The Colour Of My Braces
The fidgeting had already started, as I was waiting for my turn at the dentist. I had to tighten my braces and live with those ugly metals for a year. Every time the doctor would ask me which colour would I like for my braces, I would regret my innocent childhood and the mistakes.
This time I was ready with an answer, I told him to change my faded orange into bright blues. I have a weird visual memory of the doctor selecting the perfect blue bands for me and tightening them into my wires till I made a painful shrill. The new untouched colours would tighten me with all its might and I would do nothing to loosen the grip of it on my mind.
The routine of my food was the same for the next 2-3 days. Mom would cook khichdi for me and the turmeric would change the blue to green. The sight was always unsettling; the change was new which had followed an already unexpected change. I wonder about how easily things just change and how we are helpless about those small yet significant changes.
Some days went by; I was now use to the tight wires. Somehow this time I start liking the green. It went with my skin tone, my mood! I was finally happy with the change. But one day sadly one of my brace broke when I had my favourite restricted food- pizza. The green brace on my pizza slice was an awkward combination and also a lesson for me to delay my gratifications and control my unnecessary pleasures! The colours were speaking a lot now or maybe I was just a better listener.
I met my friend after our exams and noticed how her braces had multiple colours. I wondered of how people carry the heaviness of two identities, two colours when understanding and accepting YOUR colour is tough. With a disconcert mind I went home to get ready for the social salsa night and my performance.
With less confidence in the greens that had started to fade and my black dress I walked to the stage for my performance, perfectly faking the smile. With heavy heartbeats even after the performance I heard an applause which I realized was for us after some time.
Smiling with confidence in my faded green, I heard a guy calling me for dance. Surprised over the sudden approach and the sweet gesture, I let my heart decide the colour of my mood rather than my braces. The dance was fun. I walked out of the cafe with the same faded green and the black dress which was sweaty now; I noticed a change in my walk. Maybe that was confidence.
After two weeks my faded green started turning yellow. Yellow is often defined as something not brave. I looked into the mirror for the last time before getting the colour changed and smiled to my teeth which were suddenly all perfect to me. I mocked at my foolishness for letting the orange, blue, green and yellow possess power over what I am. I understood that the colours are temporary; they come with a story and a lesson.
“What colour to your braces this time?”
“Umm, do you have black? ”