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I hope the Prime Minister is a shoe person because Delhi is definitely the fashion capital basking in the afterglow of the successful 25th edition of Amazon India Fashion Week. Goa’s Fashion and Lifestyle writer ETHEL DA COSTA believes Indian pavements need to be shoe friendly, because shoe control is like women’s empowerment. It makes us sure footed. 

Who could forget Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw proclaiming "Hello, lover!" to a pair of shoes in a store window? 

I’m back from the mall. My plastic has been taken to the laundry and back, and how. As I walk into my home greeted at the door by Fifi (our male cat and I’m beginning to think turning gay soon) wagging his threatening-to-fall-off tail at full throttle speed rotate, at my bags laden with shoes, make-up, accessories and other killer purchases that could put a 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. 

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 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 (wink). Who cares about pain when you step out all dressed up on to rickety pavements we call Indian footpaths by our city authorities, who I’m guessing don’t wear high heels?! 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 if you miss your step?!! Have you seen how Goan footpaths have become pedestrian nightmares, ever since bikers on speed have been taking out the fellow man and woman walking home, or taking a harmless stroll post a night meal?!! None of the roads and their sorry pedestrian toe-breakers 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 Trax tourist tempos who think an easy shoulder-brush could always be blamed on your tottering posture, whilst we manoeuvre already narrow foot roads. Rowdies who have no fear for our local laws or cops — who are on chai breaks anyway — even whilst Dial100 perpetually rings a shrill siren stating crimes against women in India have gone through the roof and off the Prime Minister’s election manifesto. Our roads have turned into killer Mad Max highways with psychos high on testosterone than alcohol. Good that the RTO is now locking up parents along with their crazed juveniles who still wear teenage diapers yet ride super bikes their insecure, flashy parents buy them. Go feed the poor instead, people!

Like every working citizen, I battle tuktuk woes every single day, heels or not, to work and back, even as the Transport Department dilly-dallies on whether enforcing meters would ease out daylight travel ransoms we poor Goa public-transport-users are forced to bear, to reach from A to B. With no political will or spine to show that they mean business, lest the vote-bank lose favour, Goa’s political machinery swings to save face and gout, each time a petty local brawl does a Russian Roulette (seriously pun intended), backfiring on the already struggling Goan economy. 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. 

If you are partying up North, 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 with DJ Norman Doray, a bunch of hysterical girls did furiously hop dance and fist pump with shoes in hands, while I wondered if “mind-your-head-on-the-dance-floor” should perhaps be a cautionary club checklist. DJ Doray killed it with his energy and record chartbusters, while the same bunch of women were found behind closed doors in the ladies’ spilling their guts into the 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 a series of glitter flip-flops 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. Calls for a booby trap. I hope the Prime Minister is a shoe person, because Delhi is definitely the fashion capital. Could he pay heed to the quality of footpaths? Shoe control is like women’s empowerment. It makes us sure footed. Cheerio darlings.

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