Your glasses are one of the first things people notice about you. Your choice of eyewear can impact your personal life and professional life more than you might expect. Today, spectacles are not only a vision aid, but also a stylish accessory. Importantly, spectacles allow you to express your personality and emphasize your style.
Some surveys have shown that men gravitate more toward aviators and metal frames, while women liked cat-eye and plastic ones better. People who wear oval glasses can give wrong signals that they are associated with depression, laziness and sadness. However, square glasses are most popular as they are most often linked to being affectionate, cool, friendly and reliable. People wearing cat-eye glasses are generally associated with intelligent people, while rectangle frames are considered sexy and thick-rimmed spectacles look adventurous. But after all, these are just surveys conducted on small samples and not to be trusted upon.
I wanted to change my spectacles as I wanted to look different. So I asked my Professor friend’s advice. I have always seen Professor wearing different spectacles.
“Meet me at the Grant Road station on Sunday. I am going to take you to the Chor Bazar”. He said.
Professor had a mysterious or rather a mischievous smile. So I was both curious but at the same time worried about what his advice was going to be.
Located near Bhendi Bazaar on the Mutton Street at Grant Road in Mumbai, just around the corner of Mohammad Ali Road, the 150- year old Chor Bazaar is the country’s largest flea market. Legend is that all stolen antique items turn up for sale at Chor Bazaar.
We met at the Grant Road station at sharp 9 am. We then walked to the Chor Bazar. After entering a small lane that smelt old, Professor stopped at a shop that had a faded sign board “Iftekar Opticians”
(The true meaning of the word ‘Iftekar’ cannot be described with just a few words. People with name Iftekar are possibly intelligent, intuitive, graceful, and even a psychic. Such people have interest in spirituality and mysticism in the quest for truth. However, some say that Iftekars are not always friendly and do not like to spend time with other people).
Ifetkar Optitians had all kind of junk items, except the spectacles. Professor explained that Iftekar sells special spectacles and these spectacles are traded on the mezzanine floor only to old customers.
Ifekar greeted Professor and after I was introduced, we climbed a squeeky wooden staircase. Ifekar switched on the lights and yes, we saw neatly stacked cases of spectacles. There was a large round mirror on the marble table that looked some 200 year old. There was also a roll top desk on the corner that probably had a few secrets.
Professor asked Ifekar to show me a set of 7 spectacles. Iftekar nodded as if this was Professor’s usual ask.
He opened a drawer of the wooden roll top desk and took out a set of 7 different frames. The set included a thick black frame and another on the style of an Aviator. There was also a frame with bright colours with patterns. Then there were frames of tortoise shell and of rimless style. Finally, there were big browline and big round frames.
I told Professor that was quite a choice to make. Professor smiled.
I picked up the thick black frame first, put it on and looked into the large round mirror. I knew that thick black frames go largely to the young, hipster crowd. The people who wear these glasses are definitely trying to make a statement about themselves. These are “That bold, ‘look-at-me’ frames. A person that has a pair of these glasses is probably young, bold, opinionated, and trendy. I thought I should wear this frame when I will go to attend parties with younger crowd from Napean sea road. But since that was not going to be so regular, I put the frame aside.
The next to try was the spectacle with bright colors with patterns. I knew that these spectacles are preferred by older people like me who want to feel the fun of youth again. This frame had a design by the temples, like little flowers. Professor added that these spectacles are for those who don’t like to take life too seriously. Am I that sort of person? I asked myself. I wished I could be. I put the frame aside.
Aviator glasses are a favourite among outspoken people who don’t just talk, but walk the talk. If you’ve got at least one pair of aviators, you’re the kind of person whose presence is always felt. You enter a room and people notice, and you usually end up being the life of the party. So I picked up the aviator frame to try. Indeed, I looked quite different in the round mirror. I walked on the mezzanine floor with aviator frame on. I felt like stopping giving key note addresses and instead work on the ground, energizing the youth to action towards sustainability.
Professor did notice a different glow on face as I walked with an aviator frame. He said in a hush hush tone that Iftekars spectacles are mystic as they indeed change your personality. These spectacles are no ordinary as they take over the life you live and get you a new style of living.
Oh, that’s the reason Professor got me here. I felt excited about the power of the spectacles but at the same time felt a bit weird and also rather scary. I saw Ifekar smiling.
Then there were other spectacles to follow. I tried the tortoise shell frame, also known as horn rimmed. Professor told me that this frame is a favourite among independent and creative thinkers. The wearer of this spectacle is by no means a regular person. Then I put on a spectacle having a big round frame that are sometimes called as “The Harry Potter frame.” I knew that these spectacles are not as common today as they used to be. They’re a little bit quirkier than an average person and show an appreciation for history. I put this spectacle aside.
Browline frames are for those who mean business. Browline frames (aka club masters or semi-rimless frames) aren’t that popular while they are both smart and stylish. These spectacles say that you mean business! This style reflects the fact that you are quick on your feet, and have a well-rounded personality. Interestingly, candidates wearing browline glasses were the most likely to be considered for a position by a hiring manager. I thought looking for job phase of my life is long over and hence I put aside the browline frame.
The 7th and the last spectacle was a Rimless frame. The lenses are not surrounded by rims. Instead, the temples and nose bridge are connected to the lenses directly. The minimalism of this low-profile style appeals to many people. people who wear rimless appear more attractive and confident than those wearing full frames. The reason for the perception is because of the attention to a wearer’s eyes rather than the glasses. Certainly this spectacle was not the right choice for me, given my tired state of the eyes.
Dr Modak, please chose a spectacle depending on whom you want to be? Professor asked
The idea was interesting. I had never thought that the spectacles could change your life.
“You don’t have to rush Dr Modak. We will come again”. Professor realized that I was not in a position to decide.
Then interestingly, he asked Iftekar to pack the full set of 7 spectacles for him.
“Yes Sir” said Iftekar. He started wiping the spectacles carefully and putting them in case. The spectacles certainly required cleaning. Since spectacles were invented in 1300 century, I wondered which era those mystic spectacles belonged. We left Chor Bazar after relishing few mutton chops sold on the street followed by a Raspberry drink.
Next time when I was in Professor’s office, I was a bit early. Professor was to return after a meeting with the Ministry and so was late. His secretary Anita was neatly organizing Ifetar’s set of 7 spectacles. The spectacles were numbered e.g. the thick black frame was numbered as 1.
I then saw Professors weekly calendar of meetings on the wall. The calendar included events like conference presentations, attending a birthday party, chairing a meeting at industry association etc. Against each event, a number was written between 1 to 7, indicating which spectacle Professor should be wearing.
Oh, I now understood why my Professor friend was always successful and popular whenever he was in public or with people. Iftekar’s set of 7 spectacles were making the magic. I also realized that it was difficult to know who the real Professor is.
It is not surprising that you are often asked to remove the spectacles when you are photographed for your passport.
Next time if you want to change your life then visit Iftekar Optician in Chor Bazar of Mumbai.
This story is fictitious written for a purpose.
Photograph of “Iftekar Opticians” is taken from Meandering through Mutton Street: 10 steals from Chor Bazaar | Architectural Digest India.
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