The gift of sight

Ashleka was one among the millions of middle-aged women in the city. She followed the same routine as the millions – waking up with a rush, getting her 7 year old son ready for school hurriedly, completing the morning chores with one eye on the clock, zooming away to catch the 8.11 am local and taking a teeny tiny break and heaving a sigh of relief , once she reached her desk. Then, of course, the madness of work claimed her attention till she left in the evening and caught up with dinner, the son’s homework, food prep for the next day and so on and so forth till it was time to sleep.

Weekends were more chaotic with her chasing the pockets of dust and dirt that she had missed during the week, grocery shopping for the week and the other zillions of chores that are required to transform a house into a home. She never realized that in this mad race of life, she had slowly given up everything that she was passionate about. Her reading habit went out of the window because of lack of time. Her artwork supplies were painstakingly cleared of dust every weekend but were metaphorically gathering dust. Worst of all, she had slowly added the pounds over the years. Any form of exercise was not even considered – yes, you guessed it right – where was the time?

Things were in this state when one day, she suddenly noticed that one of her eyes were red. She didn’t pay much attention at first – putting it down to her having rubbed it vigorously or due to her disturbed sleep. When it persistently stayed red for more than a couple of weeks, and also started burning a little more than usual, that she decided that the time had come to visit the doctor. She juggled her chores, made an appointment and met the eye specialist, who examined her and couldn’t identify the issue immediately. A battery of tests were prescribed – the next couple of days, she took leave from work and ran around for the tests and results. Nothing was found amiss, so the specialist took a calculated guess and started her on some medicines. A week, a month went past – there was no change in the status of the eye. The specialist changed the treatment – another month and no change. He sent her to another specialist – she took all her reports and prescriptions and her angry eye to the new doctor, who suggested more intensive and comprehensive tests. The same result – everything was fine, there was no aberration. Then why was her eye red? The specialist explained that the eye is the window of the body and reflects when some other body part has a problem – they had pretty much tested her for everything for osteoporosis arthritis to cancer. All they knew was that she had a problem but they didn’t know what.

Ashlekha was in a state of shock – while she still did everything that she was doing earlier. She thought about how she had neglected her body to take care of everybody and everything else. While she had ensured that she ate healthy, any sort of structured exercise was not part of her agenda. She remembered all the times, she had ignored her body’s request for rest and moved ahead with her chores and her life. She worried that her body had given up on her in frustration. She panicked big time as to what she would do if she lost her sight.

The new doctor decided to start aggressive treatment. He started off with an increased and mixed dosage of heavy duty drugs. Fortunately there were some results. The redness started dimming – on her next weekly visit, he reduced the dosage. She was to continue meeting the doctor and taking his treatment for the next six months.

It was introspection time again – Ashlekha was so relieved and happy that her body had co-operated that she resolved to take better care of it. One scare was more than enough. She swung into exercise mode – her aim was fitness and not beauty or weight loss. She carved out time that she never knew she had and ensured that she took short breaks during the tiring day, exercised every day and drank gallons of water. Her stamina grew and when the six months were over, her doctor was pleased to note her clear eye.

isn’t it surprising that sometimes a hazy eye can open up new paths and lead us to clear vision about what is really important in our lives?



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