When I was younger, I had very weak eyes. No one in my family wore glasses. On top of that, my eyesight was constantly weakening. I had regressed from -4 to -10 in a span of 6 months. My birthday present when I turns six was a bottle of Vitamin C tablets. The odd thing was that I did not indulge in any activities that stressed my eyes. I did not even watch tv.
My parents were very worried as an optician had once told them that at the rate which my eye sight was deteriorating I could be legally blind by the age of 10. My parents tried everything to improve or at least stabilize my eyesight, but unfortunately could not do anything to arrest the slide.
We were not really well off, my father worked as a foreman in a factory, barely making ends meet. We were able to make ends meet only after my mother’s income, which she used just to pay the rent. After quick breakfast of tea and a small piece of flatbread, father left everyday at 7am to the bus stop with last night’s leftovers packed as his lunch. He came back around 9 at night, eat dinner and then chat with me for a while and then go to sleep.
One morning I was gently shaken awake, “let me sleep” I murmured groggily.
“There will be plenty of time for that later,” my father replied gently, wiping a wet wash cloth on my face. I got up and splashed some water on my face.
We walked to the top the hill near our house.
“What time is it?” I asked grumpily as we made our way up the hill in semi darkness.
“5,” my father replied cheerfully
“Hurry up, don’t drag your feet or you’ll miss it.”
“Miss what?” I asked yawning.
“The most beautiful sight in the world.”
We finally reached the top and we sat facing the city.
Even after more than 30 years I vividly remember all details of my first time on the top of the hill. An ancient truck was making its way into the city of Karachi. We were perched on two flat rocks my father and I, it was surprisingly cool to sit on. We sat there just watching the sun rise and just talking. My father never looked at me when we were talking, and he told me to look ahead after taking off my spectacles, which was odd, as I could only make out shapes without them, and watch the sun rise. He was right, it was a most magnificent sight, seeing night turn into day. However, not wearing glasses meant that I only got a blurred view of the magnificent sight in front of me. I stared in front chatting with my dad till I couldn’t see due to the sun in my eyes. Finally the heat and sun light became too much and I said “Can we go? I have sun in my eyes!”
My father smiled and asked” Tell me Asad, how can a twinkle of my eye get sun in their eyes?”
Not getting the joke I finally turned to face my dad and moaned”I don’t know Baba, just take me home!”
We made our way down the hill and came back every day for the next year. I began to look forward to these trips, making idle conversation with my dad. The calmest time of the day in a busy city like Karachi and the beautiful sight from the top of the hill. Everyday we went to the hill and just talked. Each day we only got up when I said that I have sun in my eyes. My vision began to gradually improve until after one year I didn’t need my glasses. That last day promised myself that today I won’t say that I have sun in my eyes. After watching the sun rise, my dad and I kept talking and he told me how a friend told him to try this sun rise treatment and how worried he was about my eyes. He kept talking and then stopped, “Asad, you’re not getting any sun in your eyes today?”
“How can I when I can’t see it?”
my father looked at me to see that I was facing the other way and laughed. He ruffled my hair and said”Fine, I will say it this time. Lets go, I have sun in my eyes!”
we got up and made our way back home.