My breath became laboured, my heartbeat increased, as I sat there under the bright light. Though my eyes were open I saw nothing in particular. My mouth was open, as if locked in a silent scream. My hands grabbed the blue arm-rests, my fingers taut, as droplets of sweat formed on my forehead.

“We have to get out of here”, my thoughts directed towards my numb tooth as I felt like scooting off from the claustrophobic chair.

Alas! I was but, a mere pawn under the mask-covered thug who peered into my oral cavity.

——

I wouldn’t like to admit it, but I had myself brought on these nightmares, thanks to my very sweet tooth, which now was the subject of attention of the dental archeologist.

Though I like to take life’s challenges on the chin and meet them with a smile on my face, here I was with a numb mouth, a jab of a needle inside the cavity paralysing the smile causing muscles.

As I lay there motionless, my head sometimes twitching with agony, the mad dentist drilling and filing away at the root, I wondered at the variety of life conjured up by the Ultimate Maker.

Here was I, the epitome of manliness (or so I liked to believe), egoistic about my power and resilience but then here was a colony of tiny bacteria, which had decided to make a home inside one of my tooth, making my cry out in pain and fright in the middle of the night, just by touching some raw nerve.

Yes, it had all started one night, after a particularly wholesome meal followed by dessert, when I tossed and turned on the bed, to the exaggerated discomfort of the better half, with one palm on my cheek, trying to ease the pain.

The mad dentist, on my first visit to his den, explained to me that the foundation of a bacterial colony, was laid long back in my mouth, whenever I shied away from “swachch mukh Abhiyan”, known in common parlance as nighttime brushing.

Then with an evil grin he had said, “Let’s take a selfie!”. That was the time when I first doubted his mental condition.

He had then proceeded to push in a vile tasting plastic film into my mouth, in front of the culprit black sheep of my 32 pearls.

The selfie stick was manoeuvred near my cheek and a click indicated that the pic was taken. The film was developed and  I saw the extent of the colony, slowly but surely advancing, with one bacterial foot inside the nerve doorway.

Then to enlighten me further, the dentist proceeded to frighten me with a set of a mobile chewing mechanism, with obnoxiously pink gums and pearly white teeth, to show me the extent of damage caused by the tiniest species.

——

To cut a long story short, I had a narrow escape along with the said tooth, though with a protective cap on its sheared off head.

*****

Yatindra Tawde

Written by Yatindra Tawde

In my daily office grind, I make it a point to find time for writing. It is my good fortune to have found discerning readers like you who appreciate my amateur attempts.