09 June 2007

The Red Shoe

I wrote this story on a different blog some time back.. however since this story is one of the very few that are worth reading- I'll put it here too.... :P!

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The Red Shoe:::

How do you describe a very lively market? People, hundreds of them, engaged in all sorts of verbal communication- talking, arguing, shrieking, begging, scolding et cetera and commodities, thousands of them, being sold, bought, repaired, returned, exchanged, rented, donated et cetera. Well ‘if’ that’s all that I’m saying about Dandaiya Market then I’m terribly short or words and power of expression. But I guess we’ll have to do with that description written not by me but a friend (who has requested to be anonymous).Situated at a very comfortable location, this market attracts a lot of shoppers. The streets are all cluttered with vehicles and men, both susceptible to the adverse effects of the huge amount of humanity traversing the area. To this market, one has to come out of necessity and not luxury- at least for my mother who wants a special type of flour, comprising wheat, corn … Had it been a story on my mom’s cooking habits I’d have asked her the detailed composition, but this is very serious.

So there I was sitting on my vehicle at an awkward junction between two streets, waiting for my mother to return with the supply of the floor. I moved my bike in front of a shoe shop in order to avoid the traffic coming from the main street. A man, in his late twenties, (don’t even expect a description- he was just the normal sort you have in abundance in north India) on his bicycle, stood there gazing at the shoes kept on a table in front of a small footwear shop. Had it been avoidable, he’d have dashed ahead. But with much deliberation he approached a meek looking young lad, apparently a salesman, “can you show me a pair of shoes for a kid, size 4?”The guy was probably irritated, probably by the scorching heat in which he had to sit outside the shop to keep a look at the stock displayed on the table. Whatever it was he blurted out quite rudely “See that row, those are size 4, now if you can look for yourself”, as he dismissed the customer from his mind and started gazing towards another shop.

The man rested the cycle on his legs and picked a shoe. A red shoe, I guess it pleased his senses quite instantly. He smiled but only a little fearing that the salesman could tell him a higher price if he found that he liked the shoe very much. He kept it back and inspected another shoe but not much. He again lifted the red shoe and inspected it closely, the sole, the laces and the foam inside.He hesitated a little, and then asked the salesman “How much is this for?” The guy certainly displeased with the inquiry, turned to face him, saw the shoe and blurted again “Seventy Five Rupees”, apparently he didn’t think much about the price, probably he stated the price purely on his whim and the appearance of the buyer. I’m quite sure he stated it ten rupees higher because of his terrible mood, or because of his own condition. “Brother you surely could offer a discount?” “Seventy rupees final, and don’t bug me more.” And again turned his face to another direction.

The man indulged in some complex calculation. Occasionally he put his hand in his pocket to check the money without bringing it out. He surely wasn’t enjoying this, after a good deal of hard work he was in no mood to think about his financial woes and how he could accommodate this shoe in his budget. He brought out a sachet of tobacco and put a calculated amount in his mouth. It helped him relax a bit. Again he inspected the shoe, probably weighing the red devil against rupees seventy, or probably weighing the smile the red shoe could bring to his child’s face against the disturbance this expenditure will lend to his weekly budget. Suddenly a quarrel broke out on the other side of the street; probably a customer gave a blow on a vendor’s chin. Not a very uncommon incidence in this market but this was all that the rude salesman wanted for a break. He hurriedly joined the little crowd that the quarrel had attracted. Our man turned to look as well but quickly returned to his calculation. He took the shoe once again in his hand. I felt like telling him “Man steal it, no one’s noticing”, and really nobody was noticing. The shopkeeper at the footwear store was busy with some female customers inside and the salesman was relishing the quarrel. And you wouldn’t expect an artist lurching in a corner noticing people for inspiration.After two more minutes, the man replaced the shoe on the stack with a heavy heart. The quarrel wasn’t yet over and the man could have so easily stolen the shoes. My mother patted on my back, “lets go”. I took the bag from her hand and placed it on the vehicle. Before turning I turned to see the man, he was buying a balloon, incidentally a red one. On my way back it kept ringing in my head “he could so easily have stolen it.”

15 comments:

namrata said...

the story is very well structured.its an exceptionally successfull attempt of potrayal of human emotions.the author needs to b credited for his intense understandin of human pysche...im lukin forward 2 more such attempts from the writer's side.

The Shmoo said...

beautiful story...

Srinivas DMS said...

Good work, really well thought.

cyberbuff said...

great story!

Pratik said...

Very well written !

Keep blogging

Intellectual said...

Superb!!

Harshita Chouhan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harshita Chouhan said...

hey this is seriously gud!simple,straight nd touching. i mean no attempts to unnecessarily lenghten th description. everything written as we know it nd with a touch of honesty which is hard to find.definitely njoyed it nd wudnt mind reading sumthing like this agn! keep it up!

ps: cudnt help pointing tht thr r sum spelling errors. flour fr instance!! bt no offence th story's gr8!

ranjith said...

very well written.....

atlast i read somebody else's blog....and this one's too good....

keep it up......

good portrayal of a common man's Honesty...

it shows our Indian common man in a different way to he was ever shown or was understood...
and shows the indian"ity"...n honesty...hope he hasn't stolen it knowing no one's watching...but not because of fear of some eyes on him

i want to break freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee said...

well........i read it n i ws lik voila!!!!!!!its genuinely good.........no fabrication bt an honest attempt ......way to go mr author....................

Dhruv said...

it was an awesome story......
it was legenDAry...............

sharique said...

hey...pretty amazing...very well scripted...n i would agree wid namrata...beautiful potrayal of human emotions...gr8 job...man!! keep up d good wrk...

Hema said...

I thoroughly enjoyed it..touched my heart...all credits to Mr Author...

shuchi said...

nice 1...tho i think u cn do bettr :)

manvir said...

written so well i will be on lookout for stories like these in my life just so i can write sumthing