Its been a busy, busy last few days and I just can’t get my mind working to think up something new to put in. So, I thought of the next best thing – putting in another old writing which I had uploaded in Aug 2007 on my previous blog in HmarNet. This one is a ‘poem’ (7 syllables in each and every line) that I wrote for my daughter after going through her poetry text book. In reply to my (usual) teasing that anybody could write a poem provided they had a subject/thought/idea they were passionate about, she challenged me to write one. So I came up with this one. Though she would not admit that it was good, she did look at it for an unusually long time (for her). The reason she gave for taking a long look was that she was counting the syllables to see if they really were 7. Duh!, as she would say. So, here it is:
You did try your best, my dear
But you’re gone, my faithful friend
You hung on there, for a year
But, my friend, it had to end
Towards the end, you stuck out
Like a sore thumb, as they say
Keeping you hidden, I vowed
Would make everything okay
My smile became a grimace
Yet you refused to back off
And give me back my old face
Which had its own charm, sort of
When the dentist took you on
You did not put up a fight
I brought you home, wrapped in cott’n
Worn out, forlorn, in the night
Sep’rated, and left behind
Abandoned, r’placed by a fake
Your mem’ry comes back to mind
Each time I wear my denture
Thirty years after I last wrote (or tried to write) a poem, I just had to write an ‘ode’ to my faithful tooth who had to leave me after more than 40 years of faithful and true service.
We went through a lot of culinary adventure, my dear departed tooth and I. Though not the whitest or best-looking tooth, it loyally took on all and anything and everything put into my mouth. I always thought that it would remain true and faithful till my dying days and never really took care of it. Most of the time, it retained a faint reddish-brown colour from too much paan and cigarettes. To my eternal shame, it looked really bright and shiny only once in its all too brief life. Looking back, I think that must have been one of the happiest moments in its brief life. That was the time, about 4-5 years before it left me, when I went to the Dentist and had my teeth properly cleaned and polished for the first time. Its too late for regrets now, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to make it happy at least once in its brief lifetime.
I was introduced to all sorts of strange and wonderful tastes by my tooth. From the small fish we used to catch in the stream that ran besides our village when we were children to big fish from the sea and strange creatures like octopus and squids, almost all kinds of meat to all types of green vegetables, they all passed though my faithful tooth. During its younger and stronger days, it also acted as a handy beer bottle opener which probably contributed to its untimely demise.
An artificial tooth has since taken its place. I am constantly reminded of my dear departed friend whenever I take it off or put it back on.
(Tokyo 26 Aug 2007)