the foot marks

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
this is a story of parents who lived in 2 generations. these days demand of children are totally different compare to the past. the story narrates childhood life of the hero and sturggles of his father.

Submitted: February 25, 2019

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Submitted: February 25, 2019

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I heard a beep from the mobile phone which was on my side table of bed. I was awake and

waiting for the alarm.

Sun rays through the curtain and was lying down.

‘Papa, can you order these shoes?'  A message from my son Jay.

‘If we are buying one it costs Rs. 3900/-, we will get two for Rs.

6800/-'

I replied. ‘Jay, why do you want to spend so much money on shoes?'

‘Look for something around Rs. 3000/- 

Dad, please. Jay replied again.

After a while, I sent a message ‘I will order 1 shoe for Rs. 3900/.'

 ‘Ok. Papa Thanks.'

 

How things have changed? My childhood was totally different and never be compared with the

present life of the younger generation.

Our house in the village was with three floors and a pond with a huge land area with a lot of

coconut trees and other trees in a big compound. 

It had a padipura (a small tiled roof room with a huge wooden door). 

My room had a wooden coat with a chain to hang it. We call it by name ‘Attu kattil' (dancing

coat). I could see the Padipura (a small house with a wooden door) of my big tharavadu

(traditional name of Nair caste house in Kerala). We had a Pambu Kavu (Snake

home) at the side of the entrance.

My uncle was an old devotional person. He generally spends his time in the nearby temple. He

used to wear a methiyadi (chappel made from wood).

Whenever he is reaching our home the sound of methiyadi will be heard and

everyone vacates the verandah (front portico of the house).

I was very young and I used to stay back on the verandah Everyone was afraid of my grand-

uncle. My memory about him fills with affection and love. He even used to feed me during his

lunchtime.

This was my best memory of the 1st shoe.

 It was one Sunday morning. I finished breakfast I ran to Bus stop

Expecting my dad may come from the Survey field trip. The Island express passed our village

side. I stood there for an hour thinking that he might come by the private bus from Shoranur

Railway station. I was disappointed. As always  I had waited with a lot of curiosity but that day

also came to the end. My mummy  got a little worried and came to the bus stop in search of me.

‘Dad may not come this week; I never got a letter also.'

‘Ok, mummy, I thought it is Sunday and he might come.'

On the way back we could see the tribal women carrying wood packs from the forest close to

our village.  We were walking barefoot and my toe hit a stone by mistake. ‘Oh.  Mom,' It was

under severe pain and it started slight bleeding. We had a stone pillar side of the village road,

the women had kept the wood pack on it and were taking rest.

They heard me crying and came running to me. One of the women immediately collected a few

green leaves and rushed to me. ‘show the leg, let me put this juice, it will heal  fast.' Mom was

trying to console me. Meanwhile, another woman came to told: ‘Better you wear a

sandal.' ‘I do not have one.'

 ‘Shall we give this one; try to wear for time being.' One of the wood pack women gave me a

sandal which they made from wood skin and rope branch of trees. The path to the house had

very sharp stones which could hurt us if we do not walk with care.

I looked up at her face remembered her. It was my habit of sitting on a branch of mango tree

near the boundary fence of my house boundary. These ladies used to pass through that way on

the way to the forest. I used to throw mango at them for fun.

No one complained about me to anyone. The good ones they used to pickup from ground and

take them along with them. I became shy seeing them and curious about what they will tell my

Mummy.

They took me wrong, just smiled at me and proceeded with their forest trip.

Mummy helped me walk back to our house. 

Next day morning I found it difficult to walk.

Generally I and one of my uncle runs to collect the Malayalam

Newspaper. I was sitting extending my leg and I noticed some footsteps near me. I heard uncle's

voice. ‘Today you can't run with me, so you can have the paper.'

I was very happy and took the paper from him. I had realized that he used to run with me to

collect the newspaper just to have fun. It was a

great feeling of how others treat us when we are not feeling sick.

I heard the voice of a Jeep. I heard Mom calling me ‘Dad is here'. It is so coincidental,  you

wanted  to see him and he is here today. I became happy and came down through the stairs. My

room was on the first floor of the house, I could oversee the entrance Padipura from my room

window.

Dad had a bandage on the leg. Mummy was talking with dad when I  reached. I heard him telling

her. ‘I have high diabetic and the wound

is not getting healed.'

My dad was on Survey field duty for the last few months. Let us go to Bangalore in the evening

train and got him admitted with St. Johns’ hospital.

Next day we reached Bangalore and took dad to the hospital and put under emergency

treatment. As soon as hearing father's news many of his close friends many came to the hospital

and consoled us.

My dad’s  supervisor Mathew uncle arrived and from that time onwards it was a big relief for us.

Many of his close friends visited us.

Mathew uncle came to us and told. ‘Dr. Antony had checked Menon.'

He has to undergo surgery and need cosmetic plastic surgery to heal the wound. The surgery

was essential to save his leg.

Mummy was uncontrollable hearing this news. We were consoling Mom. But  Sir. ‘How about

money?' ‘We do not have enough money

for surgery.'

‘Do not worry about money.' ‘Let us go ahead with the surgery.

Mummy signed the required papers for doing surgery. At-last end of a big struggle and dad's leg

saved. Few months passed and dad started walking.

One day he called me nearby and told. ‘Son, give me your old sandal,

it will be soft for me.'

‘I can't wear new ones or one with rough edges.'

I was studying in 4th standard when I got my first shoes. My dad got

one shoe from Bangalore when he came down for vacation. My

parents were finalizing 

wedding of my elder sister. It was the day we were on the way to see the boy's house. We went

by transport bus and reached the river stop and started walking towards the house in the sand

and  mud. 

I had noticed my leg was giving slight pain. The new shoes bought was little tight for me. Since it

was my 1st shoes in my life I ignored the pain and walked. It was my 1st shoes. I was very proud

of wearing it and did not bother about the pain.

I passed in class 10 and started my journey to Bangalore from my village on the same day itself

after collecting the certificate. I made up mind my future is in Bangalore. Until 10th I had studied

in Malayalam medium and my English was bad.  We lived in a 1 room plus kitchen flat.  There

was no drinking water connection on the 1st floor. My elder brother and mother used to get up

early morning to fetch water from the ground floor. We had a very small flat owned by name

Gouda. Gouda was a Manager in Govt. press and had respectable

aristocrat look & always wore a suit and a traditional cap.

One of the days I was standing near his door. ‘Dev. Do come in.'

He had asked me many questions in English. I  was finding it tough to answer. ‘Tomorrow

onwards, do take Deccan Herald from here and  read it.' ‘I also want you to copy and page every

day and show me.'  I nodded my head.

‘There is a City central library in Sanjay Nagar.'

‘Do go there also and do have a practice of reading other materials

also.' ‘Ok. Uncle.' I started the habit of long walks to the Library. It helped me to improve my

English.  The regular walking to library has helped my English and also got lot good friends and

made my stay in Bangalore very interesting.

it must have been 1976 or so.

I used to return back from Technical Institute by afternoon and would wait till 4.30 pm to walk

to my dad's office which was 3 Km from our home. It was central Govt office and security at the

gate was strict.

‘Whom would you like to see?' security asked me.

‘Menon,' I said. ‘You mean Mechanic Menon sab.'

‘Ok, go inside.'

I used to go in and wait in Mathew sir cabin. ‘Menon. See who is here.'

Dad used to wear dark blue workshop dress. He came to me wiping his hand this had a lot of oil

& Greece.

‘Do you want to cycle?'

I told yes. I used to leave his office in front of him pushing the cycle and trying to ride.  ‘Dad. Can

I get new shoes?'

‘I do not have money now.' ‘I will get it made for you through cobbler.'

Cobbler Michael used to get office order of making shoes for mechanics.

We went to Cobbler‘s shop. 

‘Michael. This time you make a shoe for my son Instead for me.'

‘Ok. No problem.'

‘Your size and my size is the same, you can take the new one & I will

use the old one.'

I went to Michael's shop the next day to tell him that the shoes were tight for me.

‘Dev. What happened?'

‘Shoes is the little tight uncle.'

‘Ok. Let me see.'

‘Dev. You have a great father.'

‘Why uncle?' ‘What made you tell that?'

‘Do you know, he wears your old shoes & gets a new pair for you.'

‘It is not that he does not want to wear a new one or can't wear a new one as he told you.'

Michael's words left me speechless and soon left home.

After reaching home mum asked.

‘Dev. What happened?'

‘Your face looks dull.'

‘Nothing mom.'

‘I think, there is something.'

‘Mom, dad gets my new shoes from his office, and he purposely

wears old one.'

‘Dad is so nice mom.'

My wordings were so touching mom's eyes filled with tears.

I remembered my dad's affection during those tough days of our life.

What changes have taken place as time changed? My son sends me

a cool  Whatsapp message to order shoes of his choice without

checking with me whether I have money.

‘Dad, please order this'. ‘Ok. I was happy, I still have some money

which I can use from the credit card.'


© Copyright 2019 RAJAN V KOKKURI. All rights reserved.

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