“What the heck yaar! Why are you answering me so impersonally? Don’t you have my number stored?” said my friend in a wounded tone.
“Sorry! I can just about see that it is a name and not a number! Without my reading glasses, I cannot read the name”.
He was not so easily placated. “When you saw it was a name, you could have put on your glasses and read it.”
* * * * *
“What took you so long?”
“I was hunting for my reading glasses”
“Most people hunt for their mobile when they get a call. How did you think you could receive a call on your specs? Ha Ha Ha”
Ho! Ho! Ho! Vee..rr..y Funny!
* * * * *
I was a ripe 39 year old and in Senegal on an official visit along with two big-shots from my office. Whatever profligacy that company showed in other ways, they were environmental-friendly and very sparing in their use of paper. Why, all their documents were printed in a Times New Roman 6 point font! What with reading these documents in cars and in the hotel my eyes were sore and started watering at the sight of any bright lights by the time we returned to Paris.
Imagine a situation of staying at the Hotel Intercontinental in Paris and your two big-shots, who you assumed would be the major stumbling block in your quest for night-life in Paris, proposing to take you to a show at either the Lido or Moulin Rouge and having to refuse because the very thought of any bright lights set off twin Niagaras from your eyes! Ah! I don’t suppose you are really interested in my tale of woe and the infernal unfairness of life to me.
Back in Delhi the problem had still not gone away and I went to my company doctor. She scribbled a lot on a pad and asked me to go to an eye-doctor. I read through her preliminary diagnosis and the stand-out phrase was ‘suspected intra-ocular tension’. I looked it up on the Internet and what it said was that intra-ocular tension could lead to tunnel vision and inevitable blindness! Ah! That was one day that I cursed the availability of information on the net! Ignorance, sometimes, is bliss!
After a series of vision tests, starting with the one that took you back to Kindergarten, the doctor was testing me for intra-ocular tension.
“Any history of this in your family?” asked the doctor.
“Not yet!” I said, trembling in every limb.
“Good One!” said the doctor, laughing. I was not feeling very much like laughing, I assure you!
The long and short of it was that I could no longer comfortably read without reading glasses. (I know! I know! You probably wish I had made it short instead of long!)
That was then! I needed aids only for reading matter and not for looking up names in my mobile. Now is a different cup of tea. Whatever else I may be powerless in, my eyes are growing in power – or should I say in the need for power?
Imagine having to drop all your coins in your hand and peer at them with shopkeeper wondering whether you thought you were parting with all your family’s wealth. (Why oh why did the government dispense with that wavy edged coin for Rs.2 and make it impossible for me to distinguish between the Rs.1 and Rs.2 coins?) Go over to the mall and seem to meditate over the packet of dal because you cannot distinguish between Toor Dal and Channa Dal by sight and are unable to read the label.
I guess I must accustom myself to going out shopping armed with my reading glasses and have the shopkeeper say, “Do you intend paying me with the reading glasses? It is customary for the buyer to take out his wallet – and not his specs - when presented with a bill!”
P.S: To all Bloggers who love those oh-so-small fonts! Hitherto I have been reading them because the material has been interesting. Now I suspect that I am developing Intra-ocular tension again! So, excuse me if I think that you have the font in that cute size because you do not want the elderly to come and crowd up your blog. I shall take the hint and refrain from pushing in my unwanted presence!