It happened to write about this during one of my train journeys. I work in chennai and so live in chennai. And I visit my native once in 2 months if I am lucky enough to get leaves. So I usually depends on train to travel. Most probably I will be reaching central station couple of hours earlier to assure my seats in genaral compartments. Once I won the war for seat, the next question is “how to kill your time?”.
Yeh, there is almost 4 hours left for the train to start. So what I do is I take a left, then right and straight from the central station. This road leads you to MORE market. I trully don’t know why people named it MORE. May be because there you get some categorised items in any price. Mostly books, electronic equipments, old coins or other kinda instruments section..the list goes on. I will go and pick a book or two, then few old coins may be after a long negotiation. Now you have to walk straight till the other end where you see the market entrance. There is a tea shop, running by keralites. Now I go there and get a tea and cigar. Everytime when I am done till the hip of my cigar, they will come. They means “It just them”, because I just don’t know their names. The reason why they got my attention is they are a gang of 6-7 people and all blind. I know that it might not be a surprise to you guys, and it was not to me either. Last 4 and half years I am seeing them at same place at same time whenever I go to central station. First 2 times I didn’t observe them. Then later they got my attention.
That day I was so tensed about something which I don’t remember right now. As usual I went and started with my tea and cigar, and there they comes. Just to concentrate on something and to escape from my thoughts I listened to them, their activities. I have never seen such happy people in blind. From the interaction between them and the shop owner it was clear that it is their regular visit. I was pretty sure that they are not any beggars gang, they wear local dress and poor look but ofcourse they are employed. May be coming back from a factory after their shift time. I used to try to stand next to them without disturbing them with my cigar smell, so that I can hear what they speak. There were ladies and gents in the gang. And surprisingly they talked about many topics always, as if they can see all around. They talk about politics, movies, corruption… They crack jokes on each other while enjoying their tea. Sometimes I used to get a second cigar so that I can stay long and listen to them. And they can also count the money and pay the shop owner the exact amount. I was wondered at all their activities. Once i tried to close my eyes to see what they see. It was horrible, I couldn’t even think of such a world. A world with no lights, no colors and moreover not knowing the faces of people whom we love. I never tried that again. And there was a couple in that group, both blind for sure. They seem very happy always. To say frankly they are the best couple I have ever seen. 6 months back I saw them at the tea shop when I was heading home. And I observed that the couple were too happy and waiting to be blessed with a child. I felt happy for them. Next two times I couldn’t see them as my train schedule was different. But I prayed that atleast that child should get vision, he/she should see what we see and feel.
Then this month again I was planned with my regular train. I just went to the market and lip up a cigar and sipped my tea. Few minutes later they have arrived. The husband was there in the gang and his face was pleasant as always. I said to myself Ýeh, they got a normal baby who can see’. They came and ordered their tea and I tried to catch their words as carefully as never before. The shop guy was asking the husband about his wifes delivery, I sharpened my ears. Then I heard what I wished not to. They are blessed with a girl baby but she will also see only what they see – the darkness. I was shocked but surprised that the husband was not worrying about it. As if he didn’t wished anything better. He was happy for what he got. First I couldn’t digest with that but later I did. This world is a little space where we cant wish for better or worse. All we have to do is be happy with what we got. I was smiling and uttering these words while walking back to the station – there is happiness in darkness too…