Sunday, January 09, 2011

Chintu Series 1: New Bata Shoes

Hunched forward with his face cupped by his joined palms, Chintu stared at his new shoes with a glow of admiration in his eyes. The jet black shoes glistened under the tube-light of the drawing room. The smell of the fresh leather was heady. The laces of the shoes were taut with its ends taped with firm sheaths. The curves of the leather were as natural and smooth as the sand dunes in a desert. A closer inspection against the light revealed a speck of dust at the right hand side of the sole. Chintu immediately wiped it off with his sleeves.

How much had he hated his old shoes that had been subjected to numerous incisions and stitches by the old cobbler near the temple gate, each time the seams cracked or the sole peeled off. His numerous appeals to his parents to get a new pair of shoes had fallen on deaf ears. They always thought they were good for few more weeks. It was only when he visited his grandparents this summer that his grandpa took him to the new Bata shoe shop in one of the rabbit warren streets of Berhampur, his native. Chintu remembered how special he felt when the attendant had carefully held his feet for measurements and asked if he was comfortable with the fitting. He had walked across the shop floor and each time his steps left ground contact, it emitted a tearing sound—a trait typical to any new leather shoe. Chintu remembered giggling each time his shoes made that funny sound.

Little Chintu’s trance was jolted asudden by his mom’s shriek who summoned him for dinner. He wrapped the shoes neatly into the Bata carton box, placed it carefully in the shoe stand and joined his parents for dinner. Before retiring to bed, Chintu jubilantly marked a “1” in his notebook. Next day like all other days, he didn’t want to get up early. When all efforts to wake him up went futile, his mom whispered something into his ears. At once, he threw open his bed sheet, sprang out of his bed and ran to his new shoes, singing, “today is day zero, today is day zero…”. The shoes looked more beautiful to him today for he was to finally wear them to school this day. It’s been three weeks of summer vacation and Chintu had been impatiently counting days in reverse and marking in his note book that started with count ,‘20’. He went to his notebook, quickly marked a ‘0’ and flung the notebook in air.

When mom tried helping with his laces, he shooed her away. He wished to tie them all by himself. He struggled but managed to get it right the third time. With a smile that meant triumph, he stood up. His gait had an extra spring that day, his chest little bloated, and his height a little taller. He bid his parents bye and walked awkwardly towards the school gate, trying to avoid getting folds on his shoes.


vj Monday, January 10, 2011 2:57:00 AM  

fantastic writing. the last line - avoid the wrinkles on the shoe ...awesome

Smile Friday, January 14, 2011 12:16:00 PM  

nice post... just to remind u the link is drecting to someone else's site... just remove the link if is nt ur site...

Abhishek Monday, March 14, 2011 9:07:00 AM  

Enjoyed reading the post !!
Such a vivid and subtle description of a kid's behavior and state of mind, his joy, his excitement... lovely. :)

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