My Dentist. Well, not the real one ofcourse…

I have never seen a needle that big. Or maybe it appears so given the background flood light shining right on my face, exposing every expression, every crease on my forehead signalling the increasing levels of stress. Oh and blinding too! But wait. That’s not all. There is one more light source. A small, but powerful beam, emanating from a bulb, right at the centre of his reading glasses perched dangerously on the ridge of his nose. I am confused. Should I worry more about that bulb sliding down & into my gaping mouth? Or that needle which seems to be the size of a rhino horn drawing menacingly closer. As a timid kid shying away from the bully at school, I just close my eyes, ready for that rush of swarming pain, hoping it gets over soon.

Not Yet. The doctor pauses. I am waiting for my destiny. But nothing happens. I slowly open my eyes to see what’s going on. And there they are. 2 huge eyeballs! Magnified 10 times by the spectacles in front of them. And that blinding light beam. Looking intently towards me. Trying to look through my soul and absolve me of my sins. But not really. The doctor is merely marking his territory. He wants to get it right the first time. Appreciate that. Afterall, no one wants to be injected in the mouth… twice!!!

And then it happens. Almost taking me by surprise. With my eyes still open :(. That giant needle just appears out of nowhere! Marches straight inside my mouth. My heart skips a beat as the needle draws first blood! What starts off as a prick soon transforms into a tsunami of pain as I feel the pressure. But thankfully, it lasts but a few seconds. As the needle withdraws, I can see a certain sense of pride on it’s tip, almost mocking me. Making me feel helpless & vulnerable towards accepting it’s supremacy. Soon, the anaesthesia kicks in as I lose sensation on my lower lip. I slip into my cocoon. Hoping I won’t feel a thing of whats gonna happen next…

What happened next!!

With eyes firmly shut, I still see a halo around me. And occasionally a few shadows of objects floating past. The doctor keeps murmuring to his assistant. Who seems to be rather quiet with a somewhat serene demeanour. And then it begins. The moment that I have been dreading for weeks now. As one instrument after another marches in my mouth looking to conquer all. I keep my eyes closed, my prayers soft, my screams inaudible…

Oh wait!! I can feel that tooth… My nemesis!! Falling in this epic battle of mind over matter. Where it leaves no stone unturned to cause pain & misery for weeks. Finally, yields in front of the army of instruments. It stands no chance :). But it sure puts up a brave fight! Respect… It does not go down quietly. On its way out, it pops the cap of the tooth in front!! Damn. And it leaves a gaping hole behind. Like the blitzkrieg of German soldiers in WW2 retreating from their forward positions & burning everything behind them. Ok. Maybe not that bad. But then getting stitches inside of the mouth ain’t an everyday affair. Not for me!! Hell NO!

Asta la Vista… Toothsie!!

The doctor, all this while, working incessantly towards conquering my enemy, now appears less hostile. I realize his contribution in this war. He keeps talking to me. Giving me updates like a faithful general to his king. Telling me how much progress he has made against the enemy. With the occasional murmur to his assistant. And all his weapons of enamel destruction!! Oh how I love them. Scary as they sound (There was a drill machine involved too!!). Some even laid down their lives for this noble cause. (Apparently, one of the mirrors broke during this epic war!!). A few seconds of silence observed in it’s honor.

In what seems to be a struggle going on for eternity, after around an hour, the doctor proclaims victory. He proudly holds the carcass of my enemy in his forceps, showing off his bravado & unparalleled combat skills. I slowly open my eyes. For the first time in weeks, I open my eyes with hope. That the worst is over. That the enemy is defeated. That the decayed tooth has finally come out. Time now to salvage the situation. The doctor quickly gets back to attend the wounded gums. Ah yes, the poor gums. Who stood silently watching the horror unfold. The doctor quickly stitches them up. Conceals the wound. With a re-assuring dab of cotton soaked in beta-dine to nurture their wounds. My heart goes out to you – O mighty gums of the lower left jaw!

Its celebration time! But not so soon. As the saying goes- every cloud has a silver lining. Well, the converse is true just the same 😦 . Time to pay up. A whopping sum! (Actual sum undisclosed to protect the doctor from Income Tax issues). Its after seeing the bill, that I realize, perhaps, it would have been better to have followed Tom Hank’s footsteps from the movie Cast Away. It may not have resulted in a SMILE all the same, but at least I would be happy knowing that it’s not the doctor SMILING all the way to the bank…


5 responses to “SMILE UNLIMITED!!

  1. You’re a natural storyteller and it shows in the organization and flow of your draft. Perhaps, you must share some of your writings with a publisher.Its about time to publish them.

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