Orthodontic escapades


In my mid-teens, I was keen on having braces fixed on my teeth. Almost all the kids in class had them on and those who didn’t, were segregated. They were just ‘not happening’. They reminded one of people affected with some suspected dreaded disease, put perpetually in quarantine.

Having quaint ideas on style and design, I thought metal braces a fashion statement. Dump diamonds, forget zircons, attractive wires adorning one’s pearly whites were the ultimate eye candy I could conjure up. If you are in a hapless bid to suppress your laughter, let me tell you: I think way ahead of my times. In about half century from now, if folks go around clad only in braces and little else, you’ll remember me.

In a bid to emerge as the supreme fashionista at school, I too visited a dentist. He seemed a jovial fellow, posh office and all. The treatment commenced and continued.

I broke my braces a couple of times: courtesy eating hard toffee bars . But I gave mom’s socking me as an excuse but this had the most annoying outcome. Whenever the worthy dentist, saw Ma and I together, he would invariably and repeatedly, make reference to the ‘Jung’ or ‘Battle’ between us, replete with boxing movements. I had no choice but to simper like an idiot during these times. Offending a dentist while the treatment is still on can be catastrophic.

The D-day had arrived- the conclusion of my and torturous orthodontic sojourn. Today he was to affix a twin bridge of ceramic teeth to cover artificially created gaps. With the procedure consummated, a mirror was kindly held in front of my mug. I was paralysed with bewilderment and dismay. It was not my image I beheld but Bugs Bunny’s. I remembered my prior set of pretty teeth and wept at their untimely extraction and this monstrous jutting out eyesore had been gelled with permanent cement. I quietly walked off, aesthetically uglier and many a thousand poorer.

It never rains but pours goes a popular adage. Fate it seems was laughing at my expense at a single go. I was the butt of jokes of the entire class. Even the ‘not happening’ ones had the nerve to snigger at me.

At dinner, I balefully spooned rice and curry in. When I went to rinse my mouth, I looked at my wretched rabbit’s face in the mirror above the wash basin. Little did I know that I was in for another electrifying jolt of higher intensity. The affixed teeth had taken on the hue of the curry and had turned a beauteous turmeric yellow. I had obviously been duped on the material used for the teeth bridge as well. He had used sub-standard plastic instead of quality ceramic as promised.

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