Monday, September 22, 2008


Some of the most excruciating moments of my life were spent recently in my dentist's clinic.

The last time I had been to my dentist was almost two years back. I guess that would be a reason for his charging me a fortune this month! (Dentists should be recovery agents. Wonder why nobody ever thought of that!!!)

Anyway, earlier this month, I decided to pay a long-due visit to the dentist. (My teeth were wanting to turn into shades of brown. Or maybe, they wanted those gold-plated shells to cover them!) He had one look at my teeth and decided that my teeth had to be scaled and polished. Scaled? Why measure my teeth, I asked him. He laughed and explained that scaling is I-still-have-no-idea!!! Polishing? He said it had become necessary for my teeth were a bit on the colorful side of life! He mentioned that there were to be two sittings and that I should shell out a fortune!!! (psst, secret! I don't wanna be called a goat!)

I had absolutely no inkling of what was in store for me. Scaling, bah! I had a root canal done. What could be worse than that, I thought. Unfortunately, my thoughts remained just that. Thoughts.

And so, I waited for my turn in the dentist's clinic - going through newspapers and leafing through Kannada magazines. Bored, I tried to gauge the reactions on the out-going patients' faces. One face looked like Santa Claus's after his tryst with the dentist. Another looked like it had the life sucked out of it! Silly people, I thought. One sitting, and they are all down in the dumps.

Unfortunately, vanities in life never last. I realized that quite effectively, when my turn came.

I was called in. My dentist had a mask over his face. (I thought that was unnecessary. I knew him. Why hide?;) ) His attendants sterilized the equipment and started applying a coating to a thin, sharp needle. (For a fleeting moment, I turned pale!) And then, it started.

'Torture: anguish of body or mind', lists the Mariam Webster Dictionary.
'Torture: scaling of the teeth', is my definition.

What was he doing? The needle drilled into my teeth and gums, like they were a wall and the needle were a nail. Grimace, flinch, clench, grit, whatever conveys the message, I did. My dentist knew it, but worked indifferent. The sadist. It was so tortuous. If karma does dictate life as people claim, then it is a given that I would be the dentist in my next incarnation and he, my patient. A small problem there, though. I will have to wait a whole life! (i.e., if my teeth don't drag me to the dentist again!)

Anyway, after an hour of unbearable torment, my dentist asked me to rinse my mouth. As asked, I rinsed my mouth with water. When I spat back the water, miracle! It had turned into wine. For an instant, I was God. The next, I realized it was blood. My blood, mixed with water. I thought of suing Mr. Dentist for dental abuse. I dropped the idea, realizing that I had to come back to him.

And so it ended. My teeth still were yellow. I was poorer by a thousand bucks. I had to stay up a whole night because of the pain. Last but not least, I had to go back for a second sitting!!!

I took some really hard decisions. I am going to approach a painter the next time I find my teeth yellow. I will ask the local jeweller to cap my teeth if it came to a root canal. If a tooth has to be extracted, I will ask my good friend to punch me at the right spot. (He will be glad to!)

And yes - I will brush twice...nah, thrice a day!!!

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