water smoothes all the dents of the stonesas it passes gently shaping the stones over the time, my woundhealed by all the angels I met afterwards.Years later, the lady that met me in the bus became good friend ofours. Jasmine told her my story. She really was surprised. She didnot even notice the small incident that took place a few years backthat gave me a scar. Her behavior was purely unintentional. Shenever wanted to hurt any one. She was really sorry for whateverhappened that day and afterwards.After these many years, above story is just to smile about. 55
  62. 62. SAVIOR NOT SAVED!October 17, 2010“I am to represent the oppressed, the least heard and the neglectedones. It is my humble duty to work for them and see that they aregiven equal importance and rights. You have many sophisticatedpeople around you which forget simple ones. This never can betolerated. We must rise to the occasion and do what is right. It is myhumble request to vote keeping this in your mind….”- whom did youhear? Gandhi? Ambedkar? V.P. singh? Indira? Wrong! This was mybest friend bimal chhaya! Obviously there was election of classrepresentative (CR) and bimal was one of the contestants.This was the first ever election in our batch. For interaction with thecollege authorities and the seniors, we badly needed a CR. Thename was not the unanimous. So we opted for the election.There was general agreement about the election officers – me andketandada. We were given the responsibility to conduct theoperation smoothly and honestly. The venue was the lecture hall.Though bimal had huge support from anish, sandeep, hemani,girish, kamlesh, kapil and most of the boys from the old boys’hostel, he lacked clear support from the girls’ hostel side. Theopponent had good rapport with the girls. He also had advantage ofgeneral acceptance amongst the new hostel’s boys and the seniors.He was none other than jasmine shah.“No election should go uncontested …and so I stand here in front of 56
  63. 63. you.” Said bimal. Very true principally. He was very good friend ofall of us and especially mine. He banked on our votes. On the otherhand, jasmine shah was from our hostel and he too was a goodfriend.“See I am not against bimal. But we have lived in the same hosteland at this moment it is my right to get support from you all friends.”Jasmine was clear in demanding our votes.For me, on personal front, it was a great dilemma. Bimal was 100%sure of my support and it was difficult to not to vote for him. Jasminewas with me since days of ragging. He had very good organizingskills.Jasmine was lucky enough to have almost full support from the girl’sof our class. He had great opportunity and skill to communicate withthe girls while routine weekly traveling to Ahmedabad. He andtapasvi were known as kanhaiyas of our batch, as they were seensurrounded by gopis of our class in the train! They both could talkhours together with the girls sparking giggles! Bimal, though a goodcommunicator, also a weekly traveler to Ahmedabad like jasmine,was probably seen as extra sincere man not fit for being popularfigure amongst girls.Some batch mate even created issue of dominance. “If we supportbimal, the students from the old boys’ hostel would dominate ussince bimal belongs to that hostel. Do you want this to happen?” 57
  64. 64. “Bimal has very good command on English. He can present ourbatch anywhere be it the college authority, seniors, juniors oroutside the college.” A small point raised by some.Just a day before the day of voting, jasmine came to our room.“Neh, I know you are very close to bimal. But we belong to samehostel. Give me a promise that you will vote for me tomorrow. Ireally need your support.” He demanded clearly.“He is right neh. The issues raised by bimal are not the real ones.He sees himself as a savior of the oppressed. That is not true.” Saidtapasvi.Few moments were very distressing for me. How would bimal feel?Deceived? Was it right to support bimal on hypothetical issues?“So neh, what have you thought?” my thoughts were interrupted byjasmin’s query. He knew very well if I say yes to him that would be100%.“Ok.” I made up my mind. “I promise I will vote for you” very difficultdecision.Soon after this, bimal arrived to confirm my support.“So man, you are to vote for me. Right?” he straightly asked me. Fora moment, I had no answer. I could have given false reply or apolitical statement but I had to be truthful.“Sorry bimal, just before a few minutes, I promised my vote to 58
  65. 65. jasmine” said I fearing strong rejection from bimal.To my surprise, he smiled a bit, did not utter a single word of dislikebut said “but this is not going to come in way of our friendship…ok?”How blessed I was to have such a wonderful friend as my buddy!Even when I clearly denied my support, he supported and nurturedour friendship.As the day of election arrived, we all met in the lecture hall forvoting.I and ketan shah had prestigious duty of conducting the electionsmoothly and honestly. There were no any external observers of theprocess.Bimal knew I was to vote against him.The voting was smooth and as expected, jasmine shah wasdeclared the winner and so he became our first CR. Savior was notsaved…. 59
  66. 66. ...BUT FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS!October 12, 2010…BUT FRIENDS ARE FRIENDS!Though tapasvi and hemant were (and are) my best friends,sometimes I hesitated to put my ideas in front of them. I had fear ofrejection. I never could withstand rejection of my ideas especially bynear ones. After a few months of first MBBS, I had one spark ofsuch an idea. I was not extrovert but was able to speak with mybatch mates. To give reality to my idea, one day, without tellingtapasvi and hemant, I went to the other boys’ hostel.‘Whether would my batch mates welcome my idea? If they welcomemy idea, how will I explain keeping aside tapasvi and hemant? Whatwould I pursue to tapasvi and hemant if my idea falls out as a bigfiasco? What if any highly intelligent friend directly rejects my idea?And what about girls? I did not have any `girlfriends. Who wouldconvince them? Any way if my idea clicks then everyone in theclass would remember for lifetime. So I should give myself achance’. These were the thoughts storming my mind when I was onthe way to the “nursing hostel” – the other boys’ hostel.To put forward my idea, I met ketan dada, bimal, anish, pragnesh,vimal, chirag, charan, alpesh, dhabuwala, rasik, girish, sandeep,kapil, and other friends.“Friends, ours is a big batch of 100. I was wondering since few daysabout whether we can get to gather in our lecture hall in the evening 60
  67. 67. time. Every one from us can come to the stage and presentsomething... May it be a song, a joke, a story, or we can have somediscussion on some current topic. Some one can even deliver anacademic lecture. We have a lot talented friends which already areable to storm the stage. But our purpose should be to give chanceto those which never have performed on the stage. No one shouldbe left out. This will not only help us boosting our confidence level ingeneral but can also help us in presenting ourselves better in theexam vivas.” I told my friends in the nut shell.“But what about microphone system and do we need to put somemoney to keep going?” some friends were skeptical.“In my opinion, we do not need any money but we need ourselvesand our will to keep going. We may ask dr nishith (our warden andProf of physiology) to provide us the keys of the lecture hall after thecollege hrs” I suggested.Surprisingly, nothing terrible happened. In fact it looked as if I stoleeveryone’s thought. My idea was welcome! Well, back at my hostel,I had to face the two terrible! As expected, since our campus waslike a small village, tapasvi and hemant heard about my suggestionfrom the mess.“Very unfair neh!” I was greeted with clear dislike on their face. “Yousay we are your best friends… you behave otherwise! We heardfrom some one that you are planning some kind of weekly meetingof the batch with the others… can’t you tell us first?” 61
  68. 68. “I should have... but I could not. I feared you both would reject myidea and would not let me present it to the other batch mates. Sofirst I tried to get green signal from the others. I am sorry for mydistorted perception about your support and reaction…” I tried toexplain in best possible way. After much explanation andpersuasion, I could possibly able to get them on my side.Thus, soon, our meetings started – every Thursday. The deptt ofphysiology co operated fully. They gave us keys of the big lecturehall without any hesitation.Our meetings lasted about an hour after the college hrs. There weremany enthusiasts in our batch and initially there was no problem ingetting the number of performers. We even repeatedly requestedour ‘silent’ friends to come on the stage and present something infront of all.I remember once beji bombarded a whole lecture on a topic ofphysiology! Probably that lecture was on physiology of pain, if Iremember correctly. Girish had good collection of haiku. Anish usedto be our announcer. Jasmine also used to do that job nicely. As ourmeetings became a regular event, it started getting popular. Evenour seniors like GD and setu became our guests to encourage us.The remarkable thing about the show was neither did it consume asingle penny from any one’s pocket nor we used any funds from thecollege. It was proved beyond doubt that our programme can go onwithout money.Once upon a time, we could not get keys of the lecture hall. So we 62
  69. 69. immediately decided to shift to the vast terrace of the PSMC. Bimaland jasmine were the announcers, if I remember correctly, andhemant presented some extra boring collection on news paperwedding ads!Our meetings provided us a base to welcome our new junior batch (Madhvi, vasundhara, sonia’s batch) in a unique way. I need to writea separate story for that interesting event. Also, election of our 1stCR was done in our meeting without any regulatory authority fromthe college.Sometimes the meeting had very hot discussions. I remember adiscussion on the topic of killing frogs for routine experiment in thedeptt of physiology. Every one expressed their views against suchkillings, but pragnesh had to say something else and just after hisspeech, the meeting boiled like a volcano! Kapil and friends becamevery furious and wrote slogans on the walls of the deptt ofphysiology. (More at :)The meetings provided a good base for all of us to interact. Oncebimal said “Neh, if these meetings become regular campus activity,we will pass this tradition on to our junior batches. Our batch wouldbe remembered as the pioneer of these meetings forever.”But that dream was never to come true. As the time passed, stagebecame monotonous. Those which loved to perform performedalways and the shy ones remained shy. Despite our forceful effortsto get them on the stage, they never turned up! Secondly, somestudents started their groups and so most of them became leastinterested in the class meetings. We lost the initial charm 63
  70. 70. eventually.But this was not the logical end of the meetings.So a time came when tapasvi and hemant had something harsh tosay.“Neh, we meet every week but have you ever thought whether youpeople could do anything which you claimed to do at the beginning?We do not see any simple student on the stage!” hemant wastruthful but his words were sharp enough to be painful.“See, hemant, we tried our best to do that. You know this very well.We are successful to an extent. I agree it is not the way we wished.But if the silent students do not come on the stage, even afterrepeated requests, what can be done?” I had nothing more to say.“Nothing! But you all failed! That is the truth…”“Yes ... hemant is right. There are only a few students which cometo stage and these meetings are only for them!” tapasvi alsosupported hemant. “We have decided to raise this issue in the verynext meeting...”Both of my best friends were against me. However, many otherswere on my side. Before the next meeting, everyone was informed 64
  71. 71. about special presentation by hemant and tapasvi.I do not remember much about the last meeting, but hemant stoodup and started speaking and then there was chaos! That was theend. 65
  72. 72. BAPTISMSeptember 28, 2010BAPTISMSwitzerland was the name given to our campus not only because itwas beautiful , but also it was like a small Island away and cut offfrom the main land. When we entered the college, there were onlythree more student batches in the campus. Our campus thus was asmall village. Campus buzz used to spread like fire in no time!For entertainment, there was nothing nearby. There was one openair theatre, especially for people of nearby villages, at karamsadwhich used to show typical gujarati films. Good theatres were atanand, about 8kms away from our campus.I and tapasvi both never liked hindi masala movies. But whencollege friends ask you to join, it is really difficult to resist.On one fine evening after the sunset, I and tapasvi decided to joinother friends on their way to anand to a movie theatre. There wassome action movie somewhat of our taste. As we went to the gateof our shri Krishna hospital, we found our friends jumping in a bigtruck of amul dairy!“hey ! what are you doing? Can’t we get any rikshaw?” one of myfriends asked the other.“forget it! Just get in!” 66
  73. 73. It was a big tata truck full of milk canes. We all climbed rapidly ontoback of the truck to discover a new way of transport! Truck started.The noice of the engine was hardly heard at the back. We felt likeflying on alladin’s carpet! We were free to walk on the milk canes. Itwas about 20min journey. The charges were cheaper too. Wereached our destination soon.After this ride, to go for a movie became triple enjoyment for us: ridethe truck, watch the movie and forget the vivas and texts back atcampus.On one such ride, I remember, I sat On the top of the driver’s cabin.It was winter and the air was so cool that I developed numbnessand tingling on all of my face.There was never any bad accident, as far as I remember, with anyone only because of sheer good luck. However, One of myclassmate jani had fracture femur while traveling sitting aside therikshaw driver.One day, I and tapasvi were bored enough and we desided to go toanand for a good action English movie. To choose the movie, wewere asking our friends their reviews. Because when you spendmoney for entertainment, you ought to get full return!“planning to go to a movie?” suddenly a voice interrupted us. thevoice was of a famous figure from our senior batch (mail me and Iwill tell you the name!). 67
  74. 74. “yes…we want to see a good action movie..” we revealed ourchoice.“ hmmmm….” Taking his fingers close to his chin, in his typicalstyle, he gave a thought to our choice. “Why don’t you choosesirocco today?” he suggested ultimately.“ Is it a good action movie?” we wanted to confirm“ oh sure. Marvelous.” He gave final assurance.We both took joy ride from the main gate and reached the theatre inhope of entertaining ourselves with a good action movie.As soon as we entered the main gate of the theatre, we saw thehoarding of the movie.“ Loook tapasvi this isn’t any action movie…it appears an adultmovie.” I exclaimed to tapasvi as we never had seen such thing inour lives! For a moment, we stared each other probably waiting forthe other to say ‘let us go back’. But it did not happen! Probably inback of our minds we were searching justification to go in thetheatre to see the unseen and the forbidden.“ we have come this far…we can not go back.” Tapasvi had thecourage to follow the instinct. we went to box office with beatingheart. Both of us constantly looked around fearing some knownpersons noticing us.This was very first time we saw such a movie! 68
  75. 75. WE DID START THE FIRE......!September 07, 2010WE DID START THE FIRE“Groupism” was a word that triggered feeling of dislike in generalamongst most of us. But as the time passed, students of our batchstarted recognizing other students of their match. Formation offormal and informal groups started. Some groups were based onnative place; some were based on like mindedness, while somewere based on economical status.Since bimal believed in equality of all human beings, he was heavilyagainst formation of any group and he had very strong feelingsagainst any "groupism". He was a strong critic of group celebrationof events like bithdays. So his was a kind of “no group” group!Principally, it sounded good to believe in equality and no grouptheory. But on long run, groups were inevitable like anywhere insociety. Not only it gave sense of belonging but also it gave socialsecurity and educational support in some cases.So within a few months, our batch subdivided in small groups.One group was of students from north Gujarat consisting ofsandeep, paresh and friends. That was one of the mostmischievous groups. Other one was of students from saurashtraconsisting ketan, vimal, kapil, vivek and friends. Then we had biju,samir, pragnesh, ketam dhabu’s group. Kintur, sanjay, saddam 69
  76. 76. (sorry for forgetting true name of the good friend!) and friendsformed another powerful group.As far as girls were concerned I remember ripal -jayashree andfriend’s group; kama and nilam’s group; jasmine anu beji’s group;nilpa-zarna’s group.We, I and tapasvi, were probably in “no group” group! However,hemant, tapasvi and I became very close friends soon and ours wasinformal group.Thus almost all got settled after initial few months.One day kapil came to us and suggested “friends let us celebrate 31dec!” It was a welcome idea. Everyone agreed. The venue of theparty was the old boys’ hostel that was actually a nursing hostelpreviously. All were invited to the boys’ hostel including the girls!Kapil, vimal, bimal, anis, bau, sandeep, paresh, mines, ketens etcall friends really worked hard to make the event memorable.They did not have any fund for decoration. I still remember the boysused their table lamps to create lighting effects. I really can not saywhy they looked so gorgeous. The glamour of the first party of ourbatch was in our hearts and minds, I guess.That night of 31 dec was cool and chilling. we needed sweaters.The enthusiasm of the party was in full swing. Table lamps werefitted on the windows of the rooms of the round hostel giving a veryspecial hue to the party. 70
  77. 77. Boys from the other hostel, including me , hemant, biren and tapasvireached early. When everything was ready, our special guestsarrived—girls of our batch!! They walked in the boys’ hostel like littlebrook with all the beauty but minimal sound….Anish was the uncontested anchor of our batch and so was jasmine!Soon the party started. First, there was presentation from thestudents. I was an average stage performer and this was very firsttime when I decided to speak in front of whole of my batch.Naturally I was a bit nervous and my heart rates were high. Despitelow temperature of the atmosphere, I was sweating. Soon, anishannounced my name and I stood up gadhering all the courage Ihad! I presented a comedy poem written by me “darling baarmi passchhu” . The poem compared a girl with scientific gujarati terminologyjargon of 12th stds various subjects. I remember only a line “wallolak jewi tari chaal chhe!” but jasmine has contributed followingfrom her robust memory…Darling, baarmi pass chhu….Mithiline blue jewo tari ankho no rang chhe’Pan hay! Sathe sefrinine jewo gusso pan sang chhe!Hay mari jau aa kasherukao ne mekhlao(sanskrut name forspine, shoulder and pelvic girdles) par,Wal lolak jewo taro chalwano dhang chhe!Shunya watawaran na dabane ne 25 ansh tanpane, 71