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Fate of our Milk Teeth

About Aparna Mondal

Aparna Mondal was born and brought up in Kolkata. Presently she lives in Mumbai with her family. She always loved nature and that prompted her to study Biological Sciences. She loves to paint landscape and nature. Her other hobbies are reading, photography, travelling, making costume jewellery, acting, swimming. She has recently developed a special interest in putting her thoughts into writing. Making new friends and interacting with them make her feel loved.

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The memories of childhood are things which we adults always love to treasure and fondly remember. We also love to revisit those days and later narrate them to our children.
Mark Twain had nicely sketched all bittersweet and mischievous characters in in his stories. We can all identify and relate to characters of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

While reading out these stories to my children, I literally got reminded of our days when we played pranks and certain acts were similar to the characters of those books.

During our childhood we got to hear a lot of old wives’ tales. Like a sponge we absorbed all these stories and our innocent minds believed them to be true without an iota of doubt.
“Never throw away these loose milk teeth when they fall”, once my older cousin Rumni didi warned, when she saw me trying to pull out a loose milk tooth which was about to be dislodged from the gum of my lower jaw.

“What am I to do with the tooth then!” I asked her, surprised. “Keep all those fallen teeth in a match box,” she confidently advised and Tublu, my cousin. Being elder to us, she happily conferred on us her great wisdom which probably were passed on to her by some well wisher or a friend.

I asked her with awe, “Why should I do that?” while Tublu looked at her with excitement and surprise. Rumni didi gladly educated us that all our milk teeth are normally replaced by permanent teeth over a period of time. She also added that we must keep these uprooted fallen milk teeth carefully and then put them in rat’s holes.

“Why rats? We both asked in unison.

“Because rats are the creatures who are equipped with sharp and strong teeth which can cut through anything on earth,” pat came her reply. We eventually understood the moral of the story – if we present these teeth to rats, then we, the little angels, will be blessed with teeth as strong and sharp as those blessed creatures and the property so acquired will last for a lifetime.

Satisfied, having imparted a life-making knowhow to the novice younger cousins, Rumni didi also taught us the useful hygiene of washing the invaluable possessions with tooth paste and soap water so that clean and sparkling teeth, similar to the advertisement of leading brands of toothpaste in those days, were eventually gifted to the rodents. After all they were “the God of Teeth”.

During those days, there used to be competitions between cousins and we always measured ourselves in inches and centimetres to determine our heights. So, with the newly acquired knowledge of teeth, another category of competition was also introduced. How many fallen teeth do I have to my credit was an ambitious figure to show off and flaunt. These teeth were counted and kept back in a safe place with utmost care.

Eventually, none of us in the clan could put those teeth in the rat’s holes. The invaluable boxes containing our teeth used to disappear from each of our hiding places. The elders informed us that the boxes have been delivered to their destinations with assurance that we will be blessed with beautiful and strong teeth to smile for ever.

 

**cover image is a sketch by Aparna Mondal

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10 Response Comments

  • Bishakha Moitra08/02/2019 at 11:56 AM

    Lovely story Aparna di. Such an innocent and sweet narration of a childhood memory. Most of us would have heard similar version of the milk tooth story. Its either rats or tooth fairy. The story took me back to my childhood days. 😊😘

    • Aparna Mondal08/02/2019 at 3:06 PM

      Thank you Bishakha !! Glad to know that you liked it. I am lucky to have such encouraging readers like you . The encouragements from you all, really provide me the impetus to pen more stories . Thanks .

  • Nidhi Jangid10/02/2019 at 11:27 AM

    Such a sweet story! How innocent and curious we had been in our childhood! Those days were the best part of our life! The story reminds us very well all those anecdotes of childhood! Entire storyline is beautifully woven! Loved reading it! 🙌

    • Aparna Mondal12/02/2019 at 12:42 PM

      Thank you so much ! It’s a pleasure to know that you could relate to the story , written it from sweet memories of an era which we have left behind and love to remember . Your encouragement means a lot .

  • Sangeeta Mishra11/02/2019 at 2:42 AM

    As usual your words touched my heart with their simplicity and flow! Your words cascade like a stream and seep effortlessly into ones consciousness. You are a treat to read!
    You know, milk teeth are synonymous to innocence and it’s said that if you could retain even a single milk tooth till adulthood, you must be the owner of a pure heart. Salvador Dali was said to possess one. The reason has created such masterpieces with utmost childlike fluidity.
    loved this to the core. And not to mention your sketch, it’s too cute! <3

    • Aparna Mondal12/02/2019 at 12:54 PM

      Thank you Sangeeta for your generous and kind words ! It really means a lot when those words come from a talented person like you . You are a creative person and I absolutely love reading your writings . . It ‘s your combined encouragement which inspires me to write more . Loved to know that you enjoy reading my writings . 🙏❤️🌸

  • Preesha Reddy11/02/2019 at 8:49 PM

    A sweet heart warming story. Loved reading it. Took me back to my 5year old days(Which was not that long ago) when I used to hide it under my pillow and wait for a gift, try to stay awake the whole night but eventually fall asleep.
    Amazing Sketch. ❤️

  • Aparna Mondal12/02/2019 at 12:48 PM

    Thank you so much !! Glad to know that my story can take back somebody to those days which were so uncomplicated and sweet!! . I am extremely happy to know that you could relate to the story and I am successful in evoking the sweet memories of your respective childhood with my story , which absolutely came from my heart. 😊

  • NANDANA DASGUPTA15/02/2019 at 10:48 PM

    Thank you for taking us for a stroll down our memory lane. Some say rats some say tooth fairy, but somehow or the other the story is all same! And truly enough that these childhood memories, are all we have as we grow up. Thanks once again & keep up with your work.

  • Aparna Mondal16/02/2019 at 9:35 AM

    Thank you for your appreciation and encouragement . Yes , you have rightly mentioned that the childhood memories are all we have as we grow up !. We revisit those days of innocense and simplicity and love to tell the same old story to everyone and the enthusiasm never diminishes with the passing years . Every individual posses some stories from childhood and we all can relate. As a mother of two grown up children , I am also seeing my children treasuring the memories of their childhood and me too during my childhood loved hearing similar childhood stories from my father . Yes , I will come up with all those memorable stories and hope you will like them . Thanks for your encouragement once again .

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