An Eye Opener – Ravneet Sangha

A chance visit to the biggest eye hospital in the region opened my eyes again!I was sitting in the office waiting for my turn , where a young girl was sitting on the patient’s chair and had just finished her eye examination. Her query was for a lasik operation whereas her spectacles would be removed and she would be cosmetically more appealing to society. Her aged father got up from the sofa next to mine and said in chaste simple punjabi that Doc Saab , I want her glasses to be removed because she has to get married and he didn’t want any problem . He wanted to make sure that her lenses would help and if the number would never come back.
The pleading and the voice of the father stuck a chord in my heart and as I write this  I am forced to face the sordidness of the society . He wanted to know how soon she could resume work , how soon she could give her exams  and whether getting a foreign made one or an Indian lens would be better. How many fathers face this ? A society that is still so hellbent on dividing us by labels and categorising us on basis of color , looks , height , lenses and believe it on the structure of our noses or our necks! Truly an animal’s mart .
The father kept on talking to the doctor as if the magic wand or the operation would improve her chances of marriage and he looked for reassurance and guidance . Just because he was the father to a daughter it seems he had to go through this . How many fathers of sons ask their boys /men to go through this operation ? Do they even ever consider this operation? I don’t even know why I am writing this , or why I am revisiting this again and again . I so want to hold the fathers hand and tell him his daughter is more than this , and is more valuable than all this . He doesn’t need to measure her from this , but our society values women to be perfect and and to be an arm candy , she needs to be presentable ( whoever coined this word is an idiot ) . We worry about superficial things and sound very sanctimonious and make statements but when it comes to our own self , we have double standards . The groom can be beenga tedha but heaven forbid about the girl .
 I wish , yesterday I had reassured the father but am guilty as the rest our society.
Ravneet Sangha