I came back after a regular day at school, which involved missing my school van in the morning, not finishing my lunch at school and dirtying my clothes by the end of the day. I finished my daily studies, watched the 7 o’ clock news on TV, (on good ol’ DD remember?) had regular dinner which comprised of usual roti, sabji, etc, and decided to sleep. It was then that they decided to attack. By ‘they’ I mean the ‘kitanu’ who don’t have anything better to do in life other than to ‘attack’ calcium deposits in my mouth.
I screamed in pain, rolled in bed and then ran to my mother (what else can a kid do, sigh!). She gave me salt water so I could gargle and a painkiller. Well that did work to some extent, the pain however, never left entirely. I managed to cry myself to sleep that night and then came the D-day (D for dentist?).
I didn’t have to go to school, I have tooth ache na… She took me to the dentist first thing in the morning. Dentists those days were not the sophisticated beings you see today. I reached at 10:30 in the morning and there was already a huge line in front of the clinic. I mean seriously; shouldn’t these people be at work, I am sure they were all govt employees!
Anyway I waited and after an hour, the receptionist told me to go in. My mother had to almost drag the-now-intimidated-me into dentist’s chamber. Then I was made to sit on that chair which should have been next to a pool – I could have slept there if not for the smell. The dentist scanned my mouth saw the cavity, tapped it three four times and asked if it hurt or not.
What I wanted to say – Of course woman, that’s a cavity you are knocking on and you have a metal thingy in you hand. Or is that some kind of a trick question, it’s a rhetorical question you know! If it didn’t hurt I wouldn’t be here, you see.
What I said – Ya a little. sob.. =(
She then told my mother to get an X-ray done for my teeth so that she could know the extent of damage. “They want me to undergo an X-ray!” I freaked out. Inside me I panicked, externally I shivered and sweated – yes yes, total freak out. My mother had to drag me into an auto, which took us to the nearest hospital, and I was taken to X ray room. And there I stood screaming and shouting – not out of pain, but out of fear. Why? For god sake, I was going to be X-ray-ed! Was I going to be dissected? Was
it going to hurt? I didn’t know. All I knew was that, it’s going to be torturous. (or so I thought)
My mother and two assistants struggled to get me to lie down, so they could X-ray me while the doctor who handled the X-ray machine stared at me in amazement. Did I give a damn? No. I continued to create a racket and some how, they managed to hold down my little legs, hands and put my head in place.
The machine now started moving down slowly towards my face. My eyes had turned red because of crying and tension, but my mother didn’t care, nor did the assistants or the doctor in charge. The machine continued it’s descend and grinded to a halt five inches away from my face. After a moment of silence, when I wondered what was going to happen next, the machine let a blinding flash. I closed my eyes prepared for the worst; I didn’t even dare scream. Then my mother whispered in my ears. “Balu, you can open your eyes now. It’s over.”