Altruism; chivalry; women. In many ways these are the three essential components of what truly makes one a Kick-Ass. In fact, these are the three principles by which he abides. I am quite justified in using this term; Kick-Ass, especially because we have a very befitting pop culture reference: Kick-Ass the Movie. The movie is about a kid who gets obsessed with becoming a real life super hero, who goes around doing good things, and also finds it an excellent way of winning over the girl he likes.
We however are not discussing the movie. It has been mentioned to give some necessary background on this term “Kick-Ass”, as the three principles mentioned above can be observed in this movie. It holds some useful cues for an aspiring PMC Kick-Ass, who more likely than not, had a very suppressive teenage. No quick judgments should be made, as this is not a complete tragedy. We are after all going to discuss how a PMC Kick-Ass unravels: The story of a true hero in making.
In order to do this, I will have to contextualize the abovementioned three principles into PMC’s environment and realities, and how these reflect in a PMC Kick-Ass. So, bear with me as this is nothing short of celebration of a crucial aspect of PMC’s lifestyle.
Altruism technically means giving to others, being charitable, and caring for others, and so on. The question is, how is Altruism embodied by a PMC Kick-Ass? Surely it can’t be donating blood, and other clichéd manners of ‘caring for others’. A true PMC Kick-Ass always has an excuse; from life threatening health condition to wrong blood group. As an uninitiated new comer, he must first learn to appreciate what Altruism really is, for this he turns to the ‘sages’ often referred to as ‘seniors’. Remember, he is already a PMC Kick-Ass in spirit.
The very first lesson he learns is, “puttar spending on yourself is the greatest act of charity in PMC”. Hence he acquires the key to being altruistic. The process of extreme makeover begins. Out goes the checkered formal looking shirt that he once buttoned up to the collar, with great pride, suddenly tight t-shirts and fake polos are in. Branded jeans, a sure eye-catcher, and of course, china made pair of converse. The first step to completion of his manhood has been covered.
Now he busies himself with spreading his altruistic spirit by giving much needed fashion advice to other aspiring PMC Kick-Asses. Soon, he gathers and establishes PMC’s very own, and abused version of Backstreet Boys (I say abused, because there’s a history of precedents). On a thoughtful second note, I should probably scratch the reference to Backstreet Boys, what I really meant was macho, testosterone laden Kick-Asses.
Chivalry means having valor, generosity, gentleman ship. So, it is not terribly hard to mistake the Kick-Asses as knights in shining armour. This alliance of evil fighters goes out into the corridors of PMC everyday to scout ‘possible threats’. Their primary aim is to save the innocent and unsuspecting girls from the ‘marauding’ theethas, who aren’t “JUST” discussing viva questions, or exchanging notes, or suddenly showing up in the same societies, or running for sports rep. There’s a more ‘sinister’ reason.
A PMC Kick-Ass, after all those facials and threading routines, not to mention the military like regimen he has to get used to, in order to look like a cheap rip-off of MTV Roadies, has a greater right to such reasons. Or so he sincerely believes. Only he should hit the jackpot. He’s the man, no…the superman!
Naturally, many would ask the question: why be altruistic? Why be chivalrous? Why ‘save’ the ‘unsuspecting’ girls? The answer, which is biologically and psychologically sound, is: because they are GIRLS! This one is a no-brainer.
After years of being walked over, of the survival of the fittest going awry, girls are quite literally ‘the forbidden fruit’. Being disadvantaged is a great motivator!
So, “women” (ladies, take no offence; ‘women’ is being used a suitable synonym for ‘girls’, there’s nothing wrong with being in touch with your feminine side) is the last and most important principle and component of a Kick-Ass’s existence. First two principles are a corollary to it.
In not so far past, when he wasn’t a Kick-Ass, the PMC Kick-Ass’s expertise in this field included:
Ogling girls sheepishly, hiding behind pillars and doors. All the while pretending to fix his thick prescription glasses.
Reading depressing poetry.
And, of course being in touch with ‘modern ways’, like those ‘love meters’ on such educational outlets as Aag TV. He loved (still does) utilizing such digital means of finding the perfect other to message late into night with. After all what are the ‘youth packages’ for? A 70% on the ‘love meter’ would turn out to be so incredibly exhilarating that he would go to sleep with head held high, like a warrior who had won a most prized trophy. The only problem is, he imagined his name on the ‘love meter. He was too clever to spend any money.
Today, the PMC Kick-Ass stands a real chance, or, at least he thinks. And, he is always looking for motivation. What really boosts his morale is the fact that the girls he wishes to court (or has been successful courting) aren’t exactly ‘houris’ either. This in itself increases his chances exponentially.
Now, all of this may sound a little bizarre and even disturbing to a non-PMCian. He or she may ask: why go through all this trouble? What could possibly create a desire in a person to become a Kick-Ass? What are the possible social and psychological causes?
To my untrained mind, these sound like intellectual and philosophical questions. Attempting to answer these is likely to bore me, the PMC Kick-Asses, and rest of the PMCians. So, I’m going to leave these unanswered.
As for the outcome of such endeavours, it isn’t always as a PMC Kick-Ass expects. The success rate is quite abysmal. Only the most skilful ones actualize their ‘goals’, most others have to settle for ‘less’. It’s ruthless competition. Many PMC Kick-Asses may have withdrawal symptoms that feel like Spiderman in his real life, except that this is their only ‘real’ life.
However, there IS a silver lining. After having spent five years with much philogynist vigor, a Kick-Ass is not simply Kick-Ass, he is now the PMC Kick-Ass M.B.B.S. Here, his story turns a new page. What happens next does not concern us, but the legacy of PMC Kick-Ass lives on.
The ordeal for most begins one sweltering afternoon sometime in summer. The realization takes place in passing. It couldn’t in any other way because of the inevitability. Deep inside we all know that it’s bound to happen, even if we are wont. So, one day while pushing through the drudgery of theories, diseases and actual work, one goes, “Oh man PROF!!”.
Work it is, to everyone. But how is it an ‘ordeal’ may not be discernible to quite a few. Those with a ‘fool proof’ life plan. How it all began for them requires wandering down the uncharted memory lanes of the ‘dedicated’. However, every ‘way’ has its perils, and with PROF come great perils.
That PROF is an instigator of such ‘perils’ is only partly true. The PROF season does, however, provide an important microcosmic insight into how a certain stratum of our society thinks and operates. Here I’m considering the middle class, who make up the bulk of the educated and the ‘being educated’. How the way they perceive education and how it affects what they do in future, most certainly does not take place in a ‘void’. The rat race to success in PROF mirrors much of what takes place after one finishes his or her studies.
Politics of PROF
So what are these perils that I speak of? Most certainly studying much of day light and night hours to the extent that you lose sense of time, but still relying on ‘chance’ to make a difference between great success and mere success, or success and failure, is a perilous situation to be in. This is exactly the mental cacophony that has to be dealt by someone studying for PROF.
The social background of the individual also makes the situation ‘perilous’, or at least I would like to think. Middle class, the educated middle class, lives in a world, in a bubble, which is the height of mediocrity. The life has a set path. You are born, you go to school, you go to college, you become a doctor/engineer/civil servant, and you make money, get married, make babies, and perpetuate the cycle. Over and over again. Such a life style should raise questions, and it does. However, I intend to discuss only what’s relevant to the issue at hand.
What piques my intuition is, what exactly MOTIVATES people who choose to remain and continue to remain in such a lifestyle? The answer is intricately wound in the way our society, culture, and social conscious operate. We have to remember that education is one of the factors that create ‘social mobility’, and still being traditionally agricultural society, a large part if not most of the middle class, comes from a rural underclass background. The realities of life, the tug of war over land, possessions, high status of a village noble, translate into an urban struggle. The same mentality is at work, even if one moved on from ‘the village’ generations ago, it is deeply ingrained in the psyche.
In the dullness of middle class life, competition is ‘created’, along the lines of money, land, possessions, connections, social status, caste, and even color (the whole ‘fair and lovely’ complex). Since we aren’t exactly a meritocratic society, corruption helps immensely as well.
This ‘competition’ is particularly profound when it comes to ‘doctors’, because of the notion that exists and persists among us that it is a noble profession. Noble here means status and money. Hence parents work hard, and so does the ‘educational system’, to produce these trophy children, who know only, and think only to achieve that would ensure and perpetuate their status quo. It is strange the profundity with which this urbanized village mentality persists, almost like a religious obsession. Even though, doctors are barely respected anymore, nor does such a profession ensures monetary safety.
Hence, for these trophies to shine, they must compete. Compete for space, compete for position, and compete for status. I doubt most realize they are guinea pigs to the system, regardless of how well off they are likely to be after acquiring the M.B.B.S. Before someone gets pragmatic about this (maybe not so obvious) ‘peril’ and says, “well isn’t that the point? To study for PROF and MBBS?” No it ISN’T. If it were about knowledge, and imparting knowledge, more people would become teachers or go into research, which obviously is NOT the case! It’s about the lustrous trophies.
This is PROF, the politics of PROF. It is not a mere ‘examination’.
Regardless of what PROF represents, we all have an inkling of need for PROF, whether big or small. PROF is not without its advantages. An obvious one is ‘success’ which is a great motivator for everyone, regardless of the underlying driving factors. We all want to taste success, because it provides satisfaction, which in turn helps us to survive and continue. I am petrified, just like anyone else, even at the thought of a “suppli”, because this would lead to LACK of satisfaction among other things, and that would just make it harder to even bare the look of medical books. I hate to use clichés, but PROF either makes you or breaks you, notwithstanding your philosophy on life.
All in all, I do not wish to turn this article into a piece of unauthoritative psychoanalytical babble, not more than it already is! 😛
So, the question is; is this deeply felt expression of woes with PROF meant to help ease the pain? Maybe, provide some release? No, not really. One would be hard pressed to find a ‘remedy’ for something that is needed to provide remedies for countless other pains. But, try ingesting Prozac.
Change is a vital element of nature. A static world is unimaginable, no doubt. But when a person or a thing undergoes a change to such an extent that it can be termed as ‘transmogrification’ then the situation surely deserves, or rather, needs a second thought.
According to my observation, most of us today have ceased to be what they were back then. We have out-smarted the Family of chameleons in changing appearances. This change has been so remarkable and rapid that even the most composed minds have not remained safe from its influence. This prodigious change is not just limited to persons; it is more like a component of the atmosphere in PMC. It has operated like a chain-reaction on the minds, affecting the weak and fragile minds in a highly destructive manner. PMCians are the realistic examples of the “Mutants” which we see in sci-fi stuff. We can often spot a guy who is ‘chilling out’ with the other ‘dudes & pals’ in the ‘coolest’ sense possible, who was actually a slow-witted nerd throughout his past life (or a Theeta, as they say in PMC). A chivalrous young lad who was (and probably could still be) a notorious narcissist can be frequently seen striving to lend a hand to the female colleagues. Pseudo-Mafiosi, who were actually henchmen of some bully in their school life (probably due to the fear of getting beaten up themselves), also grace the PMC corridors with their precious presence (so much so that they don’t even bother entering any department because they feel that their presence should be felt uniformly throughout the premises during their brief visit).
Just a bit of introspection and each and every one of us can easily detect these ‘changed selves’. Well, as far as the reason of this change is concerned, it is quite vivid: unclear objectives! Before coming here, our goal was to get admission in some medical college (preferably K.E for most of the ‘unlucky fellow PMCians’ 😀). After the admission, every one of us had to set new objectives. Most people got derailed at this point because they neither had experience nor sufficient will-power which was required to do that. The parents used to take all the decisions for the majority of us and then this responsibility suddenly shifted to our shoulders weak shoulders. Consequently, two entirely different ‘races’ emerged, whose partition is graphically evident in almost every aspect.
Let me make a generalization here. At first, people mostly choose to continue their old lifestyle (Theeta lifestyle). But they have to go to the other (Non-Theeta) race later on due to the seniors’ influence, stigmatization of the Theetas in general, the ‘encouraging’ company of friends and mainly due to the fact that they had always wanted to lead a carefree life after admission (a reward that was promised to them). In the end, only a few manage to stay the way they were.
The Non-Theetas are a diverse group of individuals. Fifty percent of them are entirely clueless of what they want to do with their lives, hence their existence and non-existence has same effect on others and themselves. They don’t want themselves to get engrossed into anything, be it study or something else. Their ideas keep on fluctuating and they spend their five years like a football which roams about between the two halves in the field and ends up getting nothing except kicks from all the players. They mould themselves according to their company (which is highly volatile) and adopt the ‘ideas’ of the group to which they belong to at any point of time.
The other fifty percent population is better in a way that they at least manage to have some vague idea of what they are going to do in these five years. Now the irony is that the future plans of this lot are so incongruous with their original self that they also have to end up empty-handed (though they delude themselves by cherishing their unreal achievements all this time). Generally, their ‘ideas’ sound like one of these:-
Now reflecting upon the above lines, answer this question: Is any of the above mentioned ‘purpose’ going to take you anywhere in life even if you succeed somehow in achieving it? Temporary rapture and ultimately it is all over and even then we transmogrify ourselves for these useless things. It is a fact that most of us were groomed in a confined environment and that explains much that why these things fascinate us. But just because you have been admitted to a co-ed institution does not mean that you start ruining your life in pursuit of foolish aims. Another thing is that PMC is not even a co-ed institute, it is ‘pseudo co-ed’ and that makes my point even stronger. Try to realize that you have actually been put into a primary school instead of a college and then you will easily understand that it is utterly useless to release your frustration in these useless ways.
Everybody has some potential but the education system in Pakistan is incapable of polishing the abilities of youth and consequently it gets wasted in wrong directions. The situation usually gets better at the graduation level, but unfortunately, it worsens in case of PMC because there are not enough opportunities to show talent in co-curricular activities (there are many reasons for this and they will be addressed at a later time inshaAllah!).
Lastly, I want to state that the purpose of this article is not to encourage everybody to become a Theeta. The point is that choosing to be a Theeta is like choosing a lesser of the two evils. Try to indulge yourself in purposeful activities both outside and inside PMC. If that seems difficult to achieve, at least try to have well-defined objectives. And whatever you intend to do (whether it’s setting a Bacchi or anything else), commit yourself to it and do it tactfully. Because Meer said,
شرط سلیقہ ہے ہر ایک امر میں
عیب بھی کرنے کو ہنر چاہیے
(shart saleeqah hai har aik amr mein
aib bhi karne ko hunar chaahiye)
The Philosopher’s Stone
“Yaar! We have nothing here, in PMC!”
This is a typical statement, issued at the end of most discussions taking place amongst the PMCians. The statement in itself is really “profound” but the discussions at the end of which it is issued are even more “profound”. I will be giving only a few examples here.
Pappoo: Have you heard something about that guy who was beaten up?
Jaggoo: Yeah, I was in the hostel too and witnessed the thrashing myself. It was quite legendary!😀
Pappoo: No, not that one. I am talking about the lad who was slapped by Sir ABC.
Jaggoo: Yeah, mates told me about the poor fellow. It is sad, indeed. But they also said that he was involved in some objectionable stuff.
Pappoo: Regardless of that, I think there should be some freedom here. In XYZ Medical College, teachers don’t bother about their students’ lives and students are free to show their talent in whatever way they want to.
Jaggoo: I agree with you. But hey, don’t lose hope. One day, they will allow us to show our talent and “freedom will ring from every corner of PMC!”
Pappoo: Yaar! We have nothing here, in PMC!
Pappoo: I have heard that there are co-batches in XYZ Medical College. The girls and boys attend the tutorials and practicals together. I end up cursing my fate each time when I hear such things.
Jaggoo: It is not just limited to tutorials and practicals. The girls and boys also perform the dissection together.
Pappoo: Oh my God! That means the boys stand beside the girls? :O
Jaggoo: Yes. One of my friends told me that they even touch the girls whenever they get a chance without the fear of slaps and kicks.
Pappoo: Now don’t tell me that they get those chances often…
Jaggoo: Dude, you are a mind-reader!😉
Pappoo: Yaar! We have nothing here, in PMC!
Pappoo: What about the trip dude? Have they decided something?
Jaggoo: No, I think they have dropped the idea. Better luck next time.
Pappoo: Alas! A friend of mine told me that they enjoy co-trips in XYZ Medical College. Boys and girls together, in the same damn bus and all types of classy stuff! And we are not even worthy of a plain, all-boys trip!!😦
Jaggoo: Don’t worry dude. There is still hope, you can go home and sleep instead!
Pappoo: Yaar! We have nothing here, in PMC!
Pappoo: Here, see this video. My friend from XYZ Medical College filmed it. See how the girls are dancing and there are boys there too!
Jaggoo: Awesome! We should also have something like this here in PMC.
Pappoo: Hey I heard that there is going to be a function similar to this in PMC too. Maybe we can realize our dreams there!
Jaggoo: Sorry dude, it has been cancelled. But don’t worry, there is still hope. We can go home and sleep instead!
Pappoo: Yaar! We have nothing here, in PMC!
Pappoo: How much time is left for the preparation of the next sub-stage?
Jaggoo: Three days precisely. But the time may increase because the girls were planning to see the H.O.D.
Pappoo: How will you know about the outcome of their visit?
Pappoo: Alas! In XYZ Medical College, boys don’t have to wait for girls to break the news on Facebook, they go and ask the girls directly.
Jaggoo: Yeah, that’s right. But hey, you can ask that girl whose number I gave you last week.
Pappoo: Nah, she hasn’t replied me till now.
Jaggoo: Don’t lose hope dude. She will reply one day and the sub-stage will also get delayed.
Pappoo: Yaar! We have nothing here, in PMC!
The sense of deprivation and Pappoo’s inferiority complex can be easily observed in the above lines. It is for the readers to decide whether this thinking of Pappoo is justified or it is baseless.
Note:- (for the persons who are offended when the attributes of ‘Pappoo’ are mentioned)
Pappoo is a fictitious character. While writing the articles, I don’t have any specific guy in my mind. If anybody feels that the character of Pappoo, in any way, has a resemblance with his personality, he should feel free TO IMPROVE HIMSELF (that is, by not being Pappoo) or otherwise he should stop feeling that he is being pointed out.
The Philosopher’s Stone
نوٹ۔ اس تحریر میں کالج کی ایک ”خاص مخلوق“ کی جانب اشارہ ہے ،یہ اصول سب پر لاگو نہیں۔
dooor talak andhera ho, na roshni na sawera ho, to jo roshni dikhaaye, jo andheron ko mitaaye, qalb ko jalaaye, wo ye tibbi madrissa kehlaaye. Shehar ke jhagron se door, clock tower se mafroor, apni aaghosh mein sainkron aison ko samaitay jin par duniya-e-tibb ke baaqi saare darwazay band haun. Iss madrissay ki aan-baan deedni.
apne andar aise moti samaitay jin ki koi qeemat na koi mol, aur aisi “mautiyaan” jin par kisi ka na zor. Aise aafaaqi tabeeb jab moonh par muskuraayen to aap 10 foot dooor jaayen, daant dikhaayen to gohar-e-nayaab sharmaayen, zulfein uraayen to jee matlaayen, zabaan kholein to khaandaan kaa pata bataayen, haath milaayen to angasht-bad-nadaan, seenay se lag jaayen to angasht na-jaane kahaan kahaan.
“Mautiyaan” bhi shaaz mukhtalif nahi, in ki zaat par na jaayen harkaat pe jaayen. “1 surkhi 1 waqt mein” ke asool pe paida, gulaabon ko sharmaayen, dilon ko jalaayen, seenon ko tarpaayen. Angrezi bolain to angraiz sharmaayen, zabaan par aise nashaib-o-faraaz ke alfaaz thak jaayen, bahar aayen to “hotel”, “hotiyell” aur “hello”, “helliyo” ban jaayen, “mautiyon” ke qareeb aao to dooor jaayen, dooor jaao to muskuraayen aankhen milaayen, dil lubhaayen. Phir ye san’at, ye surkhiyaan, ye shokhiyaan cheh-maani-daard? mareezon ke liye 5 saal mareez tayyaar karte iss madrissay ki mazeed bapta qaabil-e-shaneed hai, sun’ne ki sakat to ho.
Note: iss tehreer mein college ki 1 “khaas makhlooq” ki jaanib ishara hai, ye asool sab par laagoo nahi.