Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Shoe-Hunter...

With just days left for my wedding, I was in scrambles to find a perfect pair of footwear for the "vidaai"... no it couldn't be jazzy, like my wedding shoes, which thankfully I had already purchased, and it couldn't be ultra-sexy with a 6 inch heel, it had to be a little tall, it couldn't be black for that's an inauspicious color for the new bride.... my hunt for the perfect pair began, I had become the SHOE HUNTER... Shoes are basically like an aphrodisiac for women,a woman can never posses enough footwear. I already posses 16 pairs of different kinds of footwear, right from the 6 inch heel, to the comfy flats. Whenever we feel dejected, we either find a nail spa or go shopping for shoes. Any woman who differs with me, I would have a serious doubt over her femininity. We women love shoes, period. So here, I was, I already had bought six pairs earlier, each for a different occasion. That's the reason this shoe hunt was special, I had to find a pair which fit not only the "vidaai" ceremony to the T, it also had to be the "everytime" shoe. I had already begun my search from Kolkata's South City Mall. The search extended to Forum, and to City Center, Salt Lake. Somehow, all the shoes of the world, weren't fitting my bill. An honest confession: Basically my size is a Bata 2. It goes upto 3 in some cases. So you see the basic fundamental obstacle is with me. Probably I might have a confrontation with my maker regarding this, because honestly, except in China, these sizes are not found elsewhere. So the inevitable question, for 28 years, how did I manage.... God's grace my dear friends, simple divine grace... somehow in this particular case, the divine grace wasn't working. All the shopping malls to my horror failed me.. I felt like an out cast in the shoe world for the first time.The time has come, thought me, to hit the inevitable, the New Market.... if you are a true Kolkatan, you would know, the value of this place. If you do not get your desired object in the whole of Kolkata, there's only one place people run to. It's the messiah to all our fevered prayers. There is a saying that goes, if you want a Royal Bengal Tiger's milk, where do you find it,the answer, my friend is New Market. It's a buyer's paradise, and like many ungrateful souls, who are disillusioned by the glitter of the new fazed shopping malls, I too was neglecting the true paradise. I told you before, I believe in the divine grace, probably because of my neglect of this particular place, I was facing failure elsewhere. And so on a hot, sultry, Kolkata summer day, I set out for the final phase in my hunt for the perfect pair. My first stop was Bata, the inevitable name for all shoe lovers in India. The Esplanade store is pretty large, the ladies' section is however, quite disproportionate to the rest of the showroom. I had several criteria, and my shoe had to fit all those. First the size has to be 2, which, as I earlier pointed, is not manufactured in the country. So I went upto 3. It couldn't be black, as it was the "inauspicious" color. It had to be platform heeled, because I am not not comfortable with the stilettos and pencil ones. It had to have a belt at the back, and it had be comfortable, remember this was the "all weather shoe" I was trying to buy. Lastly it shouldn't look ghastly. So armed with this list, I begun my hunt. All the shoes in the racks, were offering themselves to my strict, ruthless scrutiny, and were being rejected. The Bata people, made their displeasure quite clear with my set of guidelines. Then one simple, elegant, light pink, wedged heel, caught my attention, this was perfect, my heart screamed with joy. I summoned the shop lady, who was very disinclined to help me, because earlier, she had first approached me, then she hadn't known of my conditions. "This is a size 4, could you see, if you have a size 3," inquired me. "I think we should have a size 3 of this pair" was her hopeful reply. Satisfied, I plonked myself to one of those benches, and waited for my size to come. As I sat, I looked around envious of all the size 4 and above people. Life is easy for them, some people, like me, are just born to struggle. Around half an hour later, the Shoe lady was back, with a very uncomfortable expression on her face. "The size 3 was taken away this morning", she mournfully announced. Was I dejected, no, I was shattered. "Oh ok, thank you", I rushed out of the store. My next stop was the Metro. I was hoping, that this time, I might face success. The Metro store doesn't have any lady helper, and you can't explain to a man, who, however, fascinated by shoes he is, what women understand in a second. So the fellow at Metro, heard my entire list of conditions sympathetically, and was really happy to announce, we don't keep those types, you are looking for. He seemed very,very glad, to see me walk out. By this time, I was feeling really, really dejected, here I had come with so much enthusiasm, and optimism, but this wasn't turning out to be as I envisaged it. Next stop. INC 5, the store which a dear friend of mine, had severely cautioned against. With great trepidation, I stepped in, the lady at the counter, took one look at me, "which size"? "a size 3 please".. "no sorry, all we have is size 5 and above". "What" I gawked, "how can you not have a size 3"? "We don't keep sizes that small". I didn't even thank the dragon lady, and just for the effect, I toppled over some slinky shoes that were displayed near the entrance. I heard curses aimed at me from behind. Now I was panicking, it had been 3 hours since I had been here, and I still hadn't found "the pair"... I turned to the local brands. Done with the nationals, thought me. That thought took me to Khadims, Bharat, Liberty and finally Shree Leathers. This time, I was determined. After 4 and a half hours, I was seriously taking a look at my list and I decided to do away with the color condition. If it was part black, I reasoned to myself, it wouldn't be that inauspicious, because I would already have been wedded. So after another hour or so, after going through scores of shoes, displayed, I finally found my pair, a brown , sweated, sophisticated, with not much heel and man, did it look cute... it looked fabulous... do you have a size 3, I croaked out. "Please be seated, I'll search", came the nonchalant reply. This time, when I sat in one of those waiting benches, I was actually praying, 5 and a half hours, all I had achieved was looking at every single shoe, by every single brand available, and hadn't still bought anything. Please let this be the last one, God. I prayed. After another agonizing 15 minutes, the new shoe came in the box, Try it, the fellow, said to me. With great anxiety, It put them on, and they fit me like magic. I was overjoyed, happy, radiant, please pack this up, I'll take it. Without wasting a second, my shoe was packed, paid for and taken away. Later in the evening, when my fiancee called, he was surprised to hear a very enthusiastic "hello" from my end, when he asked me the cause for it, I replied, "I was shopping for shoes". "Good for you, so how many shoes did you buy,"? He knows my penchant for shopping, "one", replied me,"the perfect one"....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an amazing flair for humor u have......enough to make likes of J.D Salinger smile with admiration !!!! Write on miss..... & soon people will be comparing SAKI & you in the same page !!!! Godspeed

Anonymous said...

What an amazing flair for humor u have......enough to make likes of J.D Salinger smile with admiration !!!! Write on miss..... & soon people will be comparing SAKI & you in the same page !!!! Godspeed

Anonymous said...

What an amazing flair for humor u have......enough to make likes of J.D Salinger smile with admiration !!!! Write on miss..... & soon people will be comparing SAKI & you in the same page !!!! Godspeed

Kalyani said...

You had a little adventure there! Did you go shoe shopping here?