Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Dentist

I seem to have this love-hate relationship with my teeth.

I love the way they help me nibble (not just food but other heavenly-body protrusions as well). And I hate looking after them.

Mercifully, I've never smoked; but endless cups of black or lemon tea have left their mark. A craving for sweets has added to the torture the teeth go through. And not brushing regularly at night has been the last nail on the calcium.

So, fillings and root canal treatments are things I'm au fai with. And I love my dentist as well - enough to traverse 32 kms. (one-way) to try and get 20 minutes with her. She’s good and gentle with my pearlies. And she’s nice to talk to as well. Plays good instrumental music, is fussy about cleanliness – obsessively so. All this out of a tiny but very-much-in-demand clinic out of her home.

I’ve been going to her for some years now but something sparked off a chain of thoughts that led to this post...

Sitting in her waiting room yesterday, leafing through back-issues of magazines, I came across a book review in an old issue of The Week. It’s not the book that interests me but the person it’s about and one particular quote... Echoes & Eloquences: The Life & Cinema of Gulzar’ by Saibal Chatterjee, in which he quotes Gulzar saying “ No relationship ever ends completely. No relationship ever dies. It transcends to a different meaning.” (He must've said it with far more evocative words in Urdu - need to find it and post it in its original form).

What that “different meaning” is is something that every one of us has to individually fathom, I guess. But it struck a chord: some ageing teeth in my mouth may fall off, but hopefully the few friends I've found will remain for good. And the ones that have gone will return....even if the cavities in these relationships need filling.

Perhaps I need another kind of dentist...

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