Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Chappal Tales

“Chappals are not only meant to wear,” says an anonymous pseudo intellectual. I realized it when I went to Nainital for the first time in the year 2007.

I was in Class XII that time. Our school had taken us to Nainital for an excursion. The scenic bus ride from Kanpur to Nainital gave us stiff backs and an extremely unbearable stench of molasses from the sugar mills that we passed.

That was not enough. The hotel we stayed in, believed in the principle of ‘atithi devo bhava’ as well as ‘atithi khilavam mandaagni dene wali vastu’. They served us with such an amazing buffet three times a day that we felt that we were the eternal baraatis.
Unable to eat so much of oily food, I decided to do some tapasya or what we call now-a-days, ‘detoxification’. I stuck to Maaza in the name of fruit juice. As a result I became weaker and weaker in two days.

On the third day, my friend decided to buy some chappals from the famed Tibetan market. I could barely walk, but none of us were allowed to stay back in the hotel because kleptomania seems to be the most rampant illness in such school trips.

The Tibetan Market was a treat to all sights. You could get the delicious smell of momos, the sight of colourful bangles and chappals and the sound of, well, noise and cacophony.
But my senses were weak to enjoy all this. So I sat down on a khatiya to catch some breath. Out of the blue, one old came and started hitting me with her chappal for no rhyme or reason. After being beaten I realized that it was her khatiya and I wasn’t supposed to sit on it.

Bhare Baazaar mein chappalon ne izzat utaar di. After this incident I can only say with my head hung in shame, “The pseudo-intellectual was right.”

Note: mandaagni means acidity. Please google if you want to know the meaning of the meaning of chappal.

- Shefali Menezes

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