If someone in Delhi has Madras Eye is it called Delhi Eye?

Our home has been a hot bed of conjunctivitis these last couple of weeks. First my son and now my husband. I’m trying to keep a low profile in the vain hope that it will somehow miraculously leave me unscathed. In school, we always knew if someone had conjunctivitis because they would turn up wearing their father or mother’s oversized and very retro sun glasses. We thought this would somehow prevent the Madras Eye from leaping off fellow classmates’ eye balls and in to our own. Our teachers would look at these girls and ask ‘Yenna, madras eye-a?’
‘Yes, Miss’ would be the shy but secretly proud answer. Madras Eye made you special some how. The teachers wouldn’t pull you up for not doing homework. You could skip Games period and the 40 minute humiliation of playing kho kho in front of the pimpled (but teenaged) Pepsi Machine Boy. You were not pulled up after assembly by prefects either. Even if you had the wrong belt on (House belt on mondays and blue belts the rest of the week) you were off the hook. I think the prefects didn’t want to get madras eye either. We would all stand there in a huddle, pulled out for various misdemeanours (single plait instead of two, no ribbon, no badge, wearing jimkis and not ear studs) and grumble at the madras eye victim’s good fortune.
Should I be the next victim of this malady, I am prepared. Not with eye drops or other tried and tested remedies. But my very own pair of sun glasses.

not my mother's
not my mother's


10 thoughts on “If someone in Delhi has Madras Eye is it called Delhi Eye?

  1. hi- first time commenter- really like your stories.

    and also madras eye meant not going to school! that was the best part! You would turn up in glasses and teachers will panic, other students would panic and send you home.

  2. Ah!! Madras Eye …but i would somehow dread the thought of turning up wearing sun glasses to school for the fear of the kids making fun of me….best thing was to skip school 😀

  3. I’ve never heard of ‘Madras eyes’. 🙂

    But yes, you are right. It was special to go to school with dark sunglasses. Specially, since they were not worn so commonly the year around, except by film stars.

  4. OMG..
    That sounds so much like my school.
    The house belt, blue belt etc., and the prefects.. lol..

    Which school did you go to?

  5. Even in Malluland (never mind how TomCruise knows about Mallus. OK OK; some Mallu was running a proverbial tea kadai in Beverly Hills or wherever it is that the Chellum lives) it was called cooling glass. And MGR who was such a hero to all boys in the 50s that an inspired a classmate of TCC (his name was Small Bell that is Chinnamani) that he did a spl performance of MGR mimicry wearing cooling glasse. But Madras eye was not a popular excuse to write the famous leave letter beginning with “Respected Sir, As I am suffering from…………………….”

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