Facial appendages

Designers and manufacturers of things we wear on our face don’t seem to have taken into account the fact that people can wear multiple facial appendages at a time.

One problem that has bothered me since I was eighteen, when I got my first motorcycle, has been the clash between my spectacles (something I’ve worn since I was eight) and the full-face helmet. Design of full-face helmets has always meant that I’ve had to take the spectacles off, wear the helmet and then wear the specs back on (and then put on the visor of the helmet).

With some helmets it’s worked beautifully. But occasionally I’ve bought helmets one size too small (or borrowed my wife’s helmet), and in those cases this correlation hasn’t worked out well. There are days when I wear contact lenses first thing in the morning just because I need to take the scooter out.

And now, there is a third appendage which doesn’t work well with either the spectacles or the helmet – the facial mask to keep covid-19 germs away.

So far I’ve been completely unable to wear a helmet while not making the mask move out of position (this is irrespective of which helmet and which mask I use).

And most of my masks have not worked well with my spectacles as well. They interfere with each other in several places – on the nose, on the ears, vapours from the mask fogging up my spectacles. I might start wearing my contact lenses first thing in the morning now as well, just so that I can wear a mask when I step out.

Now imagine what it would be like to wear spectacles, mask and helmet all at once.

I’m glad my hearing is good, for I’m sure you won’t be able to imagine what it’s like to wear spectacles, mask, helmet and hearing aids.

PS: I discovered this morning that I’m allergic to the N95 mask I have. It has an appendage to make it fit well on the nose, and my nose has developed rashes from it.

The many spectacles of Jurgen Klopp

I haven’t been a big fan of my last  two pairs of spectacles. The last one, especially, was chosen carefully after a rather long search across several stores. Yet, within a week or two of purchase, I knew it wasn’t a great choice. Somehow it didn’t look as good on me as I imagined it would. And it’s been hardly four months since I bought it, but I’m already looking for a new pair.

While there are several people whose spectacle frames I’ve much admired, no one comes close to new Liverpool F.C. manager Jurgen Klopp. Not realising that he has several pairs of spectacles, I’ve tweeted on many occasions that I want “Jurgen Klopp spectacle frames”. And then somehow forgotten it when at the optician’s.

With Klopp scheduled to be unveiled as the new Liverpool F.C. manager today (he signed his contract yesterday), the Guardian has put out a nice graphic called “the many faces of Jurgen Klopp”. As far as I’m concerned, though, I don’t care about the faces at all. All I care about are the spectacles! Each one better than the other.

So I present to you, “the many spectacles of Jurgen Klopp”. Watch off!

And while at it, tell me where I can procure such spectacle frames – most stores in Bangalore don’t stock good big matte-finished frames. And don’t tell me LensKart or some such online seller – buying a pair of spectacles is like buying a pair of shoes – you need to feel them, try them on and feel comfortable in them before buying.

Twisted Shout

Apart from being the second birthday of this blog, today also happens to be the sixth anniversary of a sinister incident. The downside of the incident was that my spectacles were smashed, and pieces of it were found all over my eye. Even now, it hurts when I get tears ,in my left eye and I was really sceptical because of this when I was getting my contact lenses.

Amit Gandhi and I were playing badminton against Ezzy and Gotur (who had been the Bangalore University Badminton champions). Ezzy floated the shuttle high. Gandhi and I both went for it, me a couple of paces behind him. As he drew his racket back, it struck me flush in the face and my spectacles got shattered into my eye.

The upside of the incident is that it gave rise to Twisted Shout, the IIMB newsletter (yeah I think we are entitled to call it that; it was indeed a newsletter). Sadly, most of the material that went up on it was unpublished outside of the IIMB notice boards. The first ever edition, however, which was based on the incident I’ve described above is luckily online. Go read it. Having just produced that horrible novel called “I’ve read that somewhere” Kodhi was desperate to make amends and produced this masterpiece.

Politicians of Sec C cut across the party lines and outdid themselves in condemning the incident. From Dalal Street, Kapil wept, “They have taken out my right hand man. The people from Sec A (or was it B) should maintain some amount of decorum while trying to become DML1.” People nodded in agreement. The author decided to investigate the veracity of the first statement and found that it was indeed true. SK was the right hand man of Kapil .At least he sat to his right. The other leading luminary Push-Kar was more vocal in his protests. He decided to use Michael Moore’s quote and said, ” Aren’t you, at least feeling ashamed? Does your face ever turn red?” hard hitting words these.

Thursday, 22nd July 2004. The morning had also been eventful thanks to microeconomics class. Feeling too lazy to explain a certain concept, the prof asked someone in the class who knew the concept (I’ve forgotten what the concept is) to explain. Don, who had a bachelors in economics stepped up and made an attempt to explain it. He muttered a sentence as if he were chanting a mantra. It passed over most of our heads. Someone asked for a clarification. Don just repeated the sentence. Yet another question. Don repeats the sentence with different emphasis this time. Maybe a mantra in a different raaga. It had no effect. No one knew its meaning (apart from a handful of other Economics bachelors who had learnt the same mantra).

I grew impatient. When the prof didn’t notice my raised hand, I shouted “saar I can explain this in English”. Having no choice, he beckoned me to the blackboard. I remember the shirt I was wearing that day (it was grey), since I clearly remember placing the amplifier of the collar mike in my right breast pocket, and I have only two shirts which have two breast pockets.

I don’t remember much of what I explained also. All I remember is drawing some curves and some tangents and marking points as A, A’ and A” (I remember saying “prime” rather than “dash” for that extra pseudness). All I remember is making some sort of hand-wavng argument (yeah I did wave my hands). All I remember is loud thumping of desks as the mostly engineer class had understood my proof. All I remember is one of the other economics bachelors (not Don) cribbing later that what I said was crap and only the mantra made sense.

Kodhi says that the bad Karma I accrued by way of acting arrogant that morning led to instant punishment that afternoon, when I injured my eye.