Back from a relaxing week in Goa. About the worst thing that happened in this week after the terror attacks in Mumbai was the theft of my flip flops outside of the Francis Xavier chapel. I was shocked – having been born in India and visited many Hindu temples, this has never happened to me before.
When we arrived at the church doorway and there was the familiar sight of scattered slippers, none of us knew quite what to do. My friends were suspicious of this idea immediately. Who takes shoes off at a church? Hindus who are taught from the minute they can stand that feet are dirty. In removing their shoes, those that had come to admire the church had given it the first sign of respect they knew of.
But my friends, spotting some other violators, opted to keep theirs on. My husband and I, by Asian default, meekly took ours off. He placed his shiny white Nikes (bought during our last vacation in Hawaii) in clear sight and hovered protectively over them.
My on summer sale Aerosoles, bought for an afternoon’s relief while tramping through the shopping district of New York, were not so lucky.
I felt funny about the theft – no reaction – even though everyone else was angry and wanting me to get riled up. Luckily one of our friends had an extra pair of flip flops which I put on for the rest of the afternoon.
Having full knowledge of the dozens of shoes in my closet and the hallway and downstairs by the door and these being neither my favorite nor sentimental, I couldn’t get riled up about the shoes.
And looking around at the poverty, I couldn’t blame someone for taking them.
I hope they serve their wearer well.
According to my sister and brother-in-law and Indian co-worker, this is not an unknown occurance, as I related the tale. They each in turn said, "Yes, that happens."
Apparently this was just the first time I had worn a pair of shoes worthy of stealing.