Kohlapuri Chappal Incident by S. Edwards


Sarah Edwards is a struggling writer deeply involved in experimentation with the English language and literature. Her work is forthcoming in Electric Cereal and Reality Hands.

Kohlapuri Chappal Incident

This is about the time when my mother sent me to buy Kohlapuri chappals[1] for her but it is not about the time that made it possible for me to sit on this couch and everything else that happened in between of me walking and not. I told my mother it was impossible to not wear any slippers as waiting for kohlapuri chappals can be an iron clad weight while waiting as they might not exist in a western world but she had a theory that as she existed in the eastern world too long ago she was only five and existing while wearing kohlapuri chappals is quietly possible since loud noises will not make a difference in their availability or price.

I admitted it was the best theory I’ve heard about kohlapuri chappals and I agreed to make the walk of finding the eastern store that won’t look at me and stuff glass bangles in my face forcing me to eat it while I begged for direction to the right way of the store for kohlapuri chappals, my mother only wants them so her feet that do not carry blisters won’t carry them either in any future. I realize the store keeper does not care about blisters as he doesn’t walk on them so why should he care? But he did direct me to walk more to the left while keeping an eye on the right way of the right lane as he has no confirmation that it still exists on this western boulevard, but I still spat out the bangles and thanked him while he ignored the blister on my lip and just raised an eyebrow away from my face while spitting and rubbing the bangles.

I walked further and then I saw the blisters taking place at the heel of my left foot as well as the right heel and I walked and asked every person and they looked away because talking to someone with a blister on their lip is not wanted or appreciated by the masses.

Still the kohlapuri chappals were the only imaginable blister cover I saw ever so faintly through the dust streaming with a shade on the whole boulevard due to the walk of every person with any shoe. I finally reached the last store and shop in the entire boulevard which still had a shawl of moist particles of dust and I inquired about the kohlapuri chappals but as soon as I uttered the word of the said chappals, the store keeper brought out a box and opened the cardboard lid as my eyes saw the pointed curve of the objects inside with a little wool flower attached at the end on the pointed curve and I sighed loudly. They were for men and my mother was in her own words ‘a woman with watery hazel eyelashes.’

I felt that the entire search for the kohlapuri chappals had amounted to sand about nothing but blisters on my body and the taste of bangles rotating at the back of my inner Laryngeal. I returned to a woman and detailed my faulty tale and she sighed with eyelashes, wetting her fingers and rubbing on my hair and scalp. I knew what this meant and it was nothing special or new as I get a vanquished rub of motherly hand on top of my pigmented head quite often. I have not seen much of my mother after that with surety, every time I do happen to be sure, she walks with naked feet, dragging her long dupatta[2] that is made of fake silk, from one shoulder swinging in a constant circle by hand and no blisters on her heels or mouth.

 

 

[1] Kolhapuri Chappals or Kolhapuris as they are commonly referred to are a style of open-toed, T-strap sandal which originated from Kolhapur, a southern district in the state of Maharashtra, India.

[2] Dupatta is a long, multi-purpose scarf that is essential to many South Asian women’s suits and matches the woman’s garments.

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