My eyesight became weak at a very early age. However, no one took notice of it and my hints about not being able to see were not taken seriously. It was only when I went to the Government High School at the district headquarters at twelve years of age, that the Vice Principal advised me to get my eyes tested. As a result of this delay I had to wear high-powered glasses right from childhood. Subsequently, the power of the glasses increased further and they also became complex.
Like all other technologies, optical technology has advanced greatly in the last thirty years. My first pair of spectacles cost me only nine rupees in the year 1961 while the latest made me poorer by three thousand rupees in 1995. I parted with this amount with great hesitation. My optician had been pleading for it for quite some time, explaining the salient features of the latest glasses known as Varilux Lenses. These lenses are not only light but also have no dividing line between the short-sight and long-sight portions. Their power changes with the distance of the object seen. They are very convenient at an age when one has to wear complex glasses and more so for those whose jobs involve reading and writing. These glasses are not only efficient but also look good.
For some time, I questioned the wisdom behind spending so much for the spectacles. Only after I started feeling comfortable with the glasses and the memory of parting with a huge sum faded, did the questioning come to an end. I also looked at it philosophically and some very interesting lessons came to my mind. First of all, we should understand the working of an eye. It has a lens and a retina. When an object is seen, its image is formed on the retina which is then noticed by the mind. If for some reason, the image is not formed properly, it is known as an eyesight defect. This defect is corrected with the help of an external lens which is worn in the form of spectacles. Depending upon the nature of the defect, a suitable lens is fitted in them. With the advance in age, the defect becomes complicated and hence more complicated lenses are required. This is where technology has developed. Earlier, two separate spectacles were required for long-sight and short-sight. Subsequently, complex
lenses provided both powers in the same lens. Such a lens has a dividing line and requires some practice for adjustment. The latest technology takes care of both these problems. I am not very clear about the exact principle behind the working of a varilux lens but the fact is that its power changes with the distance in a manner which takes care of the movement of the eye. As a result, a correct image is always formed on the retina.
I feel a similar attitude has to be adopted in life also. The world we see around is very complex and if we see it with a fixed focal length, quite often we get aberrated images. Therefore, there is a need to change our attitudes according to the need of the situation so that the mind always receives a good image of the world. Thus, the attitude is like the lens and the mind is like the retina when compared with an eye. If one is able to develop enough wisdom (like optical technology), the change in the attitude with the changing surroundings can become a natural process. In that case, both good and bad can be accepted with equal ease. Living can then become natural and harmonious. The efforts made for such an achievement is worth the outcome. Having learnt this lesson, I stopped regretting the sum spent on my latest spectacles. Perhaps, the lesson is worth the amount, if not the spectacles.