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My First Date!

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“Everything happens for a reason, eventually all pieces will fall into place, until   then laugh at the confusion and live for the moment.”

It is predominantly a poignant feeling of embracing dentistry. I am not underestimating the genuine lovers, but I have never come across anyone who joins this course out of love, passion or ‘with a sense of serving’ this civilization- at least in my country. Here, the lucrative side is hampered by the quantity of dentists rising manifolds over the awareness of the desirable preventive procedures. The worst part is we don’t have any celebrities casting as Munnabhai-MBBS to hype out the dental itinerary or exaggerate the treatment modality by delivering a ‘Jadu Ki Jhappi’ as a prophylaxis.

So ultimately it fails in being the most sought after branch of study unlike Engineering or Medicine. My perception was no different when I joined Dentistry. Much of the credit for making my initial days gratifying goes to my best friends. They were too pleasurable more so as everyone was in the same boat. We lacked the absolute idea of what our future would be like or what exactly we would be doing in this sector of the world where there are capable rats and more than needed rats in the race already.

During my Prosthodontics postings in my final year, I was selected for a two day denture camp. It was organized by the retiring professor and the HOD of Prosthodontics- Dr.Prafulla sir. It was in the outskirts of Mandya district. I was excited for the location more than anything because it is a beautiful village with greenery almost everywhere. I strongly felt the amount of labor and the equipments we were carrying to deliver 100 dentures were too less so I prophesized loopholes and a sub standard quality of work deliverance.

On The first day of our arrival at the camp site I was thrilled to know that Mandya Medical College’s physiology and biochemistry practical laboratory was our allocated workplace. We all were filled with super enthusiasm. I personally, felt the time to be halted there or more precisely to say, we were in a different pace of life. People there were too devoid of modern technology and much of a rural setup was displayed exclusively almost everywhere.

Instantaneously we were divided into several tiny groups of 4 and every group comprised of 4 people each- a staff, a pg, an intern and a final year. We started with selection of our cases, allotment of tokens, safe keeping names and record maintenance without wasting much time we sprung with the initial steps like diagnosis, treatment plan and the impression was taken such that a master cast was build from it directly so everyone was very careful with the impression techniques and the impressions. Every single one was approved once by the HOD before finalizing. Many were repeated and redone.

Every single patient waited until 7.00 pm for recording the jaw relation so many preferred to sleep in the premises of the college itself. There was utterly nobody in the entire college except- Us, ‘The Dentists and our patients’. As the night deepened the place got eerier, the people were snoring for a contest and the men with heavy moustache-snored the loudest.

It was half past three in the early morning when we were finally acrylising the dentures after a painstaking teeth arrangement. I was either too high on my emotions or I was falling in love. The October’s early morning breeze, the previous day’s hard work and every single step demonstrated profound contentment on my team’s faces and this was incredible to witness. The Flasks, The Clamps, The Acrylic, The Autoclave, and The Instruments- Everything Looked So Romantic To Me. It was like my first ever date and I was living in the moment.

We decided to rest for some time and the remaining night metamorphosed into the day a bit too early than usual. By 9.00 am we had 100 sets of dentures to de-flask, trim and polish yet due for delivery. On the breakfast table, we had an announcement of a meet at the auditorium in the noon. Our HOD requested us to finish the maximum work before the meet so to compensate for the loss of time. We obliged and gulped our food down the throat and rushed back to the lab. By this time our technicians had finished the maximum de-flasking and by now most of the trimming and polishing work was remaining. Irrespective of what our designation was, we sat subsequently and started polishing at the full swing.

By the time the organizers invited us for a meet I had acrylic all over my face, body, hair and almost everywhere. A kollywood’s well known, most sought after superstar- Mr.Ambareesh addressed the gathering. At that time I didn’t recognize him, as I am a pseudo-intellect who drives the least benefits from television industry. Upon that we were so engrossed in our work that the meet gave us a break to contemplate. He said something “we see gods in you” then something “acting gods” and all. I was wondering how someone can look so pretentious in front of such a large gathering of patients along with their relatives and a handful of my team.

By evening with sheer grace and abundant gratitude almost every patient had dentures in their mouth. Everyone was beaming and flaunting their acrylic teeth to one another. Suddenly there was an ambiance of contagious smile therapy all around us. I have registered those faces in my memory like photographs and if I was a painter I can repaint each and every face and reveal their delight. This is the time of every dentist’s lives when one immediately finds the consequences more tempting and overlooks the discomfort and the time that gets invested into it. We were having our time and we got busy clicking photographs and posing with the patients.

In that crowd I found my purpose of life when one old lady maybe older than my grandma approached me. I got scared I thought she is about to complain about her discomfort and I feared repeating all the work all again. But no I was wrong! She just grinned like a Cheshire cat at me. Still, I stood perplexed with an absolute no idea of what she needs from me. She unexpectedly folded her hands bowed down and said- ” Neevey Namma Devaru, Dactarey”. Now that actor’s speech was making sense to me all of a sudden. I convincingly reassured her, almost hugged her and gave a comforting expression. But deep down I was shattered. I was no longer the same. I was crying tears of worthiness. Swiftly I felt a sense of equality and I was touched profoundly.

This was the day dentistry proposed to me and I replied with a “yes”. I felt chosen and so I chose it too, with greater willing acceptance this time. I realized how petite things make such a drastic difference in someone’s life. No one is less or more, no pain is okay to be ignored. Yes, the pain of no teeth or of every single tooth is one of the foremost pains of the entire humankind ever! Since then, I have anchored my belief and my roots yet deeper in this field and I look forward to more such instances which even though are composed of tiny gestures still leave a massive eye-opening impact. These signs compel us to serve humanity at our best and on a superior degree.

Author: Shabnam Nawab
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Comments

@peepso_user_1(Shadow Engineer)
A feel-good story with some nostalgia!!
@peepso_user_31(Nishaj VM)
Took back to college days !
@peepso_user_33(KP Sana)
Really enjoyed reading this:]
@peepso_user_361(Ishara Zia)
I'm sure most of us had such a moment where we decided to keep this career over all the bad signs 😁. The satisfaction it gives is addicting sometimes.
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