“Damn the wisdom…” – I told to myself
It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon in the Golden Week of 2012, when everything seems to come to a standstill. Life seemed to be moving at a pace that I always wanted to, slow and steady. An innocuous looking toothache had caused us to visit the doctor as a precautionary measure. Few medicines and pain killers and we would be fine, I thought.
Wifey and me were seated in the oral surgeon’s cabin. He was a diminutive man in his mid forties I presume, with a lyrical South Indian accent, a grim face, and a penchant for looks of sheer perplexity. It was as though, with me seated in front of him, he realized for the first time that he really did have to rely on that dime-sized mirror to see what he was doing.
Dr. Subbu (lets call him that)was studying the X-ray report carefully. He then, turned to us, and started grimly –
DOC: Well, looks like, we need to extract your wisdom teeth..
ME: Its just a little tooth ache, is it that bad? Does it need a surgery? Can we not do with some medicines or something?
DOC: (Feeling my apparent discomfort at surgery) You must get it removed ! You see wisdom teeth is one the vestigial organs.. No use, and only creating trouble for you.. Come let me show you!
The Doc explained that the problem was with the lower right wisdom tooth that had grown horizontally and butted its stupid head against the back molar. Apparently, the wisdom tooth was healthy. The problem was a cavity that had formed between the two teeth – a dark space that bacteria and food particles found their cozy home in. Eventually, this would decay the innocent molar teeth, and cause more trouble for us.
Dr. Subbu pointed to the Xray that revealed the real culprit – the wisdom tooth that was lying on its side and trying to grow laterally. I couldn’t fathom why something with the word wisdom in its name seemed to have less intelligence than a mushroom, which is a fungus that grows from dead trees, yet manages to find its way out without troubling anyone else.
My inquisitive mind, of course, wanted me to demand some rational explanation for the impasse. I wanted to make a point, but looking at his grim face, I decided against it. It didn’t seem like a good day for such a high-risk activity.