Sunday, January 1, 2012

Size 6

Morning after new year’s festivities, packing away our gowns from last night.

I fit into a size 2? I’m usually a 4 or size 6!

Size 6, size 6. The words echo for a second. Who would have thought this moment would be the one when I would finish the short story I started writing five years ago?

Chandigarh Blind School, some hour of the morning:

Community service is good, so we take our donations of flip-flops to the boys who have no use for their eyes and nothing to wear on their feet. An announcement is made -- “free shoes!” and they all come running from the living room where they have been listening to the television. They shout out their sizes and a helper passes them shoes that fit just right. “Size 6! Size 6! I’m a size 6!” The last boy hobbles over and eagerly awaits his pair, unable to see that they are all gone. But he understands soon enough, and simply turns around, returning to what he was doing.

My 12-year-old heart can’t take it.

So we’re back at Bata the next morning, buying another pair of flip-flops: size 6, size 6. And we return to the school on our way to Ludhiana, indicating simply that we’d like to see “the boy who didn’t get any yesterday” (he’s the one without shoes). He runs over, grabs the pair, jams them onto his feet, and flashes a smile unlike any I’ve seen before.

This new year, I hope to be less blind.

1 comment:

  1. You've never ever been blind, Ratna, and could always "see" what others often cannot, far before you visited the Blind school in Chandigarh several years ago. However, your story is indeed a good reminder to the rest of us.