Chashme Buddoor: How Spectacles Brought Sexy Back


Chashme Buddoor: How Spectacles Brought Sexy Back

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Iused to enjoy watching Game of Thrones with my friends until they started calling me “the four-eyed raven”. My problem is not just that Bran is the most boring of the Stark siblings, but also the fact that I’ve lived my whole life being called weird names, just because I wear glasses. Still, “the four-eyed raven” is an upgrade from vintage classics like “battery” and “soda bottle”. As if being forced to look for the only thing that allows you to see every time you wake up wasn’t fun enough.

Yes, my friends, I’m spexy and I know it. Fellow spexy boys and girls know my pain: We need glasses to see the world, yet the world doesn’t see past our glasses. They might as well be a sign we hang on our faces that screams “NERD”. But in the year 2000, when Hrithik Roshan applied the brakes on his sports bike at a traffic signal in New Zealand, and looked at the camera to reveal his rimless, fiberglass, lightweight, spectacles in Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai, he gave hope to every chashmish that they could be fine AF despite their frames.  

Those of you with 20/20 vision will never understand what Hrithik meant to us four-eyed ones. I was always weighed down by the trials associated with wearing glasses. In fact, that’s the reason why I never learned how to swim. My number is so high that my thick glasses will pull me down to the bottom of the pool like a Ganpati idol on visarjan day, and entering the water without my glasses is a big no-no. I refuse to leave my house without spare glasses. And I have a spare for a spare in my cupboard.

Normal people wake up with dreams in their eyes and a plan of action for the day. Those with spectacles wake up with blurred vision and a frantic search for their external pair of eyes. And don’t get me started about trying to watch a 3D movie with those flimsy, plastic glasses on top of our eye wear. Well, it is always a struggle to find the right position when it comes to a threesome!

To those who ask why don’t you wear lenses? First of all, have you ever tried poking yourself in the eye with your index finger? (No, I am not talking about demonetisation.)

Even mundane activities, such as a visit to the barbershop, are traumatic for me, because it is the one public place where I have to remove my spectacles. Walking up to the barber’s chair, I feel like Eddard Stark, waiting to be beheaded. What I see in the mirror before me is a blurry vision of myself and the barber as a horrible mash-up of Yamraj and Edward Scissorhands. I heave a sigh of relief when I am finally allowed to put on my glasses and see. The nightmare is over. I have survived.

If I were at Hogwarts, the above scene would be my boggart, my devastating fear. My saving patronus, you ask? Harry Potter himself! A young, spectacled soul, tormented by humans and wizards alike, who eventually becomes a hero. Now, that’s spexy. Watching fashion-forward people wear glass-less frames is spexy. Being able to look in the mirror without feeling ashamed is spexy. Not allowing the trolls, bullies, and society to undermine your confidence just because you wear spectacles is spexy.

To those who ask why don’t you wear lenses? First of all, have you ever tried poking yourself in the eye with your index finger? (No, I am not talking about demonetisation.) Have you felt your eyes become dry as a desert? Have you seen the MRP plus GST of the lenses? Even contacts won’t help me see acche din. And to those who ask, what about Lasik corrective surgery? Just… No. I’m not lying on a bed, fully conscious, having my cornea spread wide open by a suction ring, waiting for someone to enter my eyeball with a bright light. Thanks, but I’d rather reserve that ordeal for a Near Death Experience.

This piece is not sponsored by a company that makes eye wear, nor is it an attempt to demean lenses or Lasik surgery. It is merely a sincere appeal to all those who wear spectacles to remind themselves daily that no matter what the world may throw at us, “We are spexy, and we know it.”