Now first things first. Nearly 2 and half a years ago I picked a lovely abso fab pair of Woodlands sandals. These are tan coloured leather floaters. They look SMART.. but yes the fine print here is they are NOT ladies sandals.
The problem is with my feet. They are flat, something I learnt of after I was already over 22 years old. What to do. My basketball coach made me remove my shoes & then informed me how I could’ve run for so many years without using corrective foot wear. What to tell him? Later my old childhood pal Shruti’s doc pal laughed her lungs out when I told her I would fall frequently & I had NO clue that I was born with flat feet. This she said was the ‘key’ symptom. Especially since it was in our Kolhatkars genes….
My Hitler (baba) would NEVER believe me despite the fact that I kept falling & ma feet ached. He always believed I only came up with ‘lame’ excuses to avoid exercise. We were an exercise, running obsessed family! Yes my sister still carries this torch…she runs..i tell her to do so on my behalf. Most would never believe my reasons coz i’m considered epitomy of laziness.
Yet I did well in athletics & basketball. I would fall frequently. I had twisted my ankle umpteen number of times, with all sorts of fractures. Normal cracked bone to hairline..had to run despite it. Knee downwards i have scars that will remain for 2 lives! The orthopaedist advised all sorts of things, but I always went to the bone setter first…then eventually to correct the water in my knees I went to the most handsome sports doc..Dr Anant Joshi, US returned. Loved to visit him…later he was Tendulkar’s other famed ones doc. but even he never told me I had flat feet!
So after many yrs when I learnt of it fm my coach…..There after this was my open secret. Then it dawned on me why I could NEVER wear the ladies shoes, heels & more stilettos. This has been life’s fascination! I envied my flying cousin coz according to me she had world’s best feet & stilettos. So began wearing flats all my life.
Then I began wearing medical arches. Every shoe or sandal I bought I had to give to the medical surgical store. Yeah it gets darn expensive..but its good to take care of one’s own feet. In addition the use of a pillow under my neck stopped! Began placing it under my feet. This was the best decision! It’s such a relief I can’t tell u. so this further restricted the choice of footwear I could wear.
Now coming to these lovely sandals…at the beginning of June 2005 I bought these lovely pair of Woodland’s sandals. I had to literally worship them for 3 months. Besides being expensive, it was monsoon time & the salesman had Warned me not a drop of water should touch these sandals! Lo kar lo baat…anyways…kept it safely for three months.
Eventually in two years I used these sandals sparingly….I do think that most of us have plenty of shoes. Keds, sports shoes, walkers, floaters, special occasion foot wear, etc, etc. Even me who would use sparingly has quite a few no of shoes. Imagine as many no of arches I’ve to get inserted!
In all this maize I realised that my fav pair Woodland sandals have suddenly begun showing the sponge that gave the sandal its soft feel. The soles were ripping apart! Good god..it was a strange thing to happen I thot. I tried to hold it with the Favi-Quick that can stick even cement! But not the soles of these sandals…I was depressed to say the least.
So I took the sandals & went to Woodlands in the first week of March. Yes, no less a time. I got a run down fm the sales manager who ofcourse was an idiotic Maharashtrian who told me how rains were over long ago & the sandals should have been used more often! I do not think these Marathis make good salesmen..they do NOT. Coz in service the customer is the queen –coz I am a woman -but these guys don’t know how to behave or talk with customers.
They took the sandals, gave me a parchi –receipt- & even noted my cell number. These rascals were to call & tell whether they can repair my sandals…this till May it never happened. Eventually I called them & asked whether my sandals were ready…were they repairable at all? They claimed to have wrongly torn the receipt so my cell number was not wt them, they took a while to confirm my receipt..eventually they said it was ready!
My heart skipped a beat. U mean the soles were changed & sandals new as ever? The man mumbled a faint yes.. Looked sadly at me i think. Coz no one must be coming to get their soles changed. Eventually I went to Woodlands at the Parel factory outlet (where I had deposited them). They as usual twice tried to confirm whether they were my sandals, despite showing & handing over the receipt…they shuffled around some dark room then after a few hrs they appeared. The good part of these people killing time was I saw a young actor supposedly married with a PYT. He looks good & wore a cap to disguise (poorly done) himself….
Just then a journalist frnd called on my cell. We were to meet & asked what i was upto. I told him I was in woodlands & he thought I’d got a bonus. I explained that i’d come to get the soles replaced. He’s fm a tabloid paper, Mumbai Mirror…For like 5 min he laughed his laughter piercing thru’ the cell. Then informed me I am a subj for news in their paper. He said in this era of wear & throw, I may be the rare odd one to get the soles of sandals changed! “Today no one does that neeta” he told me assertively. Well I ofcorz i know, me too asserted…since people are changing their ‘souls’ they mind someone changing the soles! im only changing the soles of my sandals, to which ofcourse my literary challenged journalist decided to fix the meeting place and disconnect.
I paid thru’ my nose for this pairof sandals wc I simply love. If changing soles can extend it shelf life why not? I haven’t done anything extraordinary or something that is archiac. Plus since when did I care for what people said? Later in the evening I met another senior journo frnd who laughed his stomach off saying no one changes their soles today neeta! I mean who decides what one should if it is within the legal & ethical framework? Who determines time line for what can be done or not or simply for being different or more so for making sensible choices?
Well I’m really thrilled to bits of having changed the ‘soles.’ I have extended the life of my sandals & not added more to the degeneration of the environment…but more than anything I get to wear my fav sandals more often!