Syedyshev Oleg
Syedyshev Oleg

Humorous Essays Based on students' memories

"All have died
except for those who are alive, and those whom we remember"Confucius

Essay 52. Brother-2

Of course, all of those who came to study at the medical institute had different motives. For instance, in my case, a surgeon saved my thumb on the right hand from being amputated. That happened when I was in the seventh grade, so even then I knew that I would become a doctor, a surgeon, too, and would save people's fingers, hands, legs and lives. Perhaps other students had similar reasons. Of course, diseases one's own and of family members are a very imperative motivation. Though, there were those, who had been made or persuaded by relatives; and I wrote about one of such cases in the essay "A Stranger in Medicine". And for someone, on the contrary, family tradition was the main reason of making the decision. Someone simply liked a white doctor's smock, but the inner call to do good, as Mother Teresa taught, became the main cause of coming to the medical institute.
I would like to tell you how Zhenya Romashov became a medic- student, and later his brother Kostya. And not because I was a friend of both of them, just their motivation was the most typical. Before entering the institute Yevgeniy had had education in veterinary, and he found a job of an X-ray photography laboratory assistant at a Prokopievsk traumatological hospital. He worked in Prokopievsk under the direction of Faina Samsonovna Golubkova, mother of Marik Golubkov, our group mate.

By his life convictions Zhenya was a very responsible guy, the words "This must be done, Zhenya" said by someone he respected were unarguable. He was ready to shift mountains. If he was asked to, he worked two or three shifts, even more to that, he used to stay in the X-ray lab for several days in a row. And at that time the equipment was Soviet. Of course, it was drummed into our heads that our medical equipment was "the best medical equipment in the world". And in spite of being the best, it went out of order, too. So in the X-ray lab there was a case of a malfunction of a radiation tube. And who got the radiation sickness?



Yes, Zhenya did, the one who spent days and nights at work. And there Faina Samsonovna played an important role in his life. She was kind and sympathetic by nature, and she also felt guilty that Zhenya had got exposed to rays. She was the head of the Radiology Department at the Prokopievsk traumatology hospital. She gently, but persistently made the whole administration of the hospital go out of their way, and herself brought the papers and Yevgeniy from the hospital to Kemerovo to Yevgeniy Dmitrievitch Logachev, and she managed to do so that Yevgeniy Dmitrievitch Romashov was enrolled to the Therapeutic Department of the Medical Institute in 1965. Though after one semester of study Zhenya took a sabbatical leave without even taking any examinations; radiation sickness was a serious matter.
I want to step aside and give a credit to Yevgeniy's tact. We were very close friends, as it is said we shared the last piece of bread, but it was only recently that I learned that Zhenya was well received in Y.D. Logachev's family, that he had relations of friendship with Faina Samsonovna's family.

Associate professors F.S.Golubkova and A.N.Frumgarts

Associate professors
F.S.Golubkova and A.N.Frumgarts

How kindly the brothers Romashov spoke about F.S.Golubkova and her husband! About him they told that he could tell an anecdote to match any word combination, and did that for sure with Jewish accent. By the way, in my sixth year I had a pleasure to hear that myself.
So, Zhenya Romashov was a medical institute student, and Konstantin was preparing to finish his tenth year at a secondary school in 1967. His friends were older, some of them had served in the Army, and some were going to serve there. At that time among the young and people in general there was a clear-cut conviction that "if one did not serve in the Army, he was not a man then". That was drummed into our heads in such a way that even young girls inquired, why their intended husband did not serve in the armed forces? So Kostya was about to go to the Army. Fresh air of Kirghizia, its fruit and vegetables together with regular work out made his muscles so noticeable, that girls started looking at him with admiration.

Kostya's parents did not interfere in his choice of his way in life, but Yevgeniy (he was 13 years older than Kostya) could not allow himself to stay indifferent. He loved Kostya very much and wished good to him, so he started persistently advising Kostya to enter the medical institute in Kemerovo. And his arguments were ferroconcrete: after the graduation Kostya would have a rank of a medical service lieutenant; he had to apply to the Dentistry Department as it had a five-year academic program, and Kostya would graduate simultaneously with him, Yevgeniy, after the institute he was free to specialize and then become an anesthesiologist, or at least a dentist-surgeon, which meant plastic surgeries to turn ugly guys into handsome ones. The strongest argument Zhenya saved to be the last one - Oleg Syedyshev studied in Kemerovo! So if before that Kostya was a bit hesitant, then after the final argument he was determined to go to Kemerovo to enter the Medical Institute. And in conclusion Zhenya said: "If you do not enter the institute, you will go to the Army".

So a train after some transfers brought the brothers Romashov to Kemerovo. That was a long way, so to while it away the brothers were singing a famous sincere song in Kirghis: "Tokhto a train, the wheels bukhtobuly, a conductor ichpesi the breaks...". Everybody liked the song, especially the women-car attendants, and they treated the brothers to tea all the way long.
In spite of the summertime Kemerovo welcomed the brothers with drizzling fall rain. The wind was blowing from the direction of karbolit, and there was the smell of phenols in the air. And above their heads there was flying the well-known "fox' tail". It was later when Kostya was explained that that was nitric dioxide, and after its reaction with water during the rain, there was nitrous acid dripping down from the sky on heads of "carefree people of Kemerovo". Though it was not concentrated, yet that was the acid. Kostya who had grown up in Kirghizia, where the sky was blue and deep, the air the purest, the glittering of glaciers was blinding, where water both artesian or of the glaciers was tasty and had no chlorine or scale, was in shock, and he had treacherous thoughts: "Ouch, perhaps I will apply to the medical institute in Frunze after the service in the Army. And now I will fail at least a Russian Language examination...". Though, when he looked at Zhenka, he even got scared if he had said that aloud. Zhenya had short fuses.
Then Zhenya brought his brother into the house in Gertsen street, which was in Kirovskiy district. I had already written about the house in the essay "A Mini Dorm".
From uncle Vasya, the landlord, Zhenya rented a big heat insulated for winter mansard, and locked his younger brother there every day. Zhenya brought chemistry and physics text books for university applicants, a couple of notebooks, a handful of pencils and entrance examination papers of the previous academic year to the mansard.

Every day he left for Kostya a bucket of water, sausage, bread and buttermilk. A toilet was a pail covered with a rug. Every day Zhenya gave Kostya a task to learn ten examination papers and promised to personally examine him on all the ten examination papers, and if Kostya passed the exam, they would go out to a movie theatre or to a restaurant. If Kostya failed, then he would stay locked at the mansard behind its iron barred windows. He demonstrated Kostya his fist and left for the whole day not to distract his brother from his study.
Uncle Vasya had three boys; there was one year's difference of age between them; the boys were a bit younger than Kostya. Their father was very strict with them. They used to come to Kostya quite often, took one window glass out, and Kostya gave them money to buy him cigarettes "Pamir" or "Prima"; he paid twice more than a packet cost, 25 - 30 kopeks was the guys' "business", as they were "businessmen". And then separated by the iron bars they were smoking and talking "about life". The boys sympathized with Kostya, and he - with them.

Kostya Romashov

Kostya Romashov

So by such a draconian method and because of great boredom Kostya learned by heart physics and chemistry and received excellent grades. And a "satisfactory" grade for Russian made him a student of the Dentistry Department of Kemerovo State Medical Institute. Though Kostya believed and is convinced in this now that that was absolutely an achievement of his elder brother Yevgeniy.

The plot for the story was kindly given by K.D. Romashov.

31 August, 2011.

© Copyright: Oleg Syedyshev, 2012
Publishing licence #21204260413

Translated by Viktoria Potykinato content