My eyes are not exactly top notch. To be precise, my spectacles are my window to the world, giving perfect vision at (minus) six-point-five diopters. Ah, the nerd, you might say, but thats not exactly how it is...
My myopia('short-sight', if you prefer) began to get noticed when I was eight or something, when my parents found (to their alarm) that I conveniently chose to ignore sign-boards that were far away and started to copy down rather gibberish text from the blackboard at school. Being quite an innocent kid then, I attributed the fuzzy text on the board sympathetically to the teacher's growing old age. At home, the situation would be analysed:
Someone: Hey Sriram, whats that score at the bottom?
Me: hm... *cough cough* (squinting and trying hard to make some sense of the blurry mess)... excuse me, what did you say?
Someone: The score, kid.
Me: Oh that.. (choosing a number that looks almost similar) hm.. Two hundred fourteen for five.
*TV commentary*: Well that wraps up a fantastic over... England at a hundred and seventeen for three.
Me: Uh oh... *sheepish grin* Well, a slip of the tongue, ye know!
Well, mom decided that enough was enough and asked me to read some random stuff that seemed far away. Needless to say I was (literally) at a loss for words. The next day saw a visit to the ophthalmologist, resulting in my being caught red handed with a power of minus one-point-five. As most kids are, I was filled with glee at getting my own pair of glasses (in my family, everyone had glasses and so this was just like getting your own bed or something) - round, black, carbon-rimmed spectacles with that pair of strings hanging down from each leg, and over to the neck (something analogous to an 'L' board for an automobile). Thus I was induced, at the young age of eight, into the community of the bespectacled.
For the less enlightened, shortsightedness DOES NOT mean the world goes black when i take off my glasses.. objects get blurred(the farther away, the more blurred and out of focus). Read about it on wikipedia.
As the years passed, my age increased and so did the power of my glasses. It kinda struck a new high at minus five, and it elevated my position to the guy with the most powerful spectacles in the class (or the guy with the most retarded eyes, but I preferred the latter). I held on to that post for seven long years and still am :) And as a result of nine years of having to look at the world through lenses, I can reproduce the far-sight test chart at my ophthamologist's letter by letter: (Beginning in a giant A and ending in a tiny line NEPCATOL)!
People's first reaction at hearing the power of my glasses is similar to a person hearing the height of the Eiffel tower for the first time. Then, invariably, LASIK is suggested. True, wearing spectacles for the whole of your life is a pain. Those who dont have glasses, but want to wear them for the fun(or whatever) of it, kick that thought off your mind. My most haunting thought is the scene in the movie The Mummy, where one of the guys loses his glasses in the fight and a short scene is shown like from his eyes - the dark, raining night, and the blurred vision of the monster far away, advancing. *shudder* If I happen to lose my glasses in a life-threatening fight or a flood or something like that, I'm lost. Lost as in hopelessly lost. It's almost like an enlightened state - all blurred and nothing in focus - an elevated state of mind where no worldly object is important ;)
I'll have to be 21 before I can get a LASIK surgery done. Though it would be a relief to throw away my glasses, a part of me still wants to hold on to them.. the piece of metal and (fibre)glass that faithfully serves as my window to the world... and of course I look better with my glasses :)
Minus six-point-five and still going strong!
PS: Comments about the redesigned blog header welcome!