August 3, 2019

The eyes have it all

The eyes have it all - As I move through different lands, one observation I have is about eye contact. Almost always, eye contact, or the lack of it, is directly proportional to the affluence of the place. In richer places, I find that strangers do not make eye contact unless they are in a defined space and it is considered alright to talk - for example an event or a meetup. In less affluent places, people easily make eye contact.

The eyes have it all

Whenever I see a striking pair of eyes, I remember a story by Ruskin Bond called The eyes have it”. The story is about a blind man who briefly meets a girl on an empty Himalayan train coach. He tries to hide his blindness by making small talk about the scenery. As the girl leaves the train a few stations later, a new passenger arrives. In author’s words:

The man who had entered the compartment broke into my reverie. You must be disappointed’ he said. I’m not nearly as attractive a travelling companion as the one who just left.’

She was an interesting girl’ I said. Can you tell me—did she keep her hair long or short?’

I don’t remember’ he said sounding puzzled. It was her eyes I noticed, not her hair. She had beautiful eyes but they were of no use to her. She was completely blind. Didn’t you notice?

Travel Vietnam Cambodia

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