First day. As most children or teens would reply,(im not sure about the teens) first day is always full of anticipation,expectation,anxiety,nervousness and the willingness to learn. We have all been through many first days. First day of life (none of us remember), first day we spoke or walked ( again blame it on our then under developed gray cells) , first day of kindergarten ( where most of us cried on being left with a sea of other smug looking villians), first day of school (I had many of those, as I swapped around 9 schools during my schooling) or more recently first day of college. Sadly for my first day of PS, I had no such happy emotion. I reluctantly got into the car and checked if my id card and some other documents were present. I tired to cheer myself.Another first day.
The much anticipated ( not in a happy manner) day had finally arrived. It was the 24th of May, a warm summer day in Chennai. I was heading for my PS station. (Ps is defined earlier..please read that!)As we drove past the all too familiar chennai roads packed with anxious office goers and vegetable vendors, memories swarmed my mind. It had been four long years since I came to Chennai. Four doesnt seem too long back, but I percieved the world differently now. It all seemed different. The weekend outings or movies, the bus fights, the flooding in the slightest drizzle, the sea of people in Pondy Bazaar or any shop in T Nagar, the excellent Sarvana Bhavan, all were reminsicent of my best times in Chennai.I loved the place. I was thrilled to be back.
The slamming of brakes at the MMM entrance brought me crashing back to reality. ‘Oh GAWD!’, I amlost forgot what I was here for. A few of my college mates and fellow ps mates were already outside the entrance.I got down half heartedly and glanced at the building opposite mine. ” THERESA WOMEN’S HOSTEL’. ‘Yuck!’ I thought. But since my relatives had made it clear that they wouldnt be in Chennai all the time hinting that it was impossible for me to stay, I knew thats where I would land up. And thats where I did.
Our instructor ambled slowly towards us. He would have looked like any other misfit roaming around chennai. Misfits are those people forced to come down south without knowing the language or the culture. Usually they belong to the software industry. If it were not for the bag on which PS Instructor was written in bold, I wouldnt have even noticed him.
My parents had a whole set of questions to ask him and started shooting them at him. “How many days a week?”, “what about accomodation” etc etc. I looked around the lobby. HOSPITAL. Im standing in a HOSPITAL. This is a very shocking event for me because as a child, I was the most scared of hospitals. People in eerie white coats with black wires around their necks ( I seriously thought it was to strangle people if they were naughty..or so I was told) ,roaming around with injections and blood-soaked mummy like patients coming to throttle me were a few images that used to haunt. Okay, I told myself, Im older and I need to behave in a better manner. I never heard a single word of the conversation between our instructor and my parents. Later I learnt, there wasnt any conversation as our instructor hadnt spoken a single word.
That was the case to be, I learnt in the first few days that followed. After extra sincere briefings in a carpeted classroom with AC and a projector, we thought we are doomed. No fun. Only work. I thank the presence of the window close to me which prevented me from yawning right in front of them and spoiling my image(or whatever it is) as the very sight of a projector makes me sleepy. We walked all the eight floors up and down. All over them and even looking at the ICU’s. There the instructor actually caught me staring at a painting instead of looking at the just operated, heavily drugged and pale patients which had a hundred odd machines sticking out of them. I smiled and made up for my lack of attention and glanced at the patients for probably one tenth of a second before admiring his shoes.
The day at last ended at 1:45 pm ,which we thought was too late for a first day ( and comparitively it turned out to be) . I was tired because of all the walking and we had a wedding to attend. Two bus journeys and half a kilometer walk into the IIT campus later, I was fast asleep on the sofa.
PS is killing I thought.