The boy with the most BEAUTIFUL EYES

Last Updated : 29 July 2010, 11:48 IST
Last Updated : 29 July 2010, 11:48 IST

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For the past few years, I always handed the food to my mother while she gave it to each one of the blind children. This year was special.

It changed something in me. All those years I was young and I didn't understand how they felt. I still don't... but, that visit made me much more sensitive towards people with special needs.

After a day of partying with my friends, towards 4 o'clock in the evening, we headed to the blind school. During the journey, I asked my mother why we went to distribute food to blind children. She replied, "Imagine not having parents and being blind. We give them food on your birthday so that they can share a part of your happiness. And so that we respect and value our own happiness." Her answer seemed to satisfy me.

As we approached the blind school, I felt a tug of nervousness in the pit of my stomach. Something about the place and the blind children always seemed to scare me. It always made me very uneasy. We entered the school, me clinging onto my mother's hand.

Laughter and noise echoed from the room but as soon as their teacher announced to them that there were people to give them food, there was pin- drop silence. I thought about my school where when we were told to keep quiet, we wouldn't listen, but here, without even being told to, they were displaying their best behaviour.

My mother whispered to me, "This year, you can give them the food, you are old enough to." I felt proud that now I was old enough to give them food. I took what my mother handed me and like I was taught to do, I offered this small boy the food.

He had the most beautiful eyes, dark and still as a panther's but they were blank and emotionless. He stared aimlessly and didn't make a move to take the food. A smile toasted his face and you could make out that he was eager to get food.

Confused and somewhat hurt, I turned to my mother and asked her, "Mom, why isn't he taking the food?" My mother replied, "He can't see. You have to let him know that you have food and you want him to take it." Saying that, she took the food from me, held the eager boys hands gently, and placed the food packet in his hands. He whispered "thank you."

That simple gesture triggered something in me and I wanted to burst into tears. I quickly finished giving food to the rest of the children and urged my mother to go home. I realised, that I wanted to run from this harsh cruelty of life....I was desperate to get back to the security of my home.I took a last look at the sea of faces...smiling faces, but, with extinguished eyes...and I felt a surge of helplessness. I wondered at all the feats humans had accomplished but how helpless we all are to certain things.

Tired and exhausted, I ate dinner and went to bed. I lay awake for a long time thinking about the day's events. I thought over and over about that small boy. I thought about how he would never get to see the beauty of the world and nature and his own reflection in a mirror. I thought about how dark his life must be. How he would never get to read books or watch TV. I respected the teachers who taught them because they must be very strong to see these children every day. I respected these children because they make the most of life with what they have, they never get discouraged.

That night, warm tears fell on my pillow. The visit to the blind school made me a more sensitive person and it made me more emotional. When I'm sad or frustrated, I think about that small boy, who despite being blind, still enjoys life to its fullest. I learned, from that visit, that despite hardships, one can and should make the most out of life. And that there is more to life than what meets the eye...    

Shivangi Kajaria
std 8 , age 13

Published 29 July 2010, 11:46 IST

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