Story of an old man’s slippers

Posted: October 16, 2013 in GUEST!!!!

sayu

Sanyukta Shetty: Simplicity,creativity, humor shines in her write up. She proved her own statement “i am not a writer” wrong by winning the second prize in the story writing competition conducted by the organization she and me works in AGAIN. Congrts Sanyukta, its time you call yourself “writer”.

Any time of day, any day of month you find her smiling and her dimples blooming. Keep that smile on your face while your fingers writing.

Thank you for giving me this golden opportunity to publish your prize winning story in my blog

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Waking up to d temple bell is a lovely feeling. The smell of flowers welcome you to the new day as if everything is going to be all candies and sugar. The Pigeons are cooing for the rice grains to be dropped by the hurrying devotees and the Dogs making the tricky face as if they have been starving from ages without food, while they are actually well fed by the garbage truck that had just passed by.

Amidst all this, I just sit in a corner and watch the morning sun beaming over my head. The silver sticker of my maker’s name ‘Bata’ shines in glory with the sunlight. I have nothing much to do now but to sit here and wait till my owner Vishnu Bhat comes back. Yes, he is the one whose feet I protect, so that he can walk here every day to sit in front of the huge Eeshwara idol n chant mantras.

I have mainly two things to do. Save him from the dirt and all the places he slips because of his aging eyesight. I must say the oldie slips almost everywhere he sees a banana peel, water or oil. Sometimes I wonder if he does it on purpose to get himself killed and blame this poor old weight bearer for that. Slippery floor, blame the slipper for having a poor grip. I want to shout, ‘who is asking you to run around so fast at this old age with that poor eyesight on wet floors!’. I wonder if he ever studied science to understand the basic laws of friction.

While all these thoughts were wandering in my head, I could sense someone nearing me, with a sense of urgency and fear in his eyes. I thought it must be one of those kids who grab the devotee’s hand rubbing their tummy with one hand and putting their other hand out expecting coins from the devotees. Poor kid, I thought he must be hungry. But when I looked at his face closely, I felt this one was no such hunger driven kid. There was greed written all over his face, a sense of thrill in his body language. The thrill I feel when someone puts me on and dances or holds me high to kill a cockroach. The kind of thrill you know is wrong but you do it just for the experience.  This kid was a thief; he first grabbed me and put me in a gunny bag dark and smelling like feet, the smell I get when my master wears me after a long day of festival poojas, sweaty and suffocating. I was alone in the dark but not for long.

One by one other slippers started following over me with a huge thud, I couldn’t do much to escape it as I can’t move without my owner. Sadly bearing the pain I cried out loud until I saw a golden sandal being thrown in next. Whenever the bag’s mouth was opened, whenever the sunlight peeked in and fell on her body, she gleamed like a goddess screaming in anxiety of being kidnapped by this lad. Even in such fear I wanted her to land beside me somehow. Well, don’t blame me for being this young footwear to an old master who was recently gifted by his son.


How do I control the flow of racing blood to my heart? Well I didn’t control it; I just prayed that she would land beside me. So many days of being in the temple premises finally paid off. The creator by which I don’t mean ‘Bata’ this time finally heard my call. The goddess landed right beside me and in fact I covered her with my huge sole so that other slippers don’t fall over her. The pain inflicted by me was nothing compared to the gratitude I saw in her eyes for saving her from all that chaos. She smiled even with the fear of being in dark surrounded by strangers and told her name was Simi and she was from Catwalk. For a minute, my mind struggled with the picture of cat wearing a golden sandal and walking until she clarified it’s a popular footwear brand. I didn’t want to disclose about being a villager who doesn’t know the brands and replied with pride ‘Yes, I might have heard about it somewhere’.


While I was about to trigger conversation, the bag was closed and started waving back and forth. Screams enclosed the bag with slippers squeaks and rubber smell, not the kind of place any slipper would have dreamed of visiting. I could hear the kid shout out loud to another boy ‘Run……the traffic police saw us I think’. I could feel the wind racing through the pores of the bag and I could smell the sweet smell of Ms. Catwalk’s cream clad clothes. Her maker must be a really pampered one I though with a fragrant cream on her feet.

All those above me were yelling in pain while I wanted to be the hero here. Not out of adrenaline but with the pure intention of impressing this girl. I could hear the boy panting and saying to his friend, ‘Run faster, he is right behind us’. At that moment, a bulb lit above my head with a clear picture of how can I save this day and be her prince charming.
I asked all of them within the bag to calm down, I really had to use all my voice within, I shouted ‘Guys calm down, we need to make the boy get caught and then we can be free’. No one listened the first time. Then I screamed again ‘Do you all want to be eaten by dogs?’

The next moment, everyone fell silent and looked at me for what I had to say. Nothing bothers the slippers more than being chewed upon by those beasts and ripped off in public.

I gulped my saliva and cleared my throat and spoke out what I had in mind. ‘We need to absorb as much moisture as possible and weigh the bag down’. All were shocked  and some even laughed at the idea of it. But I was firm and loud, ‘We need to do this if we ever want to see light again and if we want to get back to our masters and, if we ever want to be back home’. Everyone heard me, all of them were sad deep down, all wanted to get back home to their loving masters. Thank god for the humid day of august that we tried really hard to absorb moisture. The bag slowly started coming down and we knew we succeeded when the boy yelled to his friend that the gunny was getting heavier. The cop finally managed to get hold of the boy who didn’t want to run leaving his steal behind. We could hear the kid getting laathis from the cop. I almost felt sorry for him but the sweet voice behind me made me forget the guilt. She said, ‘it’s a lesson for d boy not to steal, especially lay hands on courageous slipper like me’. I beamed with pride and smiled at her.

By the time I could ask her where she stayed, I felt gravity pulling me down. The bag was held upside down and the skydiving experience I must say, was breath taking and I wished to fall beside Ms. Catwalk. That was the last thing I remember before I woke up at home under my master’s feet while he was talking to the boys not to repeat such mistakes again and requesting the traffic cop to release him without punishment.

Sadly, my goddess was not in sight. I think her mistress had taken her away leaving me with the sweet scent of her cream and memories. Finally, I was back to my old man’s feet. I sat there, staring towards the temple far away, wishing for another morning of such and adventure.

No matter how small you are there is always some room for the biggest adventures in your life”

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Comments
  1. Vinay says:

    Creativity at its best…!!
    Thank you Syl for sharing this 🙂 🙂

  2. Gaurav says:

    Nice and very creative one…!! And SNL, when will put the first prize winner story, I am curious to read that too…!!

  3. Gaurav says:

    I thought you were the winner, why have you not participated in…?

  4. Chandini says:

    Very well narrated Sanyukta 🙂 your story seems a paraphrased version of a clipping from the movie ‘finding nemo’

  5. Wilson says:

    Very nicely written. Good imagination. Slippers r only d character. Through that i feel writer wants to point out entirely different things.. Great outcome frm the one who thinks herself not a writer! Keep writing gal.. U r good at it.. N thanks veena for this.. Aft long time browsing ur blog..

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