As a child, I was fascinated with dimples (I still am). My best friend Ekta had the deepest dimples in the whole wide world and the whole school swooned whenever she smiled. When she was chosen to play the little princess in our school play ‘Princess and the frog’, I was convinced that the non existence of dimples stood between me and super stardom.
I spent many a nights sitting in front of the mirror with pencils stuck in my cheeks, hoping that they leave behind dimples. I tried smiling by sucking my cheeks in, I tried poking fingers into my cheeks when smiling, I tried praying to God and asking for dimples but nothing seemed to work.
A trip to my native place revealed that my maternal grandmom had dimples that put Ekta’s dimples to shame. My badi mami too had a faint dimple on her right cheek. How, I wondered, did I manage to skip the dimple gene when everyone around me seemed to be blessed by them? My mom who was pakkaued by my dimple fetish chose to ignore my questions while my granny and mami encouraged me by letting me poke my little finger into their cheeks when they smiled.
It was then that I realised that the dimples were a result of missing teeth. While my granny had no teeth at all, my mami had a wisdom tooth removed, leading to the formation of those gorgeous dimples. That summer I pestered my mom to let me get dental extractions so that I could get a couple of dimples, but my mom just didn’t want a pretty daughter (*sobs*)
Not the one to give up easily, I kept looking for ways that would get me my prized dimples. Hope came in the way of Asha aunty, my mom’s best friend. Asha aunty had an unnatural dimple which was formed when she fell on a pointy rock as a child. Her dimple was different. It didn’t come up when she smiled. It was always there. That was the best, most awesomest dimple ever. That dimple could kick Ekta’s dimple’s butt like a million times.
And I wanted it.
After several unsuccessful attempts at finding a pointy rock, I had a brainwave. Picking up a pair of scissors, I marched into my room and with all the precision my trembling hands could manage, I snipped a tiny cut into my right cheek. The fountain of blood that started pouring out freaked me and I went running back to mom who took me to the doctor. That week was filled with loads of shoutings from the elders and wide eyed stares of respect from my cousins. Inspite of the pain, I slept soundly, proud that I finally had the perfect dimple.
Epilogue: The dimple (or to be really honest, the tiny dent) stayed on my cheek for nearly 2 years before finally fading away. This is my brother’s favourite dinner time story, the one he usually narrates to embarrass me. I, on the other hand, keep praying for some miracle which will get me that coveted dimple.