Me and my spectacles

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.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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37 Responses to Me and my spectacles

  1. Mampi says:

    GOod luck with the Lasik.
    I need it too, but have not been able to go beyond the vanity of knowing that spectacles suit me…
    Will miss your posts but look forward to a great feedback about Lasik in your come-back post.


  2. Ron says:

    Good luck Kiran. Hope your eyes heal soon and you come back with a detailed post on the surgery…I need that to boost up my courage and go for Lasik myself.


  3. Andy says:

    Good Luck Kiran.

    Lasik is wht my husband getting for his bday this year and he is really thrilled so I am sure so r u!!


  4. Serendipity says:

    Good luck!! πŸ™‚


  5. sscribbles says:

    Good luck, K. And please spare your eyes from very bright light for sometime.


  6. JLT says:

    Good luck, honey!:-)


  7. blinkandmiss says:

    aiyo! all the best!


  8. All the best with LASIK kiran, we are gonna mis the posts. Get back soon πŸ™‚


  9. best of luck, Kiran.. we hope to see u with brand new eyes at the other end of the operation!!!:D


  10. Aathira says:

    Good Luck Kiran.

    My mom has been after my life to get the LASIK done too, but me like my contacts.


  11. anna says:

    All the Best, Kiran. Cant wait to read your write-up on the lasik! I’ve been too chicken to do it myself. Take Care.


  12. Sumathee says:

    Good luck Kiran. will wait to read your post on life after Lasik..and life without glasses. Well, i too belong to your community and would look forward to your feedback on that. Life without glasses is my dream too and all the very best


  13. shilpadesh says:

    Good luck Kiran and come back smashing!


  14. shalet says:

    Hi Kiran, I have been reading your posts, not regularly, but when i come, i read them in bulk and leave!
    But this post make you sound like how i was in my school, fat round with a specs, and which often would break during the run-catch games.. And yes i was termed a nerd(buddijeevi or buji in short in malayalam).

    Success story of lasik, i did lasik two years ago, and hey i was so pleasantly surprised about hte clarity of vision i had… So go for it.. the only sideeffect, i experience is during driving in the nights in Belgium( it gets dark at 4 or 5 in the winter),,bright lights are still piercing,, and dry eyes with long use of computer(which is what i inevitably do)..

    but i\d say go for it!

    the blog is real nice, and my best wishes for popular posts…


  15. Anamika says:

    Good luck and best wishes


  16. sraikh says:

    Oh speedy recovery vibes sent.

    My 10 yr old has been wearing glasses since she was 3 and I think we are going to get contacts for her. She has been dying for one.


  17. all the best, 20 20 is about to take on a different meaning for you!


  18. Sands says:

    Good luck. Am so excited for you. Wait till you walk out of the doc’s office after the procedure and can see everything around you clearly. That was an awesome moment for me. Am sure it will all go well πŸ™‚


  19. CA says:

    Good luck Kiran !


  20. WSW says:

    I hear you Kiran.

    How a -2 put paid of becoming an A1 sportsman and such like.

    All the best!


  21. WSW says:

    put paid to*

    realised it after i had pressed submit (I blame this on early morning surfing without the specs)


  22. M.... says:

    Good luck πŸ™‚


  23. Veena says:

    Best wishes!


  24. Suni says:

    All the very best Kiran. Bespectacled myself,I so hear you when you say “release from some imprisonment”. Good Luck!


  25. How did it go??I am terribly shortsighted (-10 and -11 can you believe it!)My husband is so terrified of LASIK surgery that I am condemned to my super thick glasses and contacts.
    As for swimming, the strange thing is that I feel very safe in the water although I can honestly see very little! πŸ™‚ Take care and update us!


  26. Pallavi says:

    Good look, yo! Come back with them spanking news eyes. Or at least the laser-cut ones πŸ˜‰


  27. suma says:

    hope everything went off well…

    couldn’t help laughing at the scene in the hospital after the delivery πŸ˜€


  28. Big Zed says:

    Good Luck K. Put up a picture of you in those sunglasses:-)


  29. Tara says:

    Hope you had a smooth surgery.. i was watching the LASIK videos on you tube.. its so fascinating.. Makes you feel doctors are next to god.. and so are those who came up with such corrective measures..

    am sure you will be back here when u are perfectly fine but still thought of adding – take it easy.. relax ur eyes for some more days before subjecting it to stress anyhow..

    waiting to hear of your experience!


  30. Michele says:

    Hope everything went smoothly!


  31. desertmom says:

    Hope you can see the time the minute you open your eyes in the morning :). (spectacle-wearers can understand what I am saying πŸ™‚ )
    Anyway hope you are fine.
    A scared myopia-eyes who’s thinking of lasik for the past 10 years ……


  32. Chips says:

    Hope the procedure went well. Not sure I would be so brave, though I would be happy to be rid of my glasses.


  33. The Gullible One says:

    DO NOT worry about the LASIK! Its totally painless, practically risk-free. I used to be blind as a bat before I got it done three years ago. Now, when I open my eyes in the morning, I can see DETAILS around me, instead of vague blobs of color πŸ™‚


  34. Bhavna says:

    Hey there, be well. Hope u recover well and once u can see clearly w/o ze specs on- then whoa lemme know- I shall try the same too.


  35. Thank you for nice article and If you want to know information about LASIK procedure, laser eye surgery complications, cost, alternatives, online directory of Laser Eye Surgeons that connects prospective patients with a surgeon in their local area. Go to


  36. Sandy says:

    I work in the Lasik field and love the results and transformation that this procedure brings to our patients. It may not be right for everyone but it does help many!
    Minnesota Lasik Surgery


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