Roshan sat on the tall chair and waited for instructions.
“Ok Roshan! Here we go. Read aloud each alphabet on this board. Line-by-line.” said the doctor in a friendly tone.
“P F W K C N S Q X D Y U…” He read along with no sign of trouble. However, slowly the letters appeared smaller with every other line. While he was half-way through the struggle to deciphering the last word in the 5th line, the doctor spoke –
“That’s good! Now….. look at this. What number do you see?”
“18” said Roshan instantly.
“And this one.” the doctor continued.
“27” he said, even quicker.
Taking out the last plate in the stack, the doctor asked, “How about this last one?”
Roshan stared into the card, unable to notice anything but differentially sized green circles. He looked closer. Still nothing.
“It’s got no number. Just green circles.” he said, curling the corner of his lips into a you-can’t-trick-me-boss kind of smile.
“You really can’t identify any number Roshan?” the doctor questioned again, drawing his eyebrows together and staring straight into his eyes. Roshan was the first patient in his 2 years of private practice who had such wonderful eyes – sparkling and blue.
“Nopes.” He replied, this time more confident than the previous.
“Let me look at your eyes. Sit erect on this chair and look into this eyepiece.” the doctor said, moving over to the other end of the machine and seating himself on a high raised chair.
Bright rays of light flashed right into Roshan’s lens. It took him a few seconds before he could get accustomed to such high intensity of light. The doctor examined him for a minute in silence and finally broke the silence –
“I suspect you have colour blindness Roshan. Have you ever noticed?”
“Dammit!” Roshan blurted out, running his fingers through the neatly cropped hair. Getting himself back together, he continued bluntly -
“No. I havnt’t.”
The doctor explained to him that it is most certainly genetic (inherited from his father). After discussing the possible solutions, Roshan walked out of the consultation room – with one big shattered dream.
Later that evening, Roshan sat at the balcony, staring into the open star studded sky – it was no less beautiful than a neat blanket spread with tiny specks of glittering crystals. This was the first instance in a really long time that he was quiet. The silence echoing from him was too unusual for an energetic and enthusiastic guy like him.
As he was watching an airplane fly past the dark sky, his brother walked in from behind and said –
“Hey! Apart from the good brains, I heard dad gave you some bad genes as well! Well you pilot wannabe, get over it!”
Anger gushed right from the bottom of Roshan’s stomach. Without turning back to look into his brother, Roshan shouted -
“Shut up and get lost before I bang your head! A big head with no brains is all you’ve got.”
His brother stood there giggling.
Unable to bear it any longer, Roshan spun around on his chair, pointed his index finger to his eyes and said sternly,
“He gave me amazing blue eyes! You didn’t manage even that!”
His brother fled out of the room, leaving Roshan to stare into an identical pair of blue eyes – only that they looked remorseful.