Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Shoes had it….

The school sports day was approaching and pupils were busy getting ready for the various events, practicing hard for the selection to represent the house in track and field, throws and jumps including pole vault. In the midst of all these, Sangay, who was otherwise very athletic and very good in sports was just watching with moist eyes and not participating in any games. He was seen taking the longest jump during the free time to the amazements of the onlookers but that day during practice and selection, he was not participating.

The reason for him not participating was known only to him alone. The house members and especially the girls’ house captain thought that he was acting pricey and disregarded him utterly. Sangay could have brought so many prices for the house but he shied away from participating. He could see his friends wearing latest sports shoes matching with the sports track suits, shorts and shirts. Some are there flaunting the sports gear because that was the only time students were permitted to wear sporting cloths besides school uniform.

He was coaxed by the house captain to at least participate in one event for the sake of the house. The captain strongly suggested him to participate in long jump and his name was written - compellingly, as the house captain had seen him jump the longest distance during the lunch breaks in school uniform, playfully, in the past.

When the day for the competition approached Sangay was busy looking for an appropriate sports shoe. He was searching in the hostel for any discarded shoes and under one of the bed he found one. The shoe was not too old and when he tried it on it fitted on his feet snuggly. The only problem was that the shoe despite being white it looked like a chess board placed under the water. It was signed haphazardly with black markers and in equal haphazard manner so many profane and abusive words were written with permanent black marker. There was not time for him to wash the shoes off those profanities even if it was possible to do so. He put the shoes on and went for the event.

The owner of the shoes left it there due to all those abusive markings but he had no choice than to put that on. On the field, he had tried to soil the shoes to mask the markings to no avail. His name was called out and he took the fastest run and the longest jump to avoid his shoes to be seen. Somehow he thought that the fast movement of his foot would make the writings on the shoes illegible. He avoided the applause of the crowd for his longest jump and ran behind the audience to the starting point of the jump. The crowd appreciated his humility and humbleness and applauded more.

When the next attempt for him to jump came there were double the crowd gathered, and he was having tough time hiding his grotesque shoes – made grotesque by the punk writings on otherwise a nice shoe. He wanted to shout at the top of his voice to tell that the shoe does not belong to him and the writings were not made by him. The second attempt was taken with faster run and the longest jump peddling through the air, in an effort to keep his foot moving. He must have broken the record of the school, if the record was maintained.

Sangay was congratulated by the principal himself with a disapproving look on his face looking at his shoes. How he wanted to explain about his predicament? But it was too late and a mental note had been already taken by the principal as well as the teachers, placing him among the list of the notorious, freaky, ill disciplined pupils.

Later when some junior students came up with writings on the shoes, Sangay was blamed for setting wrong examples. He, however, thanked the owner of the shoes for letting him borrow his shoes and making him come first in the long jump. He told him that the shoes acted like a spring board during the jump, to which the owner of the shoes, who was the son of a rich businessman, told him to take the shoes, if he liked it.

“Perhaps, I would like to borrow during the next sports day. Thanks.” Sangay said, with a smile, thinking that he would rather participate bare footed than to wear a shoes marked with profane words in future, if his parents cannot afford to buy one for him.