I was sitting in the waiting room of the eye clinic. I’d just been told that I was one of the few people who suffer complications as a result of eye surgery. My cloudy vision, I had been just informed, might, or might not, improve over the next few months, after which, the alternative was more (and possibly not effective) surgery. I was feeling sorry for myself.
Then I noticed the young girl, sitting a little distance from me. She was flanked by (I think) her parents. Her left eye was bandaged. Her head was on her mother’s shoulder, and her mother’s arm was around her shoulders. As I watched, a tear slowly rolled down from the normal eye…and another crept past the bandage, and rolled down from the ailing eye, too.
She sniffed audibly. Then she raised her head. Like the sun through rainclouds, a watery smile lit up her face, as she smiled at her worried-looking mother. The smile brought an answering maternal one. Then the father, looking at both of them, smiled too. The thick file in her father’s hand told me more about the ordeals they must have been facing. The smiles told me about their fortitude.
Suddenly, my problems were put in perspective. Slowly, I smiled, too. I’d been taught how to deal with adversity, by an unknown young girl, whom I would probably never meet again. Dear Suhaasini (one who smiles beautifully)…you will never know how you gave me the gift of courage.