In school days, I was totally taken by this famous blind belief that wearing spectacles make one look scholar, irrespective of marks he/ she gets. So here was I praying to god every single day that I be blessed with bad eyes and get my wish fulfilled. It seems, god finally got bored of my incessant pleas, and thus within a year, I had the Dexter look.
Only when I got into college did I realise how uncool it is for a girl to be four eyed. And soon, I started begging for a pair of contact lenses.... not to god this time, to amma, only to be riff-raffed at the very first request. 'First you say its 'in', then you say its 'out' ... I know you well.' was her verdict. And with that; was the end of all probable further deliberations.
Three years later, Bausch & Lomb had this free '15 days lens' trial in college.
'Pallavi, look... 15 days disposable lens wala FREE trial. I'll go?? You'll come with me?'
And the dear friend that she is since college did not say no to me. And in we went into the grand hall where there were batteries like me trying out this new accessory for their eyes.
As soon as it was my turn, I handed over my spectacles for checking the number. And I was called. This was "THE MOMENT'.
I looked at Pallavi. 'You will be staying with me no?' I asked sounding like a patient who's about to undergo Bypass surgery and kidney transplant at the same time.
The volunteer smiled up at me and all I could manage was something between a smile and a grimace.
'Ready?' she asked.
'yes' and I took a deep breathe.
The operation began. She was trying to keep my eye open and insert the lens, just as a mother would try pouring the bitter medicine down her kid's throat. But the expert that she was.....!
After floods of tears and plenty of 'wait...wait...waiiiiiit's, I was yelling 'owww this pains... its stinging... it hurts... its pricking.... it burns...' I still wonder if it was genuine, or I wanted to be a bollywood actress.
'First time, this happens.. now open your eyes'
'You mean, Slowly?'
'Anyhow you want to, lady'
Now this was real, Nirupa Roy film, climax scene. I opened my eyes slowly, and I was screaming once again.
' I can seeeee, Pallavi.... I can see... this is amazing...WOW.....THIS IS BRILLIA....'
'Now, we'll remove it' she, rudely, cut me off short.
'Wha?! Why?!.. I thought you give them to us.'
'Y E S, but we are also supposed to show you how to get them out. You possibly don't think you'll sleep with your lenses on, do you?' stressing on each word, she retorted with visible irritation.
'ohh, sure.. sorry.' I apologized.
Then after 2 minutes break where we waited for my eyes to stop tearing, she said 'Now you try to put them on, yourself.'
My hands shook, I missed my eyes for a couple of times and then finally I shook with laughter.
'Why are you laughing?' she was amused to see tears and peels of laughter both coming from me.
'I keep missing... this way I'll never be able to use lenses' I managed to say in between.
'Keep trying.... you'll get there eventually' she stated with stark seriousness. She didn't get the joke, I guess.
After what seemed like ages, I succeeded.
'Now take it out. Pinch your eye.' this was an order. She'd had enough of me already.
'Pinch-my-eye?? I can't pinch my eyes. How can I pinch my eyes??'
She sighed. Another why-me? evidence.
'Alright, I'll try'
She sighed again and this time it was louder. This offended me... I agree, offence got to me a bit late. Yet again I succeeded.
'Can I put it again?' I asked, hoping she wouldn't sigh once more.
'Ya sure. If you want to.' she replied totally ripped of energy AND she did NOT sigh.
This time the process was faster, and I decided I'd had enough of this volunteer, so I said 'Can I leave?'
'Of course' she would have even added 'with pleasure. And do me a favor, Do Not come back again' if not for the immense drain of energy. All this while, do not forget, Pallavi was the silent, bemused spectator.
Looking back at it all, I feel I owe this volunteer a lot. Dear Girl, wherever you are; First, a magnanimous SORRY, for making you go through all this. But you see, it was the question of my precious eyes. Second, THANK YOU, for since then I have been using contact lenses. Bausch & Lomb wala. ;)