These Boots are NOT made for Walkin…
We left off at the culture shocked 17-year-old who had left her home 5,000 miles away to live in Pune – a.k.a. Me. My tear ducts had literally dried out at this point and part of me still wanted to run back home, but a bigger part of me just did not want to give up. I finally decided to give it a shot.
I had landed during the monsoons, and I kid you not, I’ve seen hail and snow but I had never seen rain this crazy! At first it was so romantic, with that beautiful earthy smell, but then it just got overwhelmingly gloomy and sometimes smelled like gobar. *wrinkles nose* Just like my initial water-works, these rains gave no signs of stopping, but I was prepared for this – or so I thought. I pulled on my biggest coat, covered my head with a cute winter cap, wrapped a scarf around my neck and pulled on my favourite faux leather boots. These were pointy boots that went up till just below my knees, had a small heel and something of a bow on the sides. They were adorable.
I felt pretty good till the minute I stepped out. My vision blurred by the heavy downpour, I ran behind the other girls to catch the bus. The bus stopped for what seemed like a milli-second, and all the girls seemed to jump on at once and cling to the door for dear life as it sped away, while I just stood there in horror. There was no way I was getting on that. I trudged away, sloshing through puddles to look for a riskshaw. I held my hand out to stop one, who splashed kichad all over my cute clothes in response. I finally found one, paid him twice the money to take me to my class only to reach super late in the middle of the lecture, and get sent home. *rolls eyes*
I returned to my hostel, looking (and feeling) like a wet sheep covered in muck. My woolen layers were soaked and heavy, and clearly the wrong choice, because I was still drenched and hot. The rain had shown no mercy on my favourite faux leather boots either, they were now caked in mud, tattered and peeling from the sides! As I threw them away, those boots signified the change in style and identity that was to come. It was time to pack away some of my spaghettis and dresses to make room for the more modest kurtas and practical wind-sheeters and plastic chappals.
I eventually started to figure it out though. I found cute jackets and shoes that would survive the rains. I learnt that it was NOT okay to walk in to Wadia College in a short denim skirt. But I also realised that sometimes their eyes would follow me even when I was covered head to toe in the most modest apparel I owned. So I learnt to ignore the stares that came with the slip of a bra strap on the shoulder. Pune monsoons are beautiful and romantic again but I still wouldn’t dare get on a bus!