Sunday, January 25, 2015

Exam got over on the 18th, and this is an update on the same

Yes, well. The exam (MRCPCH Clinicals) got over on the afternoon of the 18th. Readers may want to know how I fared, and I am not sure I can tell you whether I will, or will not, clear these, because I did make a few blunders in it. However, to be fair, the organisation of the exam was very well done. The examiners were extremely nice to us. The support staff was always there, showing us where to go, what to do, etc. The supervisor examiner was one Dr. Anand Shah, and he was constantly on his toes. His assistants, medical post-graduate students by the look of it, were on the move all the time. The cases they had brought for us were relatively straightforward, but a few were difficult to diagnose as they had minimal abnormal findings. 

In short, a tough exam, and I don't know what the outcome will be - officially, we will get to know about it after 4-6 weeks. 

That, then, is the update you were all waiting for. Now, on to other news. After the exam, I left Ahmedabad at about half past four p.m. I took a private rickshaw to Kapadwanj to rendezvous with my Jolly group members who had gathered there since the last 2 days at our friend Hamid Rafique's place. The ride was smooth, albeit slow, as a rickshaw cannot really speed up! The main problem, though, was the cold wind that hit us as soon as we had left the polluted center of Ahmedabad. Although I had my sweater on, it did nothing to make my ride comfortable. I endured the violent cold wind upon my face and my er ... protected chest ... and reached the "small" or "naani" Vhorwad where some bystanders guided us to Hamid's home.

Ceiling of Hamid's home

This is a view of the wooden cupboard that is fixed into the wall and the decorative niches

My friends Hatim and Shabbir M

The ground floor hall from another angle.
I was to spend just one night here, but what a grand welcome and party I got. At the time I reached, only Hamid and his family were home as the rest of the gang had gone in their van to ... guess where ... Ahmedabad to perform religious rituals at the tomb of Syedna Qutbuddin Shahid. I was angry because they could have well-informed me about this and picked me up from there instead of making me take a private rickshaw and go to Kapadwanj. Their excuse was that they really had no place for a tenth person (they were nine - Salim, Shenaz and Alisha Dadla, Shabbir and Farida Virpurwala, Hatim and Rashida Pancha and Shabbir and Farida Mandviwala.) Anyways, so there it was. Hamid had organised a barbecue party in the backyard of his well-preserved ancestral home. The chicken tikka were delicious, as was the mutton seekh, though I can't say the same for the lamb tikka which, unfortunately, remained hard to chew despite three attempts to re-barbecue them.

Although we had diced onions and mint leaves, we missed chutney and some drinks to accompany the food. He had also invited some of his friends who live in Kapadwanj, so, we had a full house. After dinner, he took me to the local Jamatkhana which he has renovated completely and memorialised it with the name of his mother (there is a slab there to commemorate it). The community hall really looks so fantastic. Apparently, he has spent over 50 lakhs on this venture.

The night was uneventful. In the morning, they served up a breakfast of kheema with lasan and eggs. It was great, and we had all this with chapatis. Later, I went to the local graveyard (kabrastan) in a local rickshaw, did the ziyarat of Syedi Khoj bin Malek and a few other worthies. I then returned to the market area of Kapadwanj, where I bought and had bhajiyas, tea, etc. Also, by half-past eleven, I returned to Hamid's place, where I joined the others to have lunch - there was mixed vegetable bhaji and chapatis followed by dal-chawal palidu. 

After lunch, I took leave of them all and travelled back to Ahmedabad airport, where I took my flight back to Mumbai, arriving at Mumbai at about half past six. My short Kapadwanj vacation had ended.

P.S. While going to Ahmedabad, I had had to pay an over-weight penalty, so I requested my Jolly club members to bring back my books within a bag in their van. This helped me to travel light while returning to Mumbai. 

P.P.S. The next entry will describe my trip to Chandigarh.

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