The Stiletto Diaries

Chasing Charles & Keith

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I’m back from Bangkok. My Platinum Visa has been taken to the laundry and back, and how. As I walk into my home at 4.00am from the airport, greeted at the door by Cici, Mimi and Fifi (the home committee feline entourage), my luggage laden with shoes, make-up, accessories and other killer purchases could put an ordinary government salary to utter shame. I’d be close to living on sandwiches for the rest of the month. A strange kick in my brain has sent out all my girl hormones into a `happy feel good’ tizzy. I’ll wake up to a heartache in the morning with the bills my madness has cost me. But Oh boy!! Who cares about tomorrow. For now, I love the afterglow.
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If `Sex and the City’ made shoe obsession an accepted norm for the seriously addicted to stiletto victims, I’ve set the bar madder by choosing general well-being over losing control like a manic who needs her fix at the shoe store, so God help the attendants around me. Who, I suspect, secretly love the puppy face when they see me caress a heel like a baby just fed, discuss stitch over zip in detail, explain platform over comfort and pin thin heels over spine spinning issues. Which are a plenty in Goa, if you know what I mean. Who cares about pain when you step out all dressed up on to rickety pavements the municipality calls footpaths, right?!! No matter that you could lose a toe, break an ankle, twist your torso out of shape, or worse, fall on your face and permanently achieve brain damage and a broken nose?!!

PEDESTRIAN NIGHTMARE
Have you seen how our Indian footpaths have become pedestrian nightmares, ever since bikers and drivers on speed have been taking out the fellow man and woman pedestrian walking home, or taking a harmless stroll post a night meal?!! Yes, even whilst safely walking on footpaths provided by our city authorities, who I’m guessing don’t wear high heels!! None of the roads and their sorry paved toe-breakers in Goa, are shoe friendly. Least of all for women. You can imagine our plight when eyes-glued-to-the-footpath-lest-you-break-a-glitter leaves you an open target to tourists in Tempo Trax who think an easy shoulder-brush could always be blamed on your tottering posture, whilst we maneuver already narrow foot roads. Pfft!! Drivers have no fear for our local laws – have you seen how they take corners with a sidelight warning or hand signal – even whilst Dial 100 perpetually rings a shrill siren stating crimes against women in Goa and India have gone through the roof and off the political election manifesto.

NO WILL NO SPINE
Like every common citizen, I battle tuk-tuk woes every single day (same same Bangkok), heels or not, to work and back, even as the Transport Department dilly-dallies on whether enforcing taxi meters would ease out daylight travel ransoms, we poor public-transport-users are forced to bear, just to reach from A to B. With no political will or spine to show that they mean business, lest they lose favour with the vote-bank, Goa’s political machinery swings to save face and gout, each time a petty local political brawl does a Russian Roulette or is it Nigerians now (very seriously pun intended). Forget that with all the potholes you could actually break a vertebra (did somebody blame high heels?), or, worse, make Spondylitis your ex mother-in-law who just won’t get run down by a bus. You wake up with a semi-permanent pain in the neck, wishing instead a stiletto to the head would perhaps be a better idea.
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PARTY POOPER
If you are partying up North Goa, ladies, wear heels that come undone pronto. Comes handy when the urge to hit a leach tourist presents itself. I advice fling it anyway. Though at a recent party at Goa’s favourite night club `Mambo,’ a bunch of hysterical girls did furiously hop dance and fist pump with shoes in their hands, while I wondered if `mind-your-head-on-the-dance-floor’ should perhaps be a statutory cautionary clubbing checklist. The DJ killed it with his energy and record chart-busters, while same bunch of women were found closed doors in the `Ladies’ spilling guts into toilet, as I made a hasty retreat for fresh air. The things these tourists put you through!!
As I’m writing, Fifi is watching me with loopy eyes. Having chewed through an old glitter flip-flop like a mental, I have safe vaulted my heels out of reach, can’t say for how long. Karma is a bitch, warns my daughter with a smirk. I make a hasty note.

I hope the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a shoe person. Could he pay heed to the quality of our roads and pavements throughout the country, especially Goa, like hello!!
Shoe control is like women’s empowerment. It makes us sure footed. Cheerio darlings.
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Ethel da Costa
Fashion & Lifestyle Journalist, Founder-CEO, Think Geek Media

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