Today, as we returned from the final round at the dentist (for the moment), dad and me started reminiscing about mom’s luck with another dentist.
I adore my dentist; he is an elderly gentleman (and I mean it) who dresses like one and is immaculate in his manners and speech. He also has a soft but firm hand and is done with the procedure before you even feel any pain, it’s an art and I am grateful for it. He came in my life only 2 years ago, he himself rues that he could have helped me more if he had met me earlier but I am happy with how things turned out. He and his daughter have turned my life around, for the better. And I have, in turn, forged a relationship with them, born of long hours spent over complicated treatments.
Almost a decade earlier, my mother ended up with a dentist who was a smooth talker but a sadistic person; the kind who had a soft touch and kind manner but who would also extort money for petty reasons, use substandard materials and cause unnecessary pain and watch you undergo it. It was a colossally bad decision to go in retrospect but my mother was adamant and chose him. By the time we realised his true nature, it was too late and the damage was irreversible. The trouble it caused brought her tears, even till the very end.
Reminiscing about it, dad and me wondered why she landed with such a horrible dentist. Dad mentioned ‘rin’, the Bengali word for debts that we carry from birth to birth, which have to be fulfilled.
Considering all that mom lost and faced, I hope, in her next life, she starts with a clean slate and her debts are truly over.