Memory and Love


Each week, we pick a short fiction piece from our Fairlight Shorts archives to feature as our story of the week. This week, we’ve chosen a story about ambition by Subramani Mani.

Subramani Mani trained as a physician in India and then moved to the US to pursue graduate studies. Currently, he splits his time between his adopted and native lands. He started writing, feeling the urge to share the memories of certain life experiences and perspectives which could not be done within the bounds of normal day-to-day interactions and conversations. He believes that honest story-telling aspiring to uncover the beauty of life can change us, others, and by extension our world, in desirable ways.

Subramani’s stories have been published or are forthcoming in The Charleston AnvilUmbrella Factory MagazineNew English Review and The Phoenix, among others.

‘Love and Memory’ follows a young doctor through life as they remember their student days.



As in life, the dead also showcase their inequalities. When I say the dead, I mean the dead bodies, the cadavers. I became aware of these inequities in a strange way when I joined medical school. It was on the stone tables of the anatomy dissection hall that I first noticed these differences.

In elementary, middle and high school I don’t remember lagging in studies or sports. I was not one of the top students; you could say that with confidence. I was average, probably, or perhaps slightly above average. There were a few students who were highly talented and excelled in whatever they did – whether academics, track, games or music. Little did I know at that time that many of my other classmates would blossom and become much accomplished in their chosen fields.

By high school I had become a good parrot, remembering what my teachers taught in class and what I memorized from the textbooks. Based on much better grades in high school I was accepted to medical school. In my part of the world, you could get into schools of medicine and dentistry after completing high school. But I found the going tough and the medical school environments very challenging. It was clear to me that I was one of the dumbest students in class. And, compared to high school courses, the medical curriculum – human anatomy, physiology and biochemistry – went way over my head. It stopped me in my tracks and tried to submerge me like a mudslide burying huts at the foothills of mountains.

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