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Who's Shoe is Bigger ?

Not that I was a good student ever but I wasnt an idiot for sure. Atleast, thats what I thought.

I would slip out a few hundreds from my dad’s wallet for various things like a swig of beer or a drag from a loaded gun. But this one was to buy high heeled Cuban shoes (more the cow boy kind) at the annual Leather Expo that would take place every year in Calcutta.

I would walk out of my house in a pair of ‘Naughty Boy’ shoes and mid way would switch to my Clint Eastwood boots that I had bought from the fair with the money I’d stolen.......... And moment I did so, I would be taken by a wave of swag, so I thought, from head to toe.

Suddenly, while walking to school, I'd take the Kung Fu stance in the middle of the street that Elvis would take on stage with his signature tune playing behind. And the 'Yes Boss Boys' Gang' would make me feel like the next Super Star.'

In my mind, the background ambience sound of cars and buses would get over powered by the theme music of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The road side Churanwala would look at me in awe; almost reminded of his own self when he walked out of a videohall showing ‘Surakhsha’ in Hazaribagh. The same swag. He promised in the name of Gun Master G9. And I believed !
In his mind, I’m almost certain, that Bappi Da was playing “Mausam Hai Gane Ka…Bajane Ka….Gun Master G9”.

So, the first time wore them, I walked through the gates of my school with a toothpick dangling between my teeth, The top button of my shirt was always open. Around my neck was a chain with a locket that had two photos in it. One of Elvis Presley and the other of Amitabh Bachchan.

We were not allowed put up posters at home. So behind a huge maritime map hanging from a dinning room wall was a poster of Amitabh and Elvis put together in a collage. No one every knew till I was caught trying to show off when my father’s friend’s daughter had come over for dinner.

Though the gates of my school were wide ajar, I felt that I kicked them open and in the background, I could hear ‘Kalia….Kalia….Kalia’ echoing while R.D. Burman got a singer to gargle in tune to make the signature background score.

My teachers were of the impression that my locket had religion elements. I mean, thats what I'd told them. But they all had a problem with the top button of my shirt being open. Even after 4 decades, I still keep the top button open. Or I would actually faint due to claustrophobia. But those days, it added to the swag.

I walked into my classroom in slow motion. Still, in my mind the background signature tune of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly was playing. The bell rang. I found my place in the second row.

The first period was Geography. The teacher walked in.

“So you think you are trying to copy Amitabh Bachchan”, she snapped looking at my shoes.

How the hell can anyone insult me in the classroom ?

“No, Amitabh Bachchan will copy me if he sees me”, I snapped back with the same swag, which was a weird ass combination of Clint Eastwood, Amitabh Bachchan, Elvis Presly and Mithun !

The Geography teacher got up and walked out of the classroom. And what more could I and my gang ask for.

In sometime, she came back and asked me out of the classroom. She spoke to me with utmost love and said that the school is planning to introduce these Cowboy boots as part of the uniform and the Vice Pricipal wanted to see them.
And my swag knew no boundaries. She opened the door of the Vice Principal’s office. I almost did a ramp walk and turned 360 degrees and took a pose. Cameras, in my mind, went berserk. The sound of the shutter and the flash bulbs slightly overpowered the Clint Eastwood Signature tune.

The Vice Principal handed me a sealed envelope and said, “ This is for your parents, my son. We want to thank them for sending you to this school…..we want students whom even Amitabh Bachchan would like to copy ”

So when I got back home, I was wearing the boots and the Naughty Boy shoes were in my school bag.

I handed over the letter to my mother.

‘Phaaaaat’……landed a tight slap. The background score suddenly stopped and I could only hear the Neutrinos. The sound of silence was deafening,

She threw the letter on my face. A letter that suspended me for 3 days from school for trying to feel I could influence Amitabh Bachchan’s choice for his shoes ?

Next weekend, the locksmith added one more lock to my father’s safe !!!!

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