( Wrote this for a recital at the Life In Colors Dinner at the Ahinsan Youth Centre on 5th April,2014.)
Good evening! Welcome! It’s finally here. Life In Colors! Life In Colors! It’s all unfolding live and coloured before our very eyes. You all look lovely tonight. A beautiful kaleidoscope from up here. Ei Nti Kuma is this you? I can see God’s grace has been sufficient for you this time round. You finally brought a date this year. Y’eda Awurade ase (We thank God).
The Japanese have a saying.光陰矢のごとし (Kohin yanogotoshi). It simply means time flies like an arrow. What truism! Time really does fly. Has it really been four years? I’d be lying if I toot my horn up here and make it sound as if it has all been rosy. From our very first lecture in the faculty with Prof. Okine in which our entire knowledge in organic chemistry from senior high was covered with time to spare. That was scary! The tachycardias felt as Prof Okine walked right towards your seat after he asked a question, and the muffled Psalm 23s recited in the hope that you don’t get called. Hopefully we won’t end up being the drug peddlers he kept insisting some of us would become. Do I need to remind you of Mahmoud’s all too frequent giggling in the chemistry lab, the presentations and redos , the dubbing and using of textbooks we have never even seen in our 4 year stay on campus as references? Remind me to go check out what Beckett and Stenlake actually looks like before I graduate.
Anatomy and Physiology. The Tortoras and Saladins. The rapt attention with which everyone listened to Big George as he taught Reproduction and the disappointments on most of our faces after seeing our anatomy midsem results. Maybe someday science would decipher the physiology of sleep leaving our heavy eyelids at the very instant a lecturer finishes his lectures.
How can I forget Orientation & Dispensing and the engine room? Posology and Amanor reading out loud my acidic test scores, the red pens and napkins, the cracked emulsions, and the tears I almost shed when my suppositories were stolen from the fridge during the final exam. Were it not for God’s grace. Does Asomesi think I’ve forgotten so soon how she locked the Dispensing lab and refused to let even the TAs out till she found her phone which had been stolen? Sagaa
Have you forgotten the Pharmacology lab? If only we could administer a dose of a boring lecture on a hot afternoon after a heavy lunch in there instead of pentobarbitone to rats to determine the sleeping time.
Pharmacognosy and its labs. Some botanical sources we would never forget. Datura metel , Cinnamomum zeylanicum , Moringa oleifera , Cinchona succirubra. Diagrams of leaves that didn’t even mildly resemble the actual and Soxhlet apparatuses that looked like Frytol bottles.
The anxieties of us the weaker brethren (as the Calculus lecturer rightly called us) when the time tables for exams were released. The degree of entropy of chemical structures and mechanisms in our heads before a chemistry exam. The never ending shading of scantroms and not understanding why the one next to you was asking for extra sheet when yours were barely half filled. The smiles we faked to hide the fact that the paper rocked us. The helplessness of being unable to avoid a fast approaching trail in the exam room by asking the one next to you just because Rev. Prof. Ansah said before the exam “If you are caught cheating, you have completed university”. I couldn’t help but laugh when I looked to my right during that Statistics exam just to find out I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t find a question to start with. How I passed that exam I do not have an inkling. Sitting in the exam room wishing you had been wise enough to learn on your own when the lecturers were on strike. Realising the answer to that question you couldn’t answer in the midsem was actually in the handout all along when learning for the final exam. A decade from now I’m sure we’d still be able recall the faculty’s course code.060.
The dinners. The fiasco that the one at Golden Tulip was. The Africana Night. The Masquerade Ball. The socializing. Royal La Meta Hotel, Pool Side, and the Lake. Memories that we’ll keep with us for ages. They offered us much needed respite from the stressful academic work.
The vacations and the flying. Me dier I didn’t go some so I can’t say some. For those of you who were hiding somewhere in Subriso Kɔkɔtrɔ and those who travelled to Fernando Po and came back after vacation to tell us you went to New Orleans and Manchester ,Nyame ehu mo (God has seen you).
How can I forget the hype and publicity surrounding how difficult 3rd year was going to be rivaled only recently by the Bukom Banku – Ayittey Powers bout? We didn’t survive the uphill task 3rd year was by our own might. The handouts released after just the first week was enough to make me want to give up. First year Microbiology was child’s play compared to Immunology. Anatomy and Physiology was peanuts compared to Systems Pharmacology. The first years here would insist a Pharmaceutical Chemistry exam is the toughest anywhere. Tweeaaa! Wait till you sit behind a Medicinal Chemistry paper.
The grabbing and the heartbreaks. I still can’t decide which was funnier. When Koo Nimo was caught when he tried ronning two friends with the same format or when Asebu Amenfi made a pass at Okonore Yaa only to be asked “Who are you to sex me”? For those of you who lost your girlfriends and crushes to fresh boys with cars or TA take heart. For the gnashers who look likely to finish four nil there’s still time. It’s not over until it’s over.
From the beautiful skylines,
And the intensive sunshines,
From the path less walked by,
And the leaves gone dry,
From the flowers blooming bright,
And the stars scattering light,
From the tides up high,
And the streaks in the sky,
I see the colours of life unseen,
Faded over years that have been.
From the soft silky smiles,
That cover the faces of disguise,
From the sweet true lies,
That make us “wise”,
From the million tries,
That pay no price,
From the deep ‘flashing’ eyes,
That tell a story of cries,
I see the colours of life unseen,
Mystified over time that have been.
Different from the colours we define,
The ‘colours of life’ always shine,
The eyes can’t reflect,
Only instinct can deflect,
The true nature never exists,
Only joy it consists,
Beauty extrudes, outlines refine,
Crystals nurture, meanings re-define,
From the REAL eyes, I see the unseen,
Colours of life, always true they have been….!!!(Varun K. Sharma).