A Freshman’s Guide to Sexuality and Other Poems



Title: CogVerse
Author: Vivekanand Selvaraj
Publisher: Poetrywala
Pages: 98

1 - A freshman’s guide to sexuality — revised edition

(Also available — New supplement : Six questions about Sex that Fathers won’t answer —)

Did you teach him to masturbate?
There was a guy in my college who said he had four balls, he showed me the two hanging down
there and the two inside his head. I looked at his face, he wasn’t smoking up, he wasn’t on drugs.


1. Do you know that he treated his body like a vegetable teeming with strange desires every night looking for action in every after-10pm HBO AXN Star Movie after you all retired to bed?

This is how you handle erotica. You stop calling it erotica and start calling it Scene book. Don’t say it. Drip it from your mouth. Syllable by syllable. It should remind people of landscapes. 1. What do you plan to do about the erotic needs of your children? This is how you procure them. Send the first years to the shop under the bridge with all the shame of their pampered selves writ on their faces. To the lady sitting there like she is selling devotional songbooks (which she is), they are to inform where they are from. She understands.


2. How do you handle your own nocturnal urges?

Once it reaches the House of Lords, the object of crime changes its scene once every two days, moving from room to room, from beneath one suitcase to another, reminding one of cigarettes, unwashed underwear, agarpathis, cheap paper, vintage brick and mortar, the life- giving water of Thamirabarani—the olfactory coming together giving one the seductive high that the bad grammar, the absurd plot, and the unclear print can’t, on their own.

5. Did you hide high erotica between the four volumes of Bhagavad Gita, several books of Osho, J. Krishnamurti, Ramana Maharishi, and their ilk? Did you think he won’t find them and read through?

This is how you tame the first years. Form two rows of 10 each, strip them down to their boxers and play games till 3 am. No one is to be exempt. Everyone is equal before the Lords of Ragging.

1. What can be done now, according to you?

Teach them rules. Make them obey. All that lies in the shirt pocket belongs to the Seniors. Inside the premises you only wear one layer of clothing and no underwear. First years can’t roll up shirt sleeves, tuck shirts in or wear belts. Teach them the salute. It is very important, requires practice.


P.S: Questions above have no relation to their answers. Any such connections are purely unintended and must be construed as the subjective bias of the readers.

2 - How not to execute a medical salute
(for First Years only)

This is how you execute a proper medical salute.

Step 1: Grasp scrotum tightly with left hand, keep the right firmly down. Your back must be stiff and erect before you begin the jump. Your feet must be somewhere in between attention and stand-at-ease.

Step 2: Begin the jump as if your life depended on it and while your feet move up, your upper body traces an arc, a bell curve approaching perfection, as if to meet your legs (you can’t, really). Remember, the back of your right palm meets your forehead a lightning instant before the upper body flexing begins. Always ensure your left palm does not go easy on the scrotum.

Step 3: Stay in position till your senior’s affirmatory nod. Cherish and savour this dream-like obedience. Your doubt as to whether you can sense your senior’s gestures with a stuck-between- the-thighs-head are quite valid, but, trust me, when you go down like that, the field of vision opens up in mysterious ways.


And Fatsos, we know what you can’t do. So just try.

This is how you do not get ahead of yourself during a medical salute. The tendency of the extremely flexible bodies to achieve a higher float of the head has been recorded in most medical literature. Though it must be acknowledged that the temptation to suck one’s own dick in this process is not abnormal—desist however to the extent possible (a little sucking is pardonable)—what must be avoided at all costs is to stick / shove your head up your own arse. There is no way coming back from that hell.

3 - Undead scrolls

(The following three exhibits were discovered from the Interns’ quarters of TVMC. They seem to be torn pages from an Intern’s journal.)


July 4, 2008

46 years old conscious on admission C/o pain in the chest region

History: No H/o Hypertension / Diabetes Mellitus / previous heart disease.

Patient had come to Tirunelveli in the morning on a work related trip. (He had stolen two hours from the evening to buy 3 kgs of Iruttu Kadai Halwa to remember the ancient city’s famous preoccupations.)
The pain which began while standing in queue for halwa had slowly crept up his left shoulder like a snake and he felt a weight on his chest—which he later reported as an elephantine
heaviness—while waiting at the railway station for the Chennai bound Nellai Express.

Investigations: Patient shifted to ward for ECG (ECG machine is still under repair in the ER) and was immediately rushed to Intensive Coronary Care Unit after significant ST depression was noted. Elevated Troponin levels found (results arrived Post Mortem.)

Treatment: Patient put on Nitroglycerine drip and anticoagulants followed by Streptokinase infusion . A bolus of 20000 IU plus 3000 IU per minute maintenance dose given.

Cause of Death: Patient suffered cardiac arrest at 0200 hrs on 5 July. Defibrillation was attempted. 3 vials of Adrenaline administered. CPR attempted. Patient could not be revived and was declared dead around 0230 hrs on July 5.

To Self: Did the ribs break during the CPR? He was laughing when he was brought in. His laughter was like a cloak upon the dagger of his pain. A silence shrouding his lifeless body, now a dead battery. A mouse rushes out of the ward frantically as if it had risen from the dead.

Vivekanand Selvaraj writes in English and Tamil. His work has appeared in Spittoon monthly, The Bombay Literary Magazine, Nether Quarterly ( Revival issue), Bengaluru Review, Poetry at Sangam, Aainanagar, Sonic Boom, Vayavya and The Freedom Review. He is also an amateur theatre enthusiast, having written and staged quite a few of them. He is a diplomat currently stationed at Beijing (as First Secretary in Embassy of India )

The book was published in August 2022. Published by Paperwall Publishing