I am myopic. I have been wearing glasses since I was about twelve. However long before that I had difficulty reading from the blackboard. I used to try and get one of the front benches. After a while even that was not enough and little me used to toddle to the front, stand in front of the black board and read, then toddle off to my seat to copy it down. When I started standing next to the board with my copy to copy the stuff, the teacher saw red. Searching questions revealed my malady and there was a note in my diary for my parents.
Those were the days when the concept of the PTM was not so much in vogue. Especially in the school of the two horses town we were living in. Parents got called to school in really exceptional circumstances. If a parent got the dreaded note to see the principal or something, he could be sure that the child has indulged in a really, really serious misdemeanour.
So the diary was the sole means of communication between the school and the parents. The note got my parents in a tizzy. There was an eye check-up and I came up with huge minus number glasses. Very conscientious, my father promptly got me two pairs of glasses. The second one was for exigencies, if the first one breaks or something. And they did break regularly. In a couple of years I learned to deal with them myself. A broken frame could be fixed up with a string or fevicol. The next day you deliver the broken glasses to the optician on your way back from school and use the spare one.
Also my parents became very cautious with my two siblings. They got their eyes tested unerringly twice a year and their malady got caught really early on.
Was I worried that I was wearing glasses? Was there a negative psychological impact on my tender psyche? Negative to both.
In fact I was thrilled to be wearing glasses. All that running around between the blackboard and my seat was over. Most importantly I could enjoy the movies now. In those good old days when all TV churned out was chitrahar, the Sunday movie and krishidarshan. Not to forget the news and the news for the deaf. Not much of an entertainment I agree. So we depended on the movies for that. Every Saturday my mom and her friends would collect their respective kids, buy oily potato wafers and settle in for a nice movie. Now a picture theatre is a nightmare for a myopic without spectacles. The faces of the actors would be blurred and I wouldn’t recognise many of them. I would pester my mother all along the movie, earning her wrath.