Eyes of the Cat by Ruskin Bond is a light horror story. The settings of the story are perfect to support the horror elements in it. For instance, just at the start, the author mentions “her eyes seemed flecked with gold when the sun was on them”. Also, the other significant element in the story is mistreatment with poor students. The protagonist of the story is Kiran, a ninth class student. She is the poorest in her class owing to some reasons. She lives in a small wooden cottage in some village on top of the mountains and there are many dark pine and oak forests around.
She attends school in an old tunic, torn blouse, and falling-apart shoes. For this reason, her school teacher passes sarcastic remarks to mock her before other students. The teacher pushes her to change the school if she cannot afford basic things. Teacher’s constant remarks anger Kiran. Well, Kiran’s two female friends sympathize with her. That school teacher runs private tuition and Kiran is not part of that academy. Thus, she is more sarcastic to Kiran. The girls those who attend her academy are sycophant by nature.
One evening while returning home, Kiran was fuming about the remarks that teacher made about her. There’s a lot of anger in her eyes. She parted ways with her two best friends – Aarti and Sunita. It was becoming a full moon night. Her body begins changing. In the moonlight, she becomes a different person by feeling queer sensation. She hurries to her small cottage and when the moon was full. She turned into a sinew leopard. Out for revenge.
On the other side, that teacher unaware of her surrounding comes out of a party club at full moon night, racing ahead for her home alone. The leopard already waiting for her near the steps of home. As soon as the teacher, lost in her trance, approaches the home vicinity. The leopard pounces upon her. The teacher realizes the awful situation in such shock that she could not even scream for help. The leopard kills her by attacking on her throat, which was a source of pouring poison to poor students. Revenge taken. Revenge is one of the strongest themes in the story. But at the same time, life of hilly students, as in how they have to struggle for basic education and other amenities.
The story is set against the backdrop of the higher Himalayas, as the way Ruskin describes pine forests and the darkness in common. Also, throughout the story, the author as used sarcastic and humour tone to keep the main character in a never-ending anger mode.
Character Sketch of Kiran:
Kiran is a poor girl. She lives in a small cottage with some of her family members, though the details of the members are not given clear. She doesn’t like being insulted/bullied by her school teachers. She is quite straightforward and not ashamed of her poverty. She is extraordinary. On full moonlight, she turned into a leopard and killed her schoolteacher. She loves revenge. But she is also friendly with her two friends and doesn’t reveal her double personality.