When I am approached for photographs at tourist sites or asked for proof of identity just because the color of my skin contradicts my claim of being Indian, it sensitizes me to how much importance we attach to appearances.
Art is important. It is an echo of the real world, capturing our perceptions and reflecting them back to us. And what do we discover reflected in the story of Marie-Laure? A well-crafted homage to destructive stereotypes about blindness, softened and made pretty by artful prose.
What complicates the ways people respond to my height is that I am also blind. I cannot always see the double takes, the astonished gaze sweeping up and down the length of my body – though it is possible to feel these responses, or rather to hear them. A hush tends to come over a room when a blind person enters. My blindness, like my height, makes people see their surroundings differently.