“Do you ever wonder how I look?” Geeta asked Ram in a soft voice. Ram was sitting next to her, holding on to a cup of jasmine tea. He couldn’t help but smile at her innocent query. “I have imagined so many things about you. I think you have big, beautiful eyes, a small nose, long wavy hair, a child-like smile,” said Ram, as he tried to put words unto his imagination. “But, imagining how someone looks may not do justice to the person they are. I am sure you are far more beautiful than how I imagine you to be,” Ram’s response was enough to bring a big smile on Geeta’s face. Except that he couldn’t see that smile.
“So, are you prepared for the surgery tomorrow?” Ram said, and then promptly changed the subject. Since the day he learnt about the cornea transplant Geeta would undergo, he felt mixed emotions. At first, he was delighted Geeta would be able to see. After all, it is the best thing that could happen to someone who is blind by birth. But as the day of her surgery drew closer, he became restless. He didn’t want anything to go wrong.
Geeta, on the other hand, had her own worries. When she first heard from Ram about the possibility of gaining sight, she had lamented, “I wish it was you instead of me getting the gift of sight,” Geeta said to Ram. He had thought about it too—to see the colours of nature and its beauty. But more than anything, he wanted her to see the world in its true colours.
Next morning, they were at the hospital for the procedure. Ram was talking to the doctor and Geeta was getting ready for the surgery. Ram walked towards Geeta trying to hide the apprehension behind his smile. “How are you feeling?” he asked her. “A little nervous. But I am glad you are here with me,” she said.
The surgery went well. But the hard part wasn’t over. It was a waiting game for weeks before her bandage would be opened.
The doctor told Geeta to expect the vision to be a little blurry. For someone who hadn’t known the privilege of having sight, even blurry vision sounded like a gift. Ram’s anxiety rose, as the doctor removed the bandage slowly from her eyes.
After a few minutes, Ram asked her nervously, “So, can you see?” Geeta replied, “You look exactly the way I imagined you.”