Twenty years back I was a class VII student at Gulmohar High school, Jamshedpur. It was a routine day at school when I was out for short break in the basket ball court of our school. The basket ball court could accommodate around 300 students. With my class mates around, playing floor table tennis. We never had the luxury of a table to play table tennis and hence we had constructed the table on the hard court and use to play in turns. Some of us did not even have the rackets and hence we used notebooks as rackets.
I went upto the corner of the court to drink water from a lowly placed tap. When students were not drinking water from it, the same was used to water the plants around the boundary of the school.
The moment I stood back, I was hit on my left eye with a hard object. The impact was so strong that I lost balance and fell down, just next to the tap. Within seconds the guy who had hit approached me with my class mates all around. Amit told me to wash my eyes immediately. Somebody also remarked that there is blood from my eye. The guy who had hit was just practicing aiming at the school boundary wall assuming it to be the wickets of may be the weekend match that he would have played. He quickly confessed that it was not deliberate and accompanied me to school’s sick room.
School authorities saw nothing much to worry and told me to lie down on the bed till I regained the strength to get back and leave for home. The eye was swelling and pain was getting unbearable. The guy was my classmate and continued to plead that I did not name him. If I named him, he feared it will ruin his career and may also be asked to leave school. I promised him but asked him to drop me to my uncle’s place who worked in Tata Motors.
He gave me a ride to my uncle’s place. I was treated at Tinplate hospital for next 15 days. While recovering, I accidentally found that I had partially lost my left eyesight. I shared with my parents without delay and then a long cycle of visiting ophthalmologists and seeking opinions started. I remember Dr Surinder- a well known doctor in Jamshedpur who treated me with eye drops and predicted that over the years this injury would turn into a cataract which can be operated and cured. Those days I think it was normal surgery. Laser did not exist or was not an easily available option.
During summer visits my parents took me to a famous eye doctor in Amritsar. He said the same. Since then every year or two, I visited some or other the doctor across cities I stayed but no one had anything new to say. Some prescribed glasses while some said not required. I had a normal vision in right eye. I did not find myself looking good in glasses and hence never followed the instructions of doctor or my parents. All cajoling translated into lies and false promises from my side.
Last week, I shared my problem with my friend who promised me an appointment with the best doctor at AIIMS, Delhi. I visited Prof S Khokar on April 21. I was operated on my left eye successfully. Today when bandage was removed everything around me felt brighter and colorful. Actually two eyes have a purpose and no one can replace the role of other. But I exploited my right eye for almost 20 years before she is relieved of additional burden.
Till date I never disclosed the name of the guy who had hit me and had never planned to, till this happened with me. The guy who got me the appointment for operation at AIIMS was named Jitender. Jitender Singh was the name of guy who had hit me. I read this coincidence of common names between two major incidents of life as a signal from God that Jitender had hurt and Jitender helped you cure and its squared off.
God bless both Jitenders.