01 July 2013

Simply Complex....

Those were the days when chappals were chappals and shoes were shoes...

Life was simple those days. My father would get an annual allowance for buying footwear and we, the whole family, will troop to the neighbourhood Carona or Bata and then...

'What do you want?' my father will ask

'One chappal and one school shoes', we will parrot.

Chappals covered the sole and part of the feet. Shoes covered the whole feet. You have to wear them with socks.

You either wear shoes, or chappal or walk barefoot.

Life was simple.

Then came Slippers.

These were like chappals, only more hip. Still only the sole was covered, but it was done more flamboyantly.

I could live with slippers, though I still stuck to my chappals and shoes.

Then came 'Hawai' Chappals. They were neither chappals, nor they were from 'Hawai'. More likely they got the name from 'Hawa' which is the hindi word for Air. Because they were airy, they got the name 'Hawai'.(Air + y = Airy, Hawa + i = Hawai, we could have added 'Y' and made it 'Haway', with none the wiser. I think the guy who coined Hawai wanted to mess around with Americans, if you know your Geography...)

Then there was a lull for a few years.

The other day, I went to the neighbourhood shoe shop for buying a pair of Chappals.

'What do you want?' asks he

What a stupid question, think I. Do I look like I am here in a shoe shop to buy a refrigerator or something?

'What do you have?', I ask. I want to mess around with this omniscient shoe seller. I already know the answer to the Q.

'We have Chappals, slippers...',says he

I smile an internal smile. We are on familiar territory. I am waiting for him to add 'Shoes' and stop sheepishly. Fancy stupid he will look, when after asking me what I want, he can only respond with Chappals, Slippers and Shoes.

Not even 'Hawai' slippers? I mean what...

A silly smart alec shoe vendor. All talk and no footwear, I mean.

It is like Amitab Bacchan can't come up with 4 options for a question that he asked in KBC.

I mean...

"'....Hawai' slippers, Sneakers, Keds, Moccasins, Floaters, Loafers, Blackies, Brownies, Baby Shoes, Baby Chappals...', he paused for breath..

'What do you want?', asks he

I have no idea what I want. I have heard, in one minute, more types of Shoes than I have ever known in my life.

And I have seen my Class 12 and Engineering and MBA and Durgapur and Kolkata and what not.

I wanted to buy one of those foot wear which cover my sole. I did not have the confidence to ask the name. I was scared of his coming out with another set of jargons.

I did the next best thing.

'Can you show me these?', I asked, kind of confidently, you know. I don't want him to know that I am a novice and am still living in the 'Chappals and Shoes' era.

He has got a grip on me by now, I think.

"There is mocasins, Over there you have floaters, and there you have loafers', he points to an area teeming with a few (how can a place 'Teem' with a 'Few' people?) oddball guys as he mentioned 'loafers'

That is the kind of shoe that I can relate to...


Parthajeet Sarma said...

Very well defined simplicity...stuff that Raju Hirani makes blockbusters out of!

Ramaswamy V K said...

It is the same with Dark Glasses. Earlier they were called 'Cooling Glasses', then they became hep and became 'Coolers' and now you have 'Aviators', 'Wayfarers' and what have you?