The Burning I’Shoe!

May 8, 2009

Just when everyone thought they had enough of shoes making headlines, yet another one pops up, and yet again for all the wrong reasons. And what’s the news this time? Its about a haul of heroin worth 30 lakhs found in a shoe that was being sent through courier from Bangalore to South Africa. You just cant keep the shoes away from the happening stage nowadays, can you?

After a series of ‘sole attacks’ on prominent personalities in public, the act has garnered unpleasant responses from all quarters. One of the prominent politicians even remarked that shoe slinging is not our culture. As far as the Indian perception of footwear with regard to culture goes, one does find a mixed insight. The footwear garlanding of effigies of cricketers and politicians as a result of public outrage is one side of the coin and the sandals of Shri Ram ruling the Ayodhya throne in his absence is the other. But yes, in general, we do perceive shoes as ‘dirty’ which is symbolized by our leaving of our footwear outside places of worship and our own houses, in contrast to our Western counterparts who walk into a funeral room with their shoes on, but take their hats off.

Nevertheless, if shoes continue to hog the limelight for negative reasons the way they are now, a stage might come when authorities will ban sporting of shoes. What if that happens? Well, not a bad idea to imagine a shoe-less world – Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh will not be fined for carrying unhygeininc shoes aboard. Good reason to walk into the field with the fine away, but watch out for that Brett Lee Yorker that might literally end up being a ‘toe crushing’ one. Hindi film heroes will not be able to recognize policemen in civil clothes, for all these years they used the tactic ‘Police walon ko unke kapdon se nahi, jooton se pehchana jata hai’. Ladies will not be able to use the trademark ‘sandal ka number bataaun?’ stuff for men busy with eve teasing. Superstitions will lose an option of keeping their houses safe from evil sight with no old shoes/slippers hanging right at the top. Raj Kapoor might never have sung the song ‘Mera joota hai Japani’. The saaalis of the groom will lose a weapon to torture him for money (You know, the joote lo paise do stuff).

Now you know why that shoe bites.


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