a young pakistani doctor blogs...
Thursday, June 23, 2005
  A day off...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

How did I do yesterday? Well, good and bad.

The bad part of yesterday was that I didn’t study. Not a stitch. I was feeling sleepy, bloated and stupid most of yesterday. I’m not sure why. It may have to do with fitful sleeping the night before. When your studying, you’re really sensitive to your inner state of mind. The subject matter is boring enough by itself, you don’t need further problems. Any excuse to take the day off is welcome, and if I’m feeling weak, taken up. But I can never take a “day off” without making some sort of resolve to avoid putting myself in such a situation again. It was difficult for me to study because of the way I was feeling physically (at least that’s what I told myself). So I had to analyze the situation and cough up a remedy that I would apply the next day to ensure that something like this did not happen again. Well, I did come up with one, but its so trivial and stupid that I’m just going to come out and admit that I just didn’t feel like studying. No sense in hiding my weakness with far-fetched excuses that barely have a leg to stand on.

The good part of yesterday is that I didn’t freak out. I felt calm and told myself to relax. I didn’t beat myself up or allow myself to fall into the throes of self-loathing or depression.

Let’s see how today turns out. In the meantime, check out this wonderful prose from the book “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith:

Darcus Bowden, Clara's father, was an odoriferous, moribund, salivating old man entombed in a bug-infested armchair from which he had never been seen to remove himself, not even, thanks to a catheter, to visit the outdoor toilet. Darcus had come over to England fourteen years earlier and spent the whole of that period in the far corner of the living room, watching television. The original intention had been that he should come to England and earn enough money to enable Clara and Hortense to come over, join him and settle down. However, on arrival, a mysterious illness had debilitated Darcus Bowden. An illness that no doctor could find any physical symptoms of, but which manifested itself in the most incredible lethargy, creating in Darcus admittedly, never the most vibrant of men a lifelong affection for the dole, the armchair and British television. In 1972, enraged by a fourteen-year wait, Hortense decided finally to make the journey on her own steam. Steam was something Hortense had in abundance. She arrived on the doorstep with the seventeen-year-old Clara, broke down the door in a fury and so the legend went back in St. Elizabeth gave Darcus Bowden the tongue-whipping of his life. Some say this onslaught lasted four hours, some say she quoted every book of the bible by memory and it took a whole day and a whole night. What is certain is, at the end of it all, Darcus slumped deeper into the recesses of his chair, looked mournfully at the television with whom he had had such an understanding, compassionate relationship so uncomplicated, so much innocent affection and a tear squeezed its way out of its duct and settled in a crag underneath his eye. Then he said just one word:


Hmph was all Darcus said or ever was to say after. Ask Darcus anything; query him on any subject at any hour of the day and night; interrogate him; chat with him; implore him; declare your love for him; accuse him or vindicate him and he will give you only one answer.

"I say, isn't dat right, Darcus?"


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Recent med school graduate from Peshawar, Pakistan. Started blogging when in throes of final year exams. Currently studying for USMLE Step 1. Aiming for the 2008 Match. I blog about my studies, my worries, and my thoughts on life. I live in Islamabad.

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