Of reading glasses and ageing


Me stylishly holding my reading glasses (Pic: By me)

Getting reading glasses is an early sign of ageing. Forgetting them in odd places is a definite sign of ageing. Wearing them and still looking for them means it is more or less over for you. I have accomplished all three.

The other day I kept looking for them even while wearing them. It was only a few moments into the search that I realized that I had them on all the time. What this means is several things. One obvious thing is that one has become forgetful. Another obvious thing is that one has become stupid. Perhaps the most damning indictment is that one finds all this rather routine. If I cannot feel a pair of glasses sitting on my face, then it says a lot of about my senses.

Of course, there is an element of exaggeration here to make this post more engaging than it would have been were it only about a middle-aged man forgetting his reading glasses. I forgot them this morning at home. I am writing this post without my reading glasses. I wonder why you need reading glasses to write. Don’t I need writing glasses? (Hehehe, that’s funny, I think).

In Gujarati, the reading glasses are also called “betala” from the number betalis or 42. The popular belief is that when one turns 42, it is almost inevitable that you would need them. Right on cue when I turned 42 I had to get them because I could not read with my regular glasses. I am short-sighted in terms of vision and, I suppose, in any other sense of the word. The reading glasses proved that I was also not even fully short-sighted. I can read font size ten from a distance of about one foot. If I move any further the text begins to seem like a million ants locked in a feverish mating ritual.

I don’t know if you have experienced this but oftentimes I cannot hear well without the glasses. Perhaps it has to do with the two senses—hearing and sight having become so attuned to each other that if one goes out of sync, the other does too. It takes some getting used to.

I can use my regular glasses to write but that would mean I will have to move about 10 feet away from the keyboard. Also, I will have to enlarge the font size to 20 or more. But then, I will still need reading glasses to punch my keyboard. So please applaud the hardship I have undergone to produce this marvelously inane piece.


About chutiumsulfate

South Asians can infer from my name what I am. View all posts by chutiumsulfate

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