Anu is not a tall person. She is not short either. But she is blessed with some solid feet. Strong and large.
Every time she ventures into a shop to get a new pair of foot wear, she is embarrassed to find that nothing fits . She would have spotted a pretty pair of blue slip-on and would want to try it, the sales man would be like, mam your shoe size is 41, sorry we don’t have it.No, not in that colour, not in this shape, not in this style, until she is literally ready to hit him with a pair of his own sweet small shoes.
When she shops with another young person who is similarly blessed with large feet,they walk out of shoe shops with disappointment added to embarrassment.The best shoes don’t come in the size that they are looking for .
The best ones are made for those small tiny feet owner who go around prattling “Look, my shoe size is that of a kid. Look, its so tiny! “with a sense of amusement as if those are self made. On hearing such sweet confession, the gentlemen and ladies standing around would look down and say with wonder, amusement and affection all mixed in the right proportion, “ha,look, she really has tiny hands!”.
While selecting a diamond ring for his wife, the young man remarked that his lady love really has very small fingers and she can only wear these delicate diamond rings! Anu felt amused. Why the excuse of small hands and delicate fingers, just buy your lady the best diamond that is there.
Anu had just reached home after negotiating a tough business deal. While discussing her daughter’s priorities for college, the man in the house said, “Don’t bother your small head with such things. I will take care of it”. What absolute nonsense! It did not matter to the fellow that she was criss-crossing the country for her company, dealing with men and women of all kinds and most importantly, was single-handed in managing the finances of the family. Pray, what makes my head the smallest?!!!,she thought.
I am reminded of Peony, a novel by Pearl S Buck where in small feet is celebrated as a big virtue. But today, when women across the globe move arm in arm with men in all areas of life, do we still need to tie the notions of feminine beauty to small, fair,tiny, sweet, homely etc?
And what commercial sense does it make not to have shoes that cater to larger sizes in the shops? While the apparels today have plus sizes and shops display them proudly, it’s time to accommodate differences of shapes, sizes and colours in all categories.
Anu looks at her large feet and huge hands that have stood the storm, that are capable and nurturing.She smiles.