Andhe jahan ke, andhe raste, jayen to jayen kahan

Let me recall the story of a fictional city

where epidemic of blindness sweeps.

Suddenly, all the residents of the city go blind,

including the doctor, except his wife

who can see, yet feigns blindness.

Blindness spreads, as an infectious disease.

No one knows the reason of collective blindness.

There is revolt. There is need of quarantine.

A mental hospital is used to isolate the blinds.

Soon the hospital becomes overpopulated.

There is collective despair all around.

All hopes seem to have vanished.

Suddenly, blindness ends, as abruptly, as it had begun.

“I can see, I can see”, people start shouting.

The author of the story asks a simple question,

why did the people go blind, and did they really go blind?

He gives equally simple response:

“I don’t think we go blind, I think we are blind,

Blind but seeing, Blind people who can see, but do not see.”

The story the author tells is about collective vulnerability.

When the society becomes blind, the author asks,

how can a blind communicate

his thoughts and emotions to other blinds?

How can a blind show the other blind

the way to move forward?

Where to go in the blind alleys of the blind world ?

Andhe jahan ke, andhe raste, jayen to jayen kahan?

(Based on José Saramago’s novel Blindness)

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© 2017 by Dr Purnendu Ghosh