On Thursday night I broke my specs.
It happens every once in a while. I would be sitting calmly, reading a book or magazine, or simply daydreaming, when a whirlwind begins to form and threatens to disturb my equilibrium. I would ignore her for a while; sometimes it would pass, and sometimes it would turn into a hurricane. Silence can withstand even a hurricane, but is difficult to maintain at such times. My first response is to reach for the nearest object – the spectacles on my nose, at most times – and break it: click.
The first time I did it, I was surprised at the ease with which it broke. I felt disappointed – it appeared too trivial – and wondered if it had had the intended affect. It did – she was stunned for a few seconds.
These days she ignores it. It now only means a new one will have to be requested from my parents in India the next time we call them.
In the beginning, it used to happen frequently – once every few months. After a while my parents expressed concern about this tendency of mine to step on or sit down on my specs – could it be a bad omen? they wondered. Or was it the severe winter in Germany that made the frame and glasses so brittle?
My sister – who studies in a university nearby – once happened to chance upon the broken artefact. “This doesn’t look like you sat on it – it is neatly cut into two. How come?” she asked. “It was placed between two hardbound books when I sat on it.” I replied.
The last time I was in India, I picked up four pairs. The person at the opticians wouldn’t have normally given it a second thought, but these were four pairs with identical frames. “Two for me, two for my twin brother.” I explained. He nodded with amazement – “Two people, same power – what a wonder of nature!”
On Thursday I broke one after a year and half. Its time had come.