(A Quarterly International Peer-reviewed Refereed e-Journal
Devoted to English Language and Literature)
Dr. S. Padmapriya has four collections of poetry— Great Heights, The Glittering Galaxy, Galaxy and New Poems, one novel— The Fiery Women and two collections of short stories— Fragments and Surreal Stories to her credit. She has been included in the landmark book, ‘A Critical Survey of Indo- English Poetry’ (2016) and is also one of the fifty women poets writing in English in India, who have been covered in the colossal work, ‘History of Contemporary Indian English Poetry’ (2019). She is a native of Tamil Nadu state in India. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A man sat before me on my flight from Chennai to Bhubaneswar. He had a pair of fantastically large eyes. His perennial red eyes betrayed a feeling that the poor man had not slept for many days or nights.
I kept looking at him throughout the trip’s flight time. I looked at what appeared to be the beginning of the disappearing of some dense foliage on the man’s head. There were also many grey hairs, sticking out here and there. I suddenly felt a lot of pity for the man. I struck up a conversation with him out of intense curiosity to know my fellow traveller better.
I went straight to the topic of his large, red and bulging eyes. He responded by saying this.
‘When I was small, my eyes were small. They became larger and larger with life’s experiences. Life threw incomprehensible googlies at me. Life threw many wide balls at me. I was able to duck a few wild balls, too. Finally, I was out after not many runs of successes.
My life seemed to take a turn for the better after my marriage. My wife was a most beautiful person – highly magnanimous, gorgeous, loyal and very appreciative of even the little things that I thought, spoke or did. Life was blissful. I felt that life had given me everything. Then, my wonderful wife passed away. I found myself becoming helpless, hopeless and lonely like before.
I haven’t been able to sleep well for years. My eyes are red, bulging and larger than ever before. I have not been able to overcome the trauma of loss. Whenever I come across a happy family, my mind feels as if it might blow up into a thousand smithereens. My eyes became permanently large after they caught a last glimpse of my beloved.’
Well, I was so stunned by the story that I decided to give relief to the pair of tired, large, red and bulging eyes. This Diwali, we are completing 20 years, together!