Solace slippers

Written By

Sarba Basu

Solace slippers Loading

‘It’s a waste of space!’ Those were my mother’s words when I was leaving my home for good to seek out my fortunes in a different city. She was speaking, of course, of an innocent pair of slippers. Now, those words may seem a bit harsh for a perfectly sensible item of utility–slippers.

Except the fact that they were almost six years old, faded and utterly worn out. So, practically makes no sense to carry them 2500 kilometres away! But the thing with certain things is, how do you say it? Inexplicable. Especially with girls, they form a meaningless bond with items of clothing, accessories, stationery,etc.

 

The pair, in question, is a sea-green and black Hawaiian style slippers, very trendy during my teenage years. Girls would wear them all the time with jeans and tee, skirts, shorts just to complete the carefully sorted out ‘casual’ look. I wanted to own such a pair in school having only normal closed shoes and ‘ballerinas’. Funnily enough, you would think, now what the fuss about slippers was, you find them everywhere, and all the shoe brands have them. Back in the late 90’s, slippers weren’t thought of as a potential high-selling variant.The only available ones in the local stores would be plain and boring bearing the sole purpose of footwear at home. So, after a long search for a colourful pair within a reasonable range (high-end sports brands were out of the question for me those days!), I finally found this very pair from a good, old, trusted Bata outlet. I would wear them everywhere, going out with school friends, then moving on to college and even on the university campus. Hence, when the time came for me to leave my hometown, I couldn’t imagine leaving them behind. Although they were no longer a fashion statement or an accessory required to fee la part of the then ‘in’ crowd, they had become a companion beyond words.

 

So, those faithful slippers found their way to the streets of Bangalore, a foreign city to them. Having shared quite some years with them as my feet’s one-true companion, a time came when they found a permanent residence in the shelf of my shoe rack. You see, you can’t always wear slippers to work or at times when you let your hair down. On one such occasion, I had fancied a pair of grey stilettos to wear at a party. Again, after a careful survey, my friend and I sought out good looking shoes at affordable prices which were obviously non-branded. On the night of the party, during our second drink and the second hour of the evening, I suddenly went off-balance on the way to the washroom. To my utmost horror, the heel of the left shoe snapped off as if made of wax, leaving me standing with one foot on the ground and the other, two floors up.

 

I rushed to the restroom in panic worrying about how I’d make it through the evening hobbling all over the dance floor with a horrible limp. Suddenly, just as a fairy godmother makes an appearance, I remembered to open my bag and out came, my ever-faithful friend, those slippers! They were in the bag for some random reason which later I didn’t bother to remember, probably because I was staying the night at my friend’s. But at that moment all I could remember was a feeling of such gratitude towards something so simple which I would have never imagined before. So, in my LBD and heavy earrings, I walked out wearing a pair of ragged slippers and a huge grin of relief on my face.

 

Incidents like these make you ever so attached to things more than people. The comfort you receive probably has more warmth than any words of a person or hugs from a loved one. The mute support from these belongings says a lot. I have never thrown out my faithful green and black slippers ever since even though they are now at the fag end of their life. They look up at me every day from their designated shelf with their warm worn-out eyes carrying no expectation, any longer, to be picked up for wear. And, I live in a happy buzz surrounded by things that always make me feel at home no matter where I am.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Sarba Basu and I work as a Business Analyst with a consulting firm.Reading has led me to love the art of writing as well and here goes one such attempt.

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