I was in the second grade when my parents realised I couldnt see too well. I had been complaining that I couldnt read the blackboard clearly, I am told. But unfortunately my reputation as an attention seeker preceded me and the teacher thought this was just another ploy to get myself plum prime position up front in the front benches rather than right at the back, where I was inevitably pushed, being tall for the class (Yes, yes, smirk all ye want, I used to be amongst the tallest in the class until puberty struck me at the ripe old age of nine and put the brakes on my height. I am currently somewhere between midget and five foot nothing.) Returning home from a party someplace, the father started me reading taxi plate numbers to keep me occupied. Voila, I couldnt read them. I squinted and squinted and couldnt read them. I was dragged kicking and screaming to the opthalmologist the very next day and a grim card with – 3 was plonked in front of the mother, who in true Hindi film fashion, covered her ears and shrieked Nahin or maybe, I exaggerate. I of course got a good telling to for all the comic books read and television watched from the tip of my nose. For the next few days I walked about gingerly with the newly acquired spectacles perched at the edge of my nose. I was now, and became officially for the rest of my life, a nerd. It also didnt help that I was round as a ball and hulking. Puberty and determined dieting brought those proportions under control but in my head, I am still the fat specsky girl in the back corner of the class.
I didnt learn swimming because I couldnt see too well around me with the spectacles off. I didnt get to cycle because the only time someone consented to dare bear my weight and teach me, I fell terribly on said friend and crushed her bones to powder and my spectacles to in the process. I hated the trouble of wearing contact lenses, but would do anything for vanity therefore lived in them. My most I hate spectacles moment came when I was wheeled in for my C-sec, handing over my spectacles to my mother for safekeeping. When the child was pulled out and shown to me before being carted off for washing cleaning and measuring I couldnt see him and yelled out for my spectacles, leading to a serial race from op theatre attendant to wardboy to nurse to the mother to ask for them spectacles and as luck would have, or my absent minded mother’s penchant more likely an explanation, she couldnt find or remember where she had kept them safely. Of course, the mewling child was carted off pronto.
Its taken me a long time to work up the courage to get here. I go in for a LASIK tomorrow. Ive been told to come in without eye make up and without deo. Hopefully I will be bathed and fresh and wont knock out the poor surgeon with BO. And hopefully I emerge with eyes that can see without the crutch of them spectacles. Somehow it feels like the date of release from some imprisonment.
And yes, there will be no further blogposts until I get the all okay to sit in front of the computer. Three days I’ve been told. Be good till then.