Their eyes were beautiful, just restrained to see a beautiful thing

I have a tendency to be a little too late or a little less late everywhere. And I panic in situations like that. But I couldn’t afford to be late on this particular day. It was just another day but it had much significance attached to it. If the tables had been turned, it would have saved me from not getting a big fat N.Q (Not Qualified) stamp on my forehead. Despite being warned strictly about the consequences I would face if I didn’t attend classes, I hadn’t been too regular. The attendance issue was a big hit amongst the teachers and what excuse does a teacher need to make a student’s life miserable?

 

I was too late and was speeding for the first chance to hop into a microbus to reach my destination, when a voice of a woman startled me. I turned around but my feet were in motion. I finally stopped. She asked me if I could help her cross the road. And believe me I regret the move I made because I didn’t make a move to help her that day. Instead I handed her hand to another person walking by and abruptly tried to get away with an easy “Sorry!” A part of me died in that particular moment. I was so furious with myself later that I simply wanted to weep; not because I regretted acting selfishly but also because she was a visually impaired person. I couldn’t imagine myself without any vision, but when I did anyway, it scared me.


Another time I was going somewhere else, and was standing under the scorching sun waiting for a microbus. The microbuses were fiercely rushing to either halt or flee the scene. The bus stand had started becoming distressing. I feared I’d get run by a speeding bus. Suddenly my eyes caught sight of a man trying to stand on busy grounds instead of on the safe lane. I observed his moves and to my surprise he was a visually impaired person too. It immediately took me back to my previous experience. This time, without any hesitation I approached him because I needed to do it and nobody else noticed his confused and helpless expression. This time it was he who was startled by my voice as I asked him where he was heading. He hesitated at first. But gradually he spoke and mentioned a place I don’t remember hearing about before but I managed to somehow find the right vehicle and settled him down. I received a huge smile and a “Dhanyabaad bahini!” in return. It was the most amazing feeling I had ever experience through a stranger.


I had my third such experience on a public transport vehicle. A lady was handing over her bus fare when I saw sitting right in front of me. But as sad as it sounds, her eyes moved in a strange manner and my heart sank to see her visually impaired. I observed her more, but I couldn’t make an eye contact with her. She was looking at me this time but she really wasn’t. Nepali songs blared out of the speakers as she hummed along with a soothing voice, singing a line or two with a deep expression. There was something painful in the way she sang. As I was about to pay my bus fare, she stopped me with her hand asking “Where are we now?”I couldn’t resist making up for my first mistake. So I jumped at the chance and replied back. I asked her where she was heading and told her I could help her find a micro. She smiled and caught my palm first, and then she tightened her arm around mine. I felt blessed. We introduced ourselves to each other and had a casual conversation as we walked. She spoke again after a silent walk, “I am thankful to hold a hand instead of a stick for once”. I felt like I understood her pain. We found the microbus and she got seated. She thanked me using my name and we went our separate directions. I couldn’t have felt any better; my sinking was buoyant.