Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
Read the personal experience of a girl, whose definition of beauty was limited to wearing heels. She discovered the real meaning through her father.
As a kid, heels fascinated me. I loved pumps, peep toe heels, platform heels, sling back heels, cone heels, wedge heels, ankle strap heels, this heel, that heel, any heel. I wanted to be like ‘that’ heroine in black cone heels. Wow! Fabulous she looked. I liked her appearance, which my intelligent-self deciphered was because of the high heels she wore.
Never mind the hours of makeup put in making that face presentable, the tons of foundation wasted in hiding the Gucci bags below her eyes, the effort put in getting her hair look so gorgeous. For my incredible mind, it was just about the heels. It was as if you wore the heels and you transformed from a plain-jane to a diva. I would squarely blame Cinderella for this illogical derivation.
My fascination towards heels was unknown to my father. Oh come on! Don’t be surprised. My family is a weird little world where every thought is scanned, mutilated and brunched before being rejected. Sure, 2 out of 1000 thoughts would pass but only because they were weirder than weirdest. Yes! to be part of our Universe, you had to have that uncanny quality which would throw you apart from others. If you’re the same like others, there is no fun. If you break the rules, then you may join the run. My father, the sun of our universe, had made it clear – unconventional is beautiful.
Don’t be what others want you to be, be what you want yourself to be. And this, I must confess, was the hardest job to do until of course, he gave us his second commandment. Coming to Papa, he knew everything about me. The chief culprit has to be my mother. Whatever went through her ears went through his. It was like telling a secret to your best friend with the customary warning – don’t tell anyone. The next day, anyone and everyone knows about your secret.
So for self-benefit, I hid the fact that I loved heels. And this is just the beginning of the problem. Shoe shopping is a gala affair in our family. This is one of those million moments, when our (bro and I) opinions are crushed and brushed aside by our darling parents. “Papa, I want those shoes which breathe,” my brother once said. My Dad, with a train of expressions running through his face said, “I thought only living beings breathe.” Brother said in a rather dry explanatory tone, “In this technology, shoes inhale-exhale air. So feet remain fresh.”
Clearly by now, after just two sentences, my dad has had enough, “For once and only once let me tell you this, only living beings inhale-exhale. If a certain sport company is telling shoes also do the same then they are making a fool out of you. Well, they don’t have to try that hard, you’re already ONE.” With last word he would raise his voice and make it clear, quite dramatically, he didn’t agree with us. Bro, being the rebel he was, would fight with all his might and end up with a pair of Bata shoes – black and beautiful. And I would be like – really, for all the drama you put up. Puff!!
Dad’s choices for me were simple and sober – Bata sandals for women with lightweight crepe sole. For once I wanted to get away with the authoritarianism and break the shackles of dominance, shout and say, “NO. I don’t want to wear this.” But I return home with a pair of Bata sandals for women. Bro and I are like the space dust in the universe. No one cares. Nevertheless, life moves on and we move on with our Bata shoes. Though plain and simple, I will agree they are comfortable. Comfort is the watchword of life. If life isn’t comfortable, it isn’t worth living.
Think about it, most of the choices, well almost all, are made keeping in mind this maxim. In parties, high profile or real, you’re generally asked, “I hope you’re comfortable.” Whether you are or not is another point of discussion but the maxim stays. For me, however, at that age comfort was fashion and fashion was high heels. I thought for a while and decided to ask Mom. Mom being mom, obliged. No drama, no cheese and butter. It was as simple as asking for a glass of milk. We went to a shop, this time it was not Bata, and brought my first pair of ankle strap heels. They were porcelain white.
OMG! Did I feel like a fairy? Or ‘that’ actress? I don’t know. If only I could express my excitement in words. It is a feeling which engulfs us when we get the unattainable. It is the joy we experience on getting our most cherished dream. It is that feeling when you realize – it was easy to get. And I was feeling an amalgamation of all this. For the next few days I was strutting in my ankle strap heels inside the house. I had to wear the heels all the time. I was scared to wear them outside. It wasn’t the fear of tripping but the fear of dirtying my precious porcelain white. For the first two or three days, I hid them from my father but afterwards I was so carried away with my prized possession, I didn’t bother. My father would look at me and smile; I guess he was waiting for a moment. And I sure gave him one.
In a ‘heeling’ turn of events, I tripped while I was carrying a bag full of books. The trip wouldn’t have caused a sore foot had I not worn my heels. But my idée fixe for the heels had bettered my reasoning potential. The pain was excruciating and I couldn’t see properly. For a moment I thought I lost my eyesight because of the trip. I so hated the heels. Later I realized it was because my eyes were full of tears. My mom grabbed me in her arms, held me close and asked me to ‘Shut up’. I was crying so loudly she was not able to concentrate on the next step.
She asked my brother to quickly get the crepe bandage which he, as usual, couldn’t find. I was thinking, look at these people, they don’t care. I might just die of a sore foot. They are superbly slow to respond. What if my leg is fractured? I need a doctor and not home remedies. Anyways, mothers don’t listen to Gods; I am so human. My mom got the crepe bandage and wrapped it around my foot. She slowly took me to the bed and asked me to lie down. I was so tired from crying that I quickly slept.
When Dad came in the evening, he saw a sore foot wrapped in a crepe bandage and a poor me lying on the bed. He wasn’t surprised. I think Mom already told him about this over the phone. He came to me and asked, “Where are your heels?” I thought – really Papa, you are asking about the heels! Of course, I never had the courage to ask him this question. I would be wrong if I say, my father is the best father in the world.
I think we all have best fathers in the world. However, what makes them cut across is what goes beyond the word best. I would say for my father it was humor. Though he didn’t laugh for the first fifteen minutes but he just couldn’t control his laughter and exploded like a bomb afterwards. He was laughing and imitating my posture and gait in high-heels. He could have been a little nicer to me, but I guess being direct was his style.
Later during the night, he came to me and said which I will remember until I die – There is nothing magical about heels. The strut you get while wearing heels is basically a reaction of the body trying to maintain balance because of a shift in the body’s center of gravity. Center of gravity is something you will learn more about. The point is not this. The point is you don’t need any external enhancements to look good. The goodness is in your thoughts. A person with good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.
You can have a crooked nose, a double-chin and fat arms. But if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunshine and you will always look lovely. Don’t waste your time in trying to imitate someone. Be what your thoughts are and nurture good thoughts. I am not averse to the idea of high heels. Wear them when you think you can handle them.
Wear them when you are confident, that you can deal with the pain afterwards. Wear them not to attract attention but because you want to wear them. Wear them when you are comfortable wearing them. If you are not, go back to flats. Just because half of the world’s population is strutting in heels, you don’t have to wear heels. Wear for comfort and not for fashion. Comfort goes a little longer in life.
I hugged my father tightly. It wasn’t the first time but a natural reaction. He understood my desperation to standout in the crowd but didn’t get bothered with it. It was his natural way to heal me. That night we didn’t sleep until it was four in the morning. It was a philosophical night and there were many more to come.
Today, after more than ten years, I have learned to walk in heels and even run in heels. But whenever I feel uncomfortable, I switch to my flats effortlessly. Heels or no heels, a mind filled with the nectar of goodness doesn’t need to seek attention. At this thought, I look at my black pencil heels sheepishly – should I or shouldn’t I? Let tomorrow decide!
Image Source – Shutterstock
First published at author’s blog
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