The Words of the Cooper Family

When the eyes smile

Simon Cooper
December 4, 2012

Just one of those little golden moments. I do find it difficult knowing how to relate to women who cover their whole body accept for their eyes. I wonder if the whole point is that I am not meant to communicate with them.

Anyhow walking down the platform at Paddington a young Muslim couple were walking towards me each pushing a buggy. We were all moving fast. He was dressed in just normal casual clothes with a baseball hat. She was in full niqab. It was one of those awkward moments when people are not decisive about who is going to make way for who, and realizing it was too late for me to move to the left or the right, I decided to opt for passing narrowly between them and made my way between the oncoming buggies. Don't know quite why, but it was mildly humorous.

And. as we passed I caught her eyes, and they were smiling. She clearly also thought the situation of how I was going to pass by, humorous.

There is something special when you catch someone's eyes smiling, especially when you cannot see any other part of their face or body. Through the black veil came these young, dancing eyes that were smiling at me.

So I guess I was left with the following thoughts as I got on my train home: as long as you can see someone's eyes you can tell pretty much how that other Person is feeling, so does it matter if people hide the rest of themselves? And are women dressed like that allowed to meet the eyes of another man? 

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