“I got to see you guys in shoes and track pants of short pant the next time we meet.” said our sports coach in college. Oh my god! shoes? was my immediate reaction. After the P.T. Lecture we walked to our respective classrooms where we learned physics,chemistry and Mathematcis. The subject that in everyones’ opinion were very important for my career.
In the hot sun at 2pm when our college ended I climbed the city bus. Fortunate was I to get the last window seat. Listening to the music of ‘Tum Bin’ being played in bus I started my regular activity ‘Day Dreaming’. I spread my sight over the vast fields in front of Chowgule college, I lost into thoughts of how I got into this reputed college. Mere luck it was. I was the last one admitted in the college. Listening to my percentage (it was 80%) in SSC one professor had shown concerns that standard of college was going down because of people like me.
It was so unexpected for me. I was considered a lot wiser and smarter in my small school in my native village. I stood first in that institution. I had entered chowgule college after a very stressful admision procedure. My house being around 50-60km from the college I was staying at my aunt’s place around 22km away from the college.
Every morning I woke up at 6 to run to the college. All I had in my mind was to secure my place in the society of future. I travelled over 50km daily and walked a few kms just because I had an aspiration to learn.
It was difficult for me to digest that I actually dint belong to that college. I was much less competent to be there. I had not expected that. Professors called me dumb and inattentive. I thought a good student is the one who puts in his best efforts with sincerity and a very high regard to the process of education. Thats what I was taught in school. Every time I was let down by my professor I told myself that ‘may be I was really wrong, may be I need to be more committed to my studies’.
The results always proved otherwise, I never got above 60% and everyone opined that I was not putting proper efforts.
All these thoughts ran through my mind while I was day dreaming in the bus. Then it suddenly struck me that I got to get shoes. How much would they cost? The last pair I had bought was when I was in 5th std.
I counted money in my pocket, It was Rs 179. I thought a shoe pair would cost around Rs. 150. I entered the BATA showroom in margao. I want to buy shoes I told the sale girl. She asked my size. I had no clue. So she bought a sample and checked. I liked a pair. I asked how much it would cost. Its just Rs 590 Sir.
Well….. I was wondering just what to say.. may be I shouldn’t have entered here , may be I should have tried some other store. I gathered courage and asked her ” Do you have any shoes in price range of 100-200 ?”
“We do not keep such shoes” Her answer was prompt and sympathetic.
I walked back to the bus stand. I had to walk for around 1km to catch my bus to Quepem.
Our college has asked us to buy shoes. Every Monday I have to wear them. I told my aunty. She was a elderly lady with lots of love and care for me. Occasionally she tried to show strictness to me. She suggested me a store near our house.
It was departmental store which also kept shoes. She gave me Rs 200 and I went to buy shoes. I finally got a shoes which looked decent enough for Rs 180. It was of some brand called ‘Hunter’.I used that pair of shoes for the next 3-4 years and finally threw them when my feet grew beyond the volume they could contain.
Last friday I walked into the Reebok showroom in Pune. Among the hundreds of shoes , I told myself that I would choose the one I will like, without looking at the price tag. For me it was like a gift to myself. For that part of me, that actually suffered a lot of pain to bring me where I am today. Not that I have reached some great heights today, but it feels better to say ‘Thank you” to those who be there with you in difficult times. In my case it was only myself.