Monday, October 09, 2006

The World

I realized I was going blind for the first time when I started seeing things in the dark.... Things that couldn't have existed..... Like a figurine of love, a dead eagle on my window-sill and myself in the mirror. It was a matter of time until I lost my sight.

When light came back on earth I went searching for a blind man. I found a woman, instead.

"Teach me blindness", I told her. And thus, in a grey, cloudy afternoon our lessons began.

"Blindness is nothing but an alternative to the world you live in", she told me. "You believe your eyesight is the best gift you have..... But you see, you never know what infinite options you have. Your eyesight is a limitation to your pursuit of these options."

"What do you mean?"

"Eyes attach properties to objects. Blindness removes them. There are no particularities in blindness. As a blind person, you can see anything in as many ways as you wish. Tell me about your experience when you felt for the first time that you were going blind."

I told her about the figurine of love, the dead eagle and myself in the mirror.

"Do you remember seeing them before your attacks of blindness? See, that's what blindness gives you: Freedom of sight."

When I returned home that night her words kept returning back. I remembered the number of times she used the word "see" in her words. It sounded pretty awkward in the words of a blind woman. But I couldn't understand her purpose of using the word: Was it a mockery or enlightenment? I couldn't understand the meanings of the things I saw in the attacks of my blindness….. Or if they had any meaning at all. Only my complete blindness could help me find answers to those questions.

The next few days, I kept waiting eagerly for blindness.

But the woman came back to me before blindness did. I told her that I was confused.

"Well, all of us are, sometimes", she said taking my hand in hers.

I found she was looking into my eyes, constantly, without her eyes blinking even for a second. It took me some time to realize that she was blind. But aren't blind people meant to see better than people gifted with eyesight? Wasn’t she seeing into me much more clearly than any normal person would do?

"Are you in love with me?" I decided to ask her.

She left my hand as I asked her the question. And moved a little farther away from me.

"What makes you think so?" she asked, a little concerned.

"You were looking into my eyes in such a strange way."

Even though she was standing turning her back towards me, I could see her leaving a deep breath.

"Maybe, you should stop imagining things." She said, as she tried to leave in a hurry.

"Why are you going away?"

"Because...." She shouted; then, fell silent. At last, in a much calmer tone she said, "because it's fearful how you...." She fell silent, once again.

I waited for her to finish. But she never did.

"....Is it how I see into you? Is that what you were trying to say?" I asked.

"Not me, but everyone..... everything." She continued, "Let me tell you a secret – We can see ourselves in mirrors. You don't exactly need to go blind for that. It's true that blindness assures freedom. It's true that blindness is much, much more powerful than eyesight. Blindness in never dark, as the popular belief goes, but is capable of colors unimaginable by a common man. Only blindness gives you access to spaces intangible..... But you see it's very, very difficult to come in terms with the fact that you are blind."

"But I don't think it would be difficult for me to come to terms with the fact when I do go blind. You've already taught me so much." I said, hoping that I was able to understand what she tried to say.

"No. It's you who taught me all these."

Unable to understand I kept looking into her eyes, vaguely.

"The doctors did indeed, find you blind from the very day that you were born", she completed.

And she reminded me what the world always would, that I cannot go blind ever again.

1 comment:

jem said...

As often with your pieces - I feel like I have been turned upside down, and spun around. But its a welcome dizziness!