A Conversation within a Conversation | Flash Post 399
Button, seeing two pairs of completely different types of footwear lying side by side got me thinking about doing an interesting conversation between the two. Want to consider it as a challenge and see where we can travel with it? The two in question here are a pair of moccasins and a pair of sneakers and what they talk about, caught up like any of us, in the midst of a pandemic.
Somewhat like the conversation you and I have? Why not? As always, you go first.
Moccasins: I used to accompany madam for long walks with the pets a couple of months back but it’s not happening anymore. I’ve put on a couple of kilos from lack of exercise and am lost because I don’t know what to do with my time. How have you managed to stay trim?
Sneakers: I guess I’m lucky.
Moccasins: What do you mean?
Sneakers: Well, I walk with her at least five times a week.
Moccasins: What? So she stood me up!
Sneakers: Maybe not. She’s just taken to the treadmill because she thinks it’s safer to stay at home in these scary times and work on her cardio.
Moccasins: You’re fortunate. Is there a reason she can’t use me for the same purpose?
Sneakers: While it’s true that we are from the same community, it is also true that we are unique. In looks and in the kind of work we do. Many wear moccasins, like madam, because they are comfortable, easy to slip on, hassle-free because there’s zero upkeep and something that goes with everything from a pair of trousers to a pair of patialas and kurta or even a sari—but there’s nothing like a good pair of sneakers when you go for a walk or a run. I cushion feet like a mother’s womb and take care of every little detail. That slot is tailor-made for me.
Moccasins: That explains your absence from the walk-in closet. But why didn’t you tell me?
Sneakers: You never asked!
Moccasins: Do you know where our other friends have disappeared? The ones who shared the same space with us. For instance the boots madam got on one of their family trips to New York or those flip-flops she wears when she goes to feed the strays or the second pair of moccasins? We had so much fun together.
Sneakers: I haven’t seen them in a while too.
Moccasins: Well, I feel lonely when you too disappear. I hear the elders talking in their bedroom about some killer virus that’s running amok. Hope our friends are safe.
Sneakers: Umm… I hope so too.
Moccasins: I miss our late night chats. Our friendship. Dancing to old Hindi numbers. Our shared secrets, joys and sorrows.
Sneakers: You’re too pessimistic. Let’s talk about some of the happier times we‘ve also had. Do you remember the day the lady tried out a pair of newly acquired jeans and struggled to pull it up when it split open along the side exposing bare skin? Or that night when she really scared dost in the guise of a ghost? We got frightened as well. Or the time she hurried out after having spotted that mouse in her bathroom?
Moccasins: Or the day she brought home that golden pair of Kolhapuri chappals who walked up to us and introduced herself as Chumki? She was great fun. And her dance moves were to die for.
Sneakers: The good and the bad are strange bedfellows. There are some good times and some bad during the course of our lives and we learn to take both in our stride. You feel I am luckier because I go out with the lady now but see my sole. It’s aged, bruised and worn out. One of these days, I’ll be replaced by a new pair and land in the waste bin or get packed off to an old people’s home. You are much younger, stronger and shinier than me and haven’t suffered all that much. You will be around for much longer.
Moccasins: I must tell you what happened with the mouse I met the other night. He hid inside me for a few minutes while the family were tiptoeing around, broom in hand, to shoo it away.
Moccasins: I was trembling from fear thinking they would find him and smack me at the same time. Luckily, that didn’t happen.
Sneakers: How did you feel sheltering a mouse?
Moccasins: Scared but giggling under my breath because he kept tickling my insides with his whiskers while the family carried on with their search.
Sneakers: This is fun without your pessimism. Doesn’t that feel good? We have to learn to have as much fun while we are here because it can’t last forever. Dark times loom ahead too. And we have to learn to deal with both.
Moccasins: Like this virus that has put us all under lockdown. Hopefully the lady will go for longer walks with the dogs and I for mine when we see better days.