Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Smile Unwanted....

       The advertisement caught my attention. It proposed complete surgery to restructure the lips and fill them with Botox at a very small sum. Well small enough for the wife of a billionaire who made his money through fair means and foul, I am not really bothered.
       I was 28 and good-looking in the way only the rich can look. There were hardly any lines on my face, what with my daily regime of bathing with caviar, chocolate baths, dead coral scrubs, and using an anti aging cream that cost 50000 for each 100 ml. I knew the results were showing, but what I hated most were my lips.
       They were thin and no amount of Botox injections could fill them up to my liking. The problem was the shape of my mouth. It was not to my liking. Instead of the pouty look, God had sent me with a droopy shape that made me look sad always. Often people would look at me sympathetically and ask me if something was troubling me. I hated them, I hated their sympathy and stares. I hated their pretty perfect smiling lips. I hated my smile. It made me look and feel worse. I longed to have a smiling mouth, a warm smiling, attractive, pouty mouth that would make men look at my lips all the time. A smile that could bewitch the most reserved of men. I lived with these very lips for so many years, but it was only when I suddenly realized that none of the men I was going around had ever willingly kissed me on the mouth did I realize there was something amiss.
***
       Some 3 months, into the Depression, I saw the advertisement in the newspaper today. The Clinic pictures looked posh, the machines sophisticated, the Doctor knowledgeable. He seemed to be quite famous in Bombay, as I later learned from friends and had just returned to Bombay last month to open up the Cosmetology clinic. He promised instant results. I was ecstatic, I immediately called him up and booked an appointment for the coming week. I couldn’t stop hopping around, grinning with my ugly lips at everyone and anyone. O, how I wish now that I could have that ugly smile back!
       I liked the Doctor Immensely. He kept throwing in a lot of technical jargon which I did not understand, but did much to Impress me. I have always been one to conlude based on Impressions, so you can be sure, I came away fixing up my appointments for the next 8 weeks which was the period he would take.
       The sittings were fixed thrice a week. The first part of the treatment consisted of continuous massaging for 3 weeks, then some sorta glue would be injected into the skin to help the surgery be easier. This would be for 3 weeks, followed by the surgery and then post-recuperative injections and massages. The weeks went by in a haze and I believe the psychological effects it produced, were enough to make me look younger, beautiful…I was on cloud nine….and I smiled all through.
       Soon it was time for surgery......the first thing I asked for, after I regained consciousness was a mirror. I was transformed! I looked so alluring, so beautiful, so bewitching! Now I would spin my web and send men into raptures! And the women would burn with envy! I loved it. I danced around the room, I kissed and hugged the nurses. I was happy I no longer had to put in any effort to smile. The Doctor had given me beautiful smiling lips that stayed put. I loved going to parties, I never missed an opportunity to socialize, I applied bright shades of lipstick, I had never done this before, I basked in the compliments.
***
       The call came through at night. The maid picked up the phone. I could hear her mumbling, her replies sounded as if someone had broken shocking news to her. Maybe her drunken husband had died. Then she should be happy. I went to check. She turned back and told me, very simply, “Madam, Your brother is no ore.... He was involved in a major accident and the doctors have confirmed there is no possibility of him surviving...”Tears poured down my eyes. I hastily pulled on some dress and drove through the pouring night. I reached to find my Mom’s house enveloped with a thick cloud of Sorrow and Grief. Relatives, Friends, Neighbours, Well-wishers all haed started pouring in hordes. In the middle of all that, lay my Brother’s body. The accident was so horrific that all of his 6 feet, 90 kgs body mass was enclosed in a single bedsheet. My dam broke, I wailed and screeched for a while and then went into a numbing silence. My mind went back to memories of childhood, of our years growing up, fighting with each other all through our school days, college, hostel. I suddenly was so distraught at him having gone from our lives so suddenly, my mind went blank and I was like a vegetable through the proceedings.
       All the time, my smile intact.
       I realized I couldn’t shake it off, no matter how much I tried to frown, or cry or wail or screech, the moment my face came back into its natural shape, I smiled. I tried to wipe it off,     I clawed and scratched at my mouth, trying to wipe it off. It came back. Every time.
       I smiled when my Brother’s body was being carried off to the crematorium. I smiled when my Mother fainted. I smiled when the ceremonies were being performed. I smiled when they brought back the ashes.
       I went back smiling to my house. My Heart was empty, My mind wandered off, I talked and cried in my sleep, I smiled through it all.
       I smiled when I found my BF in bed with my Best Friend. In my house, In my bed. I smiled at Deaths, Losses, Bereavements. I smiled when the Doctor said the Operation was Irreversible. I smiled when inwardly I was jealous, sad, gloomy, depressed. I smiled when tears streamed down my face. I smiled at strangers, at pimps, at shopkeepers. I was tired of my smile. People were tired of my smile.
       I don’t know what to do. I just want this smile off my face. I don’t mind if I look uglier than before , or if my lips droop more. I just want to be done with it. Done with smiling.
       I don’t know what to do. I just want this smile off my face.
       I just want this smile off my face.

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