Thursday, September 22, 2005

I have become comfortably numb...

That’s a line form one of my all time favourite songs. It was running through my head all of yesterday evening for an entirely different reason though.
I am scared of dentists, to say the least. I’ll agree with you when you say that it’s the most common of all fears. But here, in my case, I go a little beyond that. Because I am totally petrified of dentists. I am scared to even accompany a family member to the dentist because it reminds of all the work that is pending on my teeth and I cant wait to get out of the building, and put a safe distance between us- the dentist’s chamber and me, that is. I am scared to grin too broadly because my dentist once suggested that maybe I should think about having braces!! So imagine my plight when I was informed that I needed to have my wisdom teeth removed, the keywords here being teeth and removed!
This was suggested to me oh about six months ago, but the smart me managed to postpone it until I didn’t have to get it done, or so I thought. The teeth had a different plan for me, it turns out. I came down with a bad tooth ache and so, with no other option left and with a heavy heart and even heavier feet, I dragged myself to the dentist to have it examined. Of course I needn’t have bothered. He informed very cheerfully that I just had to have my tooth extracted ASAP! Ouch!!!
The day dawned bright and sunny, outside my window, but inside my head it was all a blank. if you are aware of Calvin’s reactions to the word bath then you know exactly what I was feeling. I bid my goodbyes to my friends and spent the better part of an hour bidding adieu to my tooth in the mirror.
As I lay on the chair, I was reminded of how much it felt like a coffin, not that I would know what that felt like but still… my feet grew cold, my fingers began to shiver, so much so that I had to clutch at my sleeves to keep the shivers from showing. And then He said, ”Lights!” and my world went dark. I screwed my eyes shut so that I couldn’t see. All I was aware of was that my heart was beating wildly. The gentle purr of the AC faded into the background. My last conscious feeling was the needle of the injection piercing my gums and then, it all went numb. Like a flash of light in my head, the strains of the song began playing…. “Ok, just a little pin prick, there’ll be no more…”
And then, “There is no pain, you are receding”. As feeling left the right side of my cheek and lips, all I saw, when I dared open my eyes for just a sliver of a moment, was the blinding light and the sound of something drilling, and the feeling that a huge machine of some sort was working in my mouth, its vibrations reaching all the way into my head. Yet all I felt were the vibrations and no pain. I closed my eyes, happy with the escape that the numbness offered.
Before I knew it, it was over. I saw the little bent needle and the black thread and knew that this was not at all what I had imagined. Only the bloody tooth was evidence of the last twenty odd minutes.
And then came the tough part- no talking he said. At this point I must tell you that since all was numb, I actually felt no pain. And therefore I assumed all was normal. They forgot to warn me that the anesthesia would eventually wear off only to be replaced by the searing pain, the very one that dentist nightmares are made of.
So, that night no one got any sleep. Ice packs and ice creams are obviously part of a dentist’s evil plan- his way of saying, sorry for the pain you’re going to be feeling, so here, stop crying and have an ice cream! Painful truth: It doesn’t work.
And today, I am dumb! Not numb, mind you, in fact far from it. The throbbing pain is making even drinking water a task. I cannot talk. Its weird, but I cannot help thinking to myself, thank god for free sms!
I don’t know how long this pain is going to last. Frankly I don’t even want to know. I know I will sleep well tonight… because I have just conquered a fear- my fear of dentists. I hope it stays this way until next week- that’s when I’m getting another wisdom extracted… er… did I mention that I have to have all four of them removed?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

4 years vs. 4mins… is that all it’s worth?

Four years ago, a few men carved a niche for themselves in history books world over. Their planning, timing and their ruthlessness changed the way the world lived. They managed to implant fear of the living into every mortal alive: 9/11 happened… and the world would never be the same again.
And now four years on, nothing much seems to have changed. The perpetrators of that ghastly carnage roam scot free, the families that suffered losses are still trying to come to terms with their loss, and politicians, not just in America, but the world over are still talking about wars on terrorism and the like. On the surface a lot has changed- hurricanes have come and gone, wars have been fought, genocide and destruction continues in other parts of the world: each country is grappling with its own problems. But beneath the surface, nothing has changed. The pain is still raw, the memories still fresh, and the reminders are all too present… and of course, as it is in every such historical landmark, if 9/11 could be called that, commercialism has been the first to kick into action. Books have been written and money has been made. Memorabilia have been sold and money has been made. Strikes, protests, peace marches… and money has been made; someone has become famous, someone has been promoted, some one even became president, and of course, money has been made.
Now on the fourth anniversary, the customary editorials are written, special issues of magazines are published, news channels send correspondents to NYC to cover Ground Zero as it is today.Interview a few families, a few poignant words and pictures...
Declare holidays, or better still, observe silence. The USA observed 4minutes of silence to “remember the victims of 9/11”, as they put it. As though those 4 minutes will ease the pain, if only for today. That day of death, destruction, fear, panic and loss, and just 4 minutes to remember it all. 4minutes to remember the anguish of families who have lost loved ones, or to imagine the feelings of a man trapped in that ill-fated aircraft, knowing he was about to die and take scores of others along with him, and feeling as helpless as a newborn, or the pain of never really knowing what exactly happened in those last few minutes before this incident was etched into history for eternity.
And as if this mockery is not enough, the government wants to build a Freedom Center on Ground Zero. What freedom is the monument going to stand for? Freedom from fear, when terrorists still run amok in our countries today? Or freedom to live in peace, as hunger and poverty ravages parts of the globe? And most importantly, freedom of its people while the country wars with other nations?
Those grieving are demanding for a memorial to be built on Ground Zero to stand as a permanent testimony of the tragedy that befell their nation on that fateful day, so that the world may remember for time to come, how all the carefully built seemingly impenetrable can fall in the blink of an eye, and without a warning.
Ultimately, this whole episode has been reduced to an endless fight between two parties for what is a piece of land, and nothing more. It does not seem to matter to the warring factions that this ground is not just the final resting place of many a citizen of the world, nor the fact that this whole exercise is making a mockery out of something as tragic as what happened on 9/11. Somewhere in the recesses of the mind springs a spark of fear that perhaps the world has forgotten the enormity of the tragedy, not entirely but just beginning to fade along the edges. Soon all of it will become too blurry to be lucid anymore. The fear lies that these people, who are stuck in a seeming time- warp and who have closed their minds and eyes to the bigger picture of it all, will need another 9/11 to jolt them from their slumber. Perhaps even then, this war will wage on with results too far away to be of any solace to anyone, victim or otherwise.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I finally gave in to the temptation and decided to start my own blog. I guess it was also on popular demand, and not just peer pressure. But the only factor that made me take the giant leap, so to speak, was that it would be another channel to express myself… in the hope that some one, jobless enough, would read it… guess I wasn’t aiming too high, I mean, afterall, you are reading it right now…
As is the done thing in all blogs, at least in the ones I have seen so far, there usually is an introductory blog of sorts.. I figured why break the tradition, so here it is: the introductory piece of my blog. There is just one problem here. What do I write here? How do I introduce this? Read my blog, its my way of practicing my English? Or, read my blog, it’s my opinion of anything and everything? I cannot commit to anything. Simply because I wont keep that commitment. I cannot promise entertainment. Nor any form of profundity. I cannot promise that you, the reader, will gain anything useful out of the time you will spend reading this blog.
This blog is just my opinion, my view on the things that occupy space in my head. It is based on my experiences or of those around me. This blog is like a window that offers a small peek into my world, my thoughts.


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