My daughter, Gayatri, was already a tall student by the time she went to the seventh grade. She was made to sit on the fourth bench from the front. She was unable to see the black board from there and would go near it to take down notes. So, her teacher told me to get my daughter’s eyes tested. I took her to a female ophthalmologist. Gayatri’s eyes were tested and she had a high number in both the eyes, in comparison with the other children of her age. The doctor asked me if I could shed light on why this was so.
I replied that my father had to wear eye glasses since the age of 5. There is some genetic issue in our family. But, I suspected that Gayatri, being a bookworm, was a strong reason for her eyes beginning to give her trouble. My husband would not allow her to read books after 9 PM. But, she would use a torch and hide inside a bedsheet to continue with her favorite activity.
The doctor said, “Gayatri’s eyes dance around.”
I told her that my daughter is learning dance and the doctor asked her, “Why do you want to damage your eyes? Will you be able to dance wearing glasses?” She also gave Gayatri some eye drops and prescribed eye glasses for her.
So, Gayatri began taking yoga lessons besides continuing the doctor’s treatment for her eyes. Though the number reduced drastically, she hasn’t been able to give up the eye glasses completely.
Inspired by what her doctor told her, Gayatri wrote this poem that year.
By Gayatri T Rao
Ah, those eyes! They are really beautiful.
They make things unusual and wonderful.
The pupil is a lotus floating in a white little pond.
Yes! Those eyes are really very big and strong.
They interpret what is in the very heart.
The soul itself in its fullest, they depict all that.
They are the source of happiness to all of us.
They are the softest when they tell of sadness.
Their thoughtful expression holds mystery.
Will they ever get to steady?
Smiling eyes and a slight shake of head says mischief.
For there us something that would make the eyes bright.
The redness of them shows anger.
Better get out of sight when they indicate such danger.
That’s sheepish expression when finger is in the mouth,
Eyes large, brow over them and the forehead in tandem.
How stupid of me, how very stupid of me!
A snap of fingers and broad, wide eyes;
“Wow! An idea. That’s a stroke of genius!”