Musings

Supine readers

It has been almost a month of reading thick Pathology tomes non-stop. As quizmaster, I had been preparing questions for a State level Postgraduate Pathology Quiz. I enjoy the process of discovery, and reading academic texts for the joy of learning is something I don’t mind at all. And then, quizzing has always been a passion. What doesn’t suit me are deadlines and stress levels. All that hard work culminated today, and the quiz is now officially behind me.

And strangely, the moment I reached home, all I wanted to do was: read a book. This time, lying down. I am tired of sitting up, taking notes and jotting down questions. All I want to do is flop into bed and curl up with a book.

There is something fantastic about lying down on your back and reading a book in bed. No desktop computer can give you that pleasure. As a kid I got yelled at by Mom for this habit. But we were a whole family of people who loved to lie down and read. Dad was our role model! So Mummy didn’t have much of a say. I was a shade better than my brother who used to light a torch under his blanket and read once the lights were out. I always suspected he was reading Sidney Sheldon rather than his Physics textbook.

Things were supposed to change once I joined medicine. You can’t possible read those voluminous textbooks lying down, I was told. “Thankfully now, you will learn to read like a bhala manush, sitting at your table,” prophesied my Mom. She hadn’t stepped into a hostel room in a medical college when she said that. We did worse! Learning Anatomy in first year meant that your bed was strewn with bones of all kinds. We crammed the insertions and origins of muscles on those bones till we dropped asleep. And we had nightmares. Not about the bones. But about ending up tongue-tied in the exams! And as for the thick medical tomes, I learnt to balance my Grey’s Anatomy, Guyton’s Physiology and Robbins’ Pathology over a pillow placed over my very stable belly and sailed through MBBS reading in supine position.

I wonder what Mom would say if she saw me now. I have committed sacrilege! I have perfected the art of reading and typing on my laptop– lying down! Don’t judge me now. But I do all my medical reading from pdfs now, still curled up in bed. Where there is a will, there is a way!

I know what my mother would say to this. She would mumble: you can’t straighten a dog’s tail.

One Comment

  • Vasumathi Sriganesh

    Oh the days of parents scolding you for reading while lying down, or while eating….!! The prophesy of “Kannu Kettu pogum” (your eyes will get spoilt” – did not happen to me though 🙂 And reading while eating… well when one devoured Enid Blytons, one just had to eat. So much of food was part of those books. One felt ravenous then.
    I still can’t sleep without reading a book at least for a few minutes. Yes – even on my iPhone or Kindle 🙂

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