Skip to main content

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. 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.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bygones -- by Marina Keegan

I had a dream the other night that I was checking my email.

That dream sucks.

And woke to woes of seniors writing

love songs for tomorrow and

Tomorrow and the melodies

That flirt us forward, whispering

the next thing and the next thing

and  – so we beat on

birds flocking south until we

circle round and realize maybe

maybe all that running wasn’t worth it.

Maybe we should build a cabin.

Or teach high school.

Or use our hands.

My palms are smooth as words –

Weak with fashion and double spaces.

I want everyone else’s club and job and class

The grass I sleep in always browner than

Than that around erasing dreams

To sit and breathe because you

Only bank for two years then it's over

And twenty two is nothing new

It’s just another chance to build

For when we’re twenty three

And twenty four

And time begins to sell for more than

Any 9 a.m. to never.

We’re not stuck.

That's the thing, we're not stuck.

We owe no one our nothings.

Yale will be what it was,

Gothic dreams of lucky, of…

Day 351: You can place your bets, world.

I started the day with a grave mistake -- eating butter chicken for breakfast. Those ten minutes of scream-inducing euphoria were hardly worth the sluggish pace and sessile nature of the rest of my day. I attempted to counteract the unfailing lethargy which results from consumption of Punjabi food by swallowing down some coffee ice cream, thereby only adding to my foods-that-should-not-be-eaten-for-breakfast list and exacerbating the problem.

We left home before noon for Shenandoah National Park, with hot air ballooning dreams for the day. We soon learned, however, that due to impending thunderstorms, this mission would not be successful. We instead spent the day exploring the side of the park we've never seen before.

We had a lunch of fried chicken at one of the park's rest stops before piling back in the car and driving around some more. At a lookout point, we met a park ranger who showed us the coat of a lynx found in the park and suggested a trail for us to hike. We fou…

My Move to Mumbai: Frequently Asked Questions

Hello, dear readers!

By now, you've probably heard the news: in Ratna's-gap-year fashion, I've taken a leap and moved to Mumbai for a one-year consultancy with Aangan Trust, a nonprofit that works to make sure that even the most vulnerable child has the right to a childhood free from trafficking, child marriage, child labor, and abuse.

Transitions are tough, and it turns out that this one is no different, even though it's one that I've chosen for myself and been very excited about for a while. It's one thing to pack up your bags from New York and move to a new place in Mumbai; it's quite another to adjust to the daily reminders of the little things you don't yet understand about where you live, and the small ways in which you don't fit in.

Part of what has made the transition tricky is a stream of (well-intentioned) questions that sometimes make me feel like I have to justify why I made the choice to be here. These can be hard for me because someti…