Save your smile

SMILES HAVE become so scarce in Pakistan these days that a nationwide campaign was launched last week to protect this endangered feature of human face. “Everybody wanted people to celebrate healthy smiles by taking care of their teeth and gums,” Mr Right flashed a pearly smile.

By Najmul Hasan Rizvi (Issues)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 26 Mar 2014, 11:28 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:39 PM

“I believe it was only a ‘Love your dentist’ drive launched by dentists as part of World Oral Health Day,” I said. “They want us to keep smiling all the time in spite of increasing doctors’ fees and hospital charges.”

“It’s purely a health issue, my dear, don’t turn it into an economic problem,” Mr Right said. “The dentist community sincerely wants to protect you from oral diseases that cause tooth decay and mouth cancer.”

“I am not against dentists,” I said. “They are doing a good job to treat mouth diseases. But I want them to treat those mouth ailments too that spread hatred in society and divide people.”

Mr Right laughed. “Oh, dear, now you are becoming philosophical. Perhaps you are referring to those ill-guided orators and preachers whose speeches create sectarian, linguistic and parochial differences among the people. I don’t know if any medicated toothpaste can treat this oral disease.”

“They are suffering from a mouth disease that is worse than cancer,” I said. “All physicians and experts on oral health must try to find a cure for this killer disease which kills others but not the patient.”

“You have a point,” Mr Right agreed. “But if we extend this campaign to find a cure for all types of mouth diseases, poor dentists will have to prepare a comprehensive list of all those people notorious for foul-mouthing.”

“In that case an NGO should be set up to provide counselling and suggest treatment of all those suffering from ‘slip-of-the-tongue’ and ‘foot-in-the-mouth’ diseases,” I said.

“And the NGO must have a special VIP section devoted to prominent people, including leaders, ministers, party bosses and former rulers,” Mr Right opined. “Luckily, I have a collection of ‘oral rubbish’ produced by many former rulers that shows how badly the ‘foul mouth’ disease had affected them,” I said.

“I remember,” Mr Right grinned. “One of them had listed ‘rape’ as one of the easiest ways to grab money and go abroad.”

“And I can never forget the great sage who declared that even a dog would be a martyr if killed by an American drone,” I said.

“The wisest of all chief ministers in a province was the person who consoled all forged degree holders in the country to take heart because a degree was a degree, whether fake or genuine,” Mr Right pointed out.

“The list also includes powerful home ministers,” I said. “One was famous for talking big. Another is getting famous for saying one thing and retracting it immediately. He offered to play a cricket match with the Pakistani Taleban but had to withdraw the offer since the match could not be held in broad daylight.”

“The fire-eating boss of a nascent political party is fond of giving a ‘mouthful’ to all and sundry,” Mr Right said.

“But the apex court made him realise how shameful it was to call the judiciary shameless,” I said. “He needs an anti-septic mouthwash to make his utterances kind and gentle.”

“What do you say about a party boss who delivers a speech only when his favourite interpreters are present in the audience?” Mr Right said. “He speaks for only three hours but his interpreters take three days to go on explaining what he actually wanted to say.”

“Well, he needs lots of throat-clearing tablets and germ-killing gargles to talk sense,” I said.

“I am glad that the ‘Take care of your mouth’ campaign has been launched at a time when assemblies are in session and our beloved lawmakers need to speak politely with one another to smoothly conduct the business of parliament,” Mr Right said.

“Yes, now they can afford to smile at one another and exchange pleasantries to make the atmosphere lovable,” I said.

“But we need this campaign to go on for ever. If people, who have forgotten to smile and laugh at the oddities in life, make it a habit, this world will become a better place to live in,” Mr Right remarked.

Najmul Hasan Rizvi is a former assistant editor of Khaleej Times

More news from