This is absurd.
Months, I kid you not, months I’ve spent looking for a decent piece of footwear which I can buy without selling a kidney.
Women don’t understand this, and I envy them for that. They consider paying 800 bucks for a pair of shoes as extortion. The last pair I bought, only to temporarily replace the one which had completely fallen apart, and which was the cheapest I could find, cost more than twice of that. Can’t just buy chappals from Dilli Haat, can I? No wonder they have countless racks crammed with all kinds of things to go with all kinds of things.
If I’m lucky enough to find a pair that I can afford, one that is not outrageously ugly, I wear them everyday until they come apart. Not because I don’t care, but because I can’t help it.
There are only a few types of shoes to be found in this city these days.
a. White. Who wants white shoes? They’re bright and disturbing. They don’t match with anything (and you have a problem if they do). And they get dirty in 30 seconds, just by coming in direct contact with the Delhi air. I’ve hated them since I was 11, when I had to “paint” the bloody canvas things white every Thursday night with a ridiculous little brush attached to the bottle cap.
b. Silver. Shiny, sparkling, glittering, tacky silver. That’s all I see in every Reebok or Adidas store these days. Silver streaks and bands and patterns and stitches, mostly on white shoes, which makes it even worse. Like something ISRO astronauts would wear on the Chandrayaan-II. Or ‘jaat shoes’, as I prefer to call them.
c. Puma. What is up with them? Have they decided they’ll only make things which match the colours of the Jamaican flag? I mean, all the yellows and bright greens and fluorescent oranges; I can barely keep my eyes open in there.
d. Woodlands. Generic term for strange clunky leather boot-type things with a thick rubber sole. Their claim to fame is sturdiness, and sturdy they are, considering they weigh as much as the discarded truck tires they’re made of. Practical they’re not, unless you want to walk around like the Incredible fucking Hulk. Or like an Ent.
e. Canvas. Except Converse. I don’t seem to have feet slender enough to fit that shape. But the other ones come very close to being alright. When they’re not pink. Or have that white semi-circular rubber bit covering the front. That’s just disgraceful.
Or else, you find monstrosities like the “Reezig” (Reeboks with ugly, yellow zigzaggy soles. Clever, no?) which give you unprecedented ‘bounce’. Bounce. What, do people need bounce? Did that come out in research? Like, is that a problem – too little bounce? Bounce-lessness? (Yes, I do like saying it.)
The only place where you can find an acceptable pair is Nike. And they seem to know it. Which is why I have to think about replying to that mail about my pre-approved personal loan before I think about buying one. I mean, 7 grand for a pair of shoes? Can’t do it.
And the so-called formal shoes are no better. I admit I’m somewhat of a novice when it comes to these, but from what I have seen, there are clear trends. They either have a shape which forces one to wonder if the human feet have evolved to become half as thin and twice as long as one’s own feet, with an elongated middle finger sticking out. Or maybe the pointy, ant-eater-snouty shape serves a peculiar utilitarian purpose unknown to one. (Kicking and puncturing asses at wedding brawls? Opening doors automatically as you walk in? Who knows?)
However, I have a possible solution which might just work. I’m planning to go shoe shopping in Rajouri Garden this time. You see, all this gaudy silver-white and fluorescent orange crap is probably designed for those boyz over there (goes with their pimped up white cars with neon lights and ‘amplifaayas’ ). Which means the boring old black/grey ones will be quietly waiting in the corner, covered with dust and a graceful melancholy.
Oh, I see this has gone on for longer than I had expected. Spare time needs cutting down.