That boy with thick glasses

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!


Sidhusaaheb said...

Have you tried contact lenses?

One of my cousins uses those. He also discovered that he required ophthalmic aids at about the same age as you did.

An excellent piece of writing, BTW, as usual.


Anonymous said...

mm.,,i realised that i had this myopia when i was in my 12th..i used to copy the notes from the one who was next to me in the bench, then one day my professor wrote a question on the board..( which i could nt read ) and i copied it from my friend..and then the prof saw me copying and gave me two " chooral kashaayam" ..the next day i went to see the opthalmologist..

btw i have used specs ...then turned to contacts....but if u r planning to do LASIK , then use glasses till that day...my LASIK surgery was done last month..and my vision is perfect now... :)

Sriram said...

@sidhusaaheb: Never tried them... but I'm comfortable wearing my glasses!

@hari krishnan: "chooral kashayam"-induced check-up hehe! Thanks for dropping by :)

Vrij said...


You have explained everything that happened wid u happened to me in exactly the same way!

But I win.. I'm a 7.5!!!

Anonymous said...

seroiusly, I still can't imagine you without the glasses!

The glasses just bring that class act together man...
and in 13 years..I think I have only seen you once or twice without em...and seriously, I didn't recognise ya!!

NO hard feeling bro...Nothing intended okay...but its just that...seeing you with the glasses for almost 3/4 of my life, and of your life, Everyone, well the 46 goons and me, register you as that...it just feels a lil outta place...But then a change is welcome..its your choice..you can change...as always..

ya..try contacts... :D
and good luck with LASIK when you are outta college!

Sriram said...

@vrij: ^5 man!
@nitin: Yeah, even I can't imagine myself without my glasses for the simple reason --> I need my glasses to see my reflection properly in the mirror! And don't worry.. I did not say a definitive goodbye to them, you know! I was just speculating...

Anonymous said...

Aah, appo janichappozhey kannupottan aanalle...:D. Hehe.. poor old you. But geebs paranja pole, we cant imagine a sriram without his glasses.
And i aint braggin brother, ur glasses suit you quite well..:)
Ee LASIK okke pattippaanenna kettathu..:p.
Hehe, just jokin brother. Ellam mangalamaayi nadakkatte.
Anyway good job dood

Sriram said...

@Anon: Aara? Manassilayilla... Anyway, thanks for dropping by.. do come often :) But aleast tell me who u are, brother!

Hari said...

I thought you've been wearing glasses for over 10 years or so. My first memories of you were those in which you sported the dangling ones.

But yea, wearing specs adds a 'buji' aura to your personality. And from my reading of you, it has only done you good. :D

Nice post, as always. :)

Sriram said...

@hari: I thought you've been wearing glasses for over 10 years or so: Well, almost ten years now :)
But yea, wearing specs adds a 'buji' aura to your personality. So many people tell me that! I'm not gonna take them off, anyway :D

rantravereflect/ jane said...

wowwwww.. 1.5 to a -6.5

be glad ya 're a six pointed, n not a five point someone ;)

me only a 3.5 :(:(
n yehhhh, i reach new levels of enlightenment when i dun have my glasses--> it's liek everything is inn a swirl..
we're th lucky guys who dun need dope!!

n the samll lil' kid in ya reading some random no. was darnnn cute--> when did we shed our innocence..
today, if ya're asked to give the stats of a woman, i sun think ya need ya glasses ;) bwahhhh

Niranjani said...

oh..i just loved this post..i can't really relate to it coz i don't wear glasses but with 3 people around me with glasses(dad,sis and now husband),i can can very well imagine your plight.but they definitely give you a nerdy look ;-)

Sriram said...

@jane: we're th lucky guys who dun need dope!!: hehe... you're right! It's nirvana!

@niranjani: Your sis wears glasses??? I didnt know that! And you look better without glasses if you ask me :) I can't imagine you wearing one!

Merlz said...

Your post kinda reminded me about this short story we had to learn in 10th; Without Glasses. Forgot the author's name. :D

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). Seriously? :O

We had a phase at school, in the 8th std, of wearing glasses. Twas the "in" thing. So I dragged mom along to the eye-doctor-person and got myself a pair of glasses. Power was -0.25. :|

Anyways, good post. :)

Sriram said...

@merlz: Yeah - "Without glasses" - even I dont remember the author.. Stephen Leacock? ah whatever...

Ah, we didnt have an 'in' thing phase in our school, but I know a few guys who would have given anything for a pair of glasses to wear :)

KS said...

i 've gt -5.6...slightly less fr the left eye though...but i m using contact lenses...yea you can only use it for a maximun of 10hrs/ day...and its smwhat fussy..but once you 've adjusted...that bcoms just another part of you..like our specs...also it costs less compared to specs now.

sry...forgot to tell...the cat story was awesome....never thought we 'vc ppl lyk you hre!!

Ms Cris said...

Reminds me of Wilma from Scooby Doo, and her glasses. I remember wanting one when I was a kid and even making Amma take me to a Doc to make sure I wont need one. I had to come back glasses-less, sadly. But -6.5? Wow I thought that was as close to blindess as you can get. Hope you get that laser thing done when its time :-)

Anonymous said...

Whew, this confirms my worst fears for my partner, who minus 6 sight in both eyes, and not a strong built person at all, I know he would be panicked if he lost his glasses, even just a mishap on the street.... He can only see his large font, large screen mobile phone (1cm fonts) when he has virtually got the phone pressed to his eye if without glasses (might be more than -6) so I can only hope I'll be handy to collect him, since he can't even walk down the street without glasses. Not a well pair of eyes... :-(