September 25, 2005

SLIPPER TALES

It all started with me going to college. The enthusiasm that always washes over anyone when they begin something new, washed over me too.New bags, new clothes, new matching-matching stuff and new sandals too! I got a pair for some 120 bucks- a nice new workable yet fashionable slipper.

I never was great at handling flashy slippers- any slippers, for that matter! The only pair that has lasted longest is my high-heeled 250 bucks sandals that I got in Mumbai’s markets in my eighth. That too I had to discard last year!
Actually, my use of shoes was only limited to the black and white pairs of shoes which I wore to school. Miraculously they used to last me only a year. But of course by the end of it, they would have developed a million holes.

So slippers and I were never any great friends. Some lasted just an year. Some a month and one lasted just a DAY!!! No, I’m neither exaggerating nor am I bragging about my slipper-handling talents. This piece narrates the saga of Sandhya and her Slippers.

Coming back to that pair of sandals I got for my college, it seemed to be quite friendly with me, no shoe bites, no blisters and no pain in the leg too… But alas well begun is half done and in this case, pain in the run… It was one of those blue days when I get up late, when my half-an hour bath extends over to a 45 minute one, my bus mate who picks me up sometimes, bunks. I had to run to my stop (a 15 minute walk from home) away from the tirade of “YOU OUGHT TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE AND QUICK. YOU’LL MISS YOUR BUS TODAY, JUST SEE…” back home.

And what do I see? Just as I come running near my stop, my bus already has reached the stop and is almost about to shoot past… I gather all the energy and with a burst of force, fly to my bus and plonk myself, panting, near my friend. A few deep breaths later, I notice… something is dangling loose near my leg… OH MY GOD! My sandals have a cut exactly in the centre… Not a very deep one. Quite manageable for the day. But TOMORROW???

Sigh! That’s how it began… After a good bit of scolding (Tirade repeatu!!!) amma got me a new pair- this one, a cut shoe, very workable. Result- two gaping holes at the bottom which burnt my leg due to the scorching heat… My poor mom convinces my sister to lend her slightly over-size spare slippers. It looked a little ‘bathroomy’ and snooty me refused to wear it initially. After my mom made me understand that it doesn’t fit in her budget to buy me a new pair of sandals every week, I wore it to college, much to the surprise and amusement of my class mates. “Sandhya, sandhya, do you know you’re wearing a bathroom slipper?” asked one and all. I cheerily answered,”Yes”. They gave up on me.

If you thought, there ends the tale, I’m sorry… there’s more left! What happened next is an unimaginable thing in the life of a so-far respectable, decent girl! Gulp… It takes every onunce of my courage to publicly declare this. But well, let this be my confession box!

It was April 1 2005 and I had left my slippers in the shoe rack and gone into the Computer Lab. After 2 hours of struggling to complete plans in AutoCAD, I come out, to discover my slippers missing. Thinking it to be a prank of my friends, I go ask EVERY SIGLE one, torment them, bug them and I also strangled a couple of them! My prankster friends, for a change, had not stolen it! And one lone pair was left in front of the lab. Informing the lab assistant that in case anyone comes searching for their slippers, it was with me, I happily wore that pair and walked to class. Now one- I still thought someone had accidentally taken my slipper. Two- I did not think it wrong to wear their slippers. Come on… better wear some slipper than walk barefoot. And remember my loo which is a zoo? Now how on earth could I ever muster courage to walk barefoot into a seething insect factory?

Well the day passed and no one had claimed this pair of slippers. I remembered that my friend from another department had lost her slipper somewhere near just a week ago and she too had been left with a different pair which she was wearing now. So we decided that mine WAS stolen! I went home all dejected. My mom decided that I was jinxed and she told me to wear this slipper for a week or so till she gets me a new pair. I agreed shamefaced.

Next day I meet my friend from the other department near the restaurant in our campus. I told her my sad story and ended by saying, “But I think this pair is a better one than my earlier. It’s from KHADIMS” My friend let out a soft gasp and looked down and screamed, “That’s my pair. Then one I told you I lost a week ago…” I was flummoxed! God, what a great thief that person was. Steal one, wear it for a week, leave this, take another policy! I exchanged the pair she had been left by the thief with her own. Now this pair had these straw like strings and was bloody uncomfortable. But I had no other choice and decently handed over my friend’s pair to her. She left happily and I left with blisters… :(

I went home, narrated the tale and everyone had a good laugh, and I had the last laugh, of course. My mom gave me money and my cousin and I went to buy a new pair. I got a fashionable local pair. I wore it the next day to college and… TORE it! I had to ask my friend in the hostel to get her spare slippers. I wore them that day. My mom was wild and she gave me a bathroom slipper to wear.(“Unakku inime Ramar-odu Paadhagam thaan vaangi kudukkanam.” We should get you the wooden slipper that Rama wore) A few weeks passed without accidents and as I have this uncanny affinity towards slippers, I damaged this one too. The best part was, my friend had broken her slipper the same day and the hostelite had lent her, her spare. Now I didn’t have any thing. So I made one guy in my class to get his spare NIKE floaters for me and I wore it. It was twice my size and I was some specimen that day! Thankfully I did not tear his and returned it the next day.

No no… It doesn’t end hear. Appa… Have some patience!!! Another bathroom slipper came to my rescue and I wore it for a while. Pitying me my mom gave me money to get myself a new pair. Again cousin and I go and we got a moulded slipper-THAT NEVER BREAKS! But sadly, it turned out to be very tight and uncomfortable and my leg was swollen for a week!(“Vaangumbothe idha ellam pathu vaangamattiya? Endi ipdi nee enna pottu padutharai?”Won’t you see if it fits you before you buy? Why do you trouble me so much?)
So I took my mother’s spare ‘kohlapuri-yish’ slippers and they were good. But they now look very worn out after practicing dance with them for two weeks. And I got them stitched again. But the effect is still bad. My mom repaired that fashionable slipper that I tore the first day. I wear it sometimes, on important occasions. But it is bad for regular long time use and that too when it involves a lot of walking. So last Sunday for the Chennai Poets’ Circle seminar, I stole my sister’s slippers and wore them, after emptying half a Vaseline bottle on them! But sadly, they were of no use and my legs have developed the most ugly and most painful blisters! My sister still believes that it was God’s punishment for stealing them for a day!

So now, it is back again to my faithful, old, almost faded, 30Rs. Bathroom slippers! I wear them to college, for important occasions, to Spencer’s also!!! I’ve stopped caring. As long as it’s comfy, it’s fine. But it still seems to amuse my friends and I regularly get comments like, “Oh what a beautiful pair of slippers, you’re wearing!” My mom has decided to marry me off to some cobbler or a slipper factory owner! So till then, its back to walk life’s lanes in BATHROOM SLIPPERS!!!

;)

18 comments

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* said...

Good job, this is the bestest piece you've ever written, a honest and simple article, excellent! *clap*

Dont bother about what others think about your slipper problems, as if everyone else is a Yudhisthira who never needs to wear a slipper!

neoronin said...

LOL. Good one, long time since i read something nice in your blog.

rsubras said...

hi, i am coming to this blog through some search..so kindly execuse this intrusion :)

* - best is superlative , what is bestest??

long time since i read something nice - :) some kind of vanja pugazhchi i guess....

ok comments on the blog : dont worry ... slippers lose pannathalathan cindrella ku oru prince eh kidaichaan. ungalukkum oru prince kidaippar ninaichikonga :)

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Vani Viswanathan said...

enna ya...
yaararo anonymous-aa vandhu un blog-la comment panranga (the spam, i mean...)
hahaha, this is a recollection of what you'd told me during the summer....only now i know even the bits and pieces!
best: go to bata. poi floaters vangu. romba naal uzhaikum. if even that doesn't work out, god save ya! :)

Harish said...

Vani sed it.. urupadiya oru pair of floaters vaangi thulai!

Sheks said...

never trust the big names which rhyme with tata,pilgrim's and munar.check out saravana stores.there,the size specified would be one unit greater than the actual size(eg size 14 would b specified as 15).but the footwear would fit u perfectly.it's damn cheap too(100 bucks lesser than the price in tata,pilgrim's or munar)

Nanyaar? said...

hey Ramya,

I had a hearty laugh at your blog.. I havent read a more simple, interesting, and articulating article..

I still have problems with my shoes.. no of them fit.., either they are big or.. they bit my feet...

Hope to see more of your heart-felt epic's

Cheers,
Nanyaar?

Sandhya Ramachandran said...

anon... I DO NOT WANT free money. I shall earn by other means.

*
You made my day... And every day of this week! :)

Neoronin...
Thnx... Was having a creative block...

R.Subramaniam
Thanks... My prince then ought to be a cobbler/ shoe manufacturer... ;)

Vans n Harish...
Amma kitta ketrukken... Let's see...


Sheks...
Advice mazhai-kku thanks so much... Will definitely go. Vootukku pakkathla thaan irukku...

Naan yaar?...
echoochme... Me's Sandhya aka The Dreamy Dryad...
Anyways, if all that was meant for me- Thanks!
Otherwise- Er, Wrong no!!! :(

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* said...

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chikuado said...

gosh!! i think it's sheer talent! and by now, every new pair of slippers will be forewarned about this scary predator..!!

maybe u shud get those nike floaters.. they dont break/tear/give way/get wet and actually last long!

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Maira Gall