A memory sparked off by shoes…

The year, 1991. The place: Bhaidas Hall grounds, Mithibai College Annual function. The boy being awarded Student of the Year, future husband. It would take us six years to get there. I didnt know it then. Tall, handsome and the cynosure of all female eyes. But strangely nervous. I say strangely, because he had nothing to be nervous about. At almost six feet, he stood out in a crowd, and his swimming enhanced physique was to die for. He didnt know how handsome he was. He took my breath away. All decked up in blazer and tie, and, gasp, new shoes. Shoes he picked up all the way from the ground right upto my eyelevel to show off to me. “See, I bought new shoes today,” he told me. I see glimpses of the same dandy in his son today. I was shy, nervous and insecure. Girls who were perceived hotties in the college were handing him roses. One held onto his arm and refused to let go. He cut through the crowd around him, and stuck with me through the evening. It wasn’t a date. It sort of became one. He was called onstage to receive his award. From the stage his eyes searched mine. Dont go anywhere, he whispered before he ran onstage, I’ll be right back. Wild elephants couldnt have moved me from the spot.

I had just met him a couple of days ago. I barely knew him. I was yet to learn that the Richard Gere lookalike and projected confidence hid a nervous and uncertain boy. I would later learn he had saved up his scholarship prize to buy a new pair of shoes to impress the new girl in his life. Moi. I didnt know yet that I was the new girl in his life. You see, his father also expired when he was young. And his mother supported them with her pension. He looked good on export surplus. He dropped me home that night. And strangely, I trusted him enough to let him do that. And the only physical contact that happened was him gently pushing a flick of windblown hair away from my eyes.

He has enough shoes to fill a cupboard today. But he has never looked handsomer to me than he did that night, wearing those shoes.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published nine books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016), psychological thriller with Missing, Presumed Dead (2018) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. In 2018, she was awarded the International Women's Day award for literary excellence by ICUNR and Ministry of Women and Children, Government of India. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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23 Responses to A memory sparked off by shoes…

  1. eljo says:

    beautiful, simply beautiful…. rading this simply took my breath away 🙂


  2. Big zed says:

    Beautiful! Those memories are precious and vivid. I hope he saved those shoes.:)


  3. childwoman says:

    ok..I tearing right now..!!


  4. dipali says:

    Kiran ki bachchi, rula diya.
    That was really really lovely.


  5. "Sunshine" says:

    Thats was touching. How dear are these memories right ? and the way you made it so real it was amazing 🙂


  6. Cee Kay says:

    Swoooooooooooning at the love-story 🙂 How lovely! And here you are 12 years later – the “new” girl in his life.


  7. M says:


    wow – that was/is so sweet! What a lovely romance!



  8. Peridot says:

    Do you’ll still have those shoes?


  9. Kiran Manral says:

    Eljo: Thanks. Keep coming back.

    Big Zed: No he didnt. The shoes were not so important to me. It was his absolute innocent way of showing them off to me that had me. It was like a child showing off his new clothes. I see the same thing with Krish now. Here was this absolute hunk of a guy, chuffed about his shoes….I mean who even looked down at his shoes, I couldnt get past his face.

    Childwoman, Dipali: *Handing over a kerchief* Sorry.

    Sunshine: Its actually when I feel low and dejected that I bring out all my memories to run over and think of the good times…

    Ceekay: Actually, its 18 years later. This happened in Jan 1991. We were dating for six years before we married. We’ve been married now for 12.

    M: Thanks. He is a lovely man.

    Peridot: Sadly, no. My husband is the sort who chucks anything that is a little worn out. Miracle he hasnt chucked me out yet.


  10. Average Jane says:

    You are one amazing woman..stay that way.


  11. chandni says:

    Thank you for sharing!

    I am allsmiles and feeling warm inside 🙂

    Lots of love to both of you! And may the memory of the shoe story never fade!


  12. Cee Kay says:

    Well, DUH!! You have mentioned the year in the very first line of your post 😛 Guess someone wasn’t paying attention to the post while she was busy swooning over the story 😀


  13. Moppet's Mom says:

    Awwww… that’s one sweet story. Lover-ly!


  14. wanderella says:

    simply wonderful! i would love to see pics of u then and now. 🙂


  15. Kiran Manral says:

    Average Jane: No I am not. But thanks for thinking that. Am a very ordinary person.

    Chandni: When you guys hit the 12th year, am sure you’ll be narrating your own…

    Ceekay: Guess its Valentines season bug attacking even senior citizens like me.

    Moppets Mom: Thankie.

    Wanderella: Trust me you dont. It would be to the tunes of how the mighty have fallen.


  16. Awwww….Lovely! So romantic and straight-from-the-heart! 🙂


  17. d says:

    Very Sweet! The most romantic Valentine stories come from people whose relationships have outlasted the vagaries of time! Perspective makes them sweeter i guess.


  18. Unmana says:

    How lovely and sentimental!


  19. Nirmala says:

    Delurking to let you know that this post brought a lump to my throat and look my breath away. You write beautifully, and with great honesty, compassion, humour and wisdom. Love your blog, and look forward to watching you on television tonight!

    And yes, you do look startlingly like Tisca Chopra! You’re a VERY attractive woman, and I’m amazed that you can imagine otherwise! 🙂


  20. kiranmanral says:

    Nirmala: welcome here…thanks for liking what you read and keep coming back. Nope, this was one fluke photograph that makes me look halfway decent and so gets most airtime..LOL. Am pastyfaced and bloated in reality. But still incredibly vain about it.


  21. Nirmala says:

    haha…actually, i think i’ve seen more than one picture of you on your blog, and they’re all nice!
    and yes, i did watch the program yesterday – you were the sanest of the 3 panelists for sure! i wish they’d given you more airtime though, you gave the impression that you had lots more to say 🙂
    ps: c’mon, you are NOT fat by any atretch of imagination, and as someone else already pointed out, you have lovely hair!


  22. kiranmanral says:

    Nirmala: You do good things for my ego. You are amazingly right about me having lots more to say, and had said it all, and it all ended on the chopping board…Lots of gyaan on self and indentity crisis, and midlife crisis, and empty nesting, and Madonna, being queen of reinvention, examining whether one needs to reinvent one;s attitude to the relationship vis a vis just the mundanities of vacationing and very sexy perfume as the others were putting it.
    But alas….


  23. Pingback: Kiran Manral of Indiahelps, Thirtysixandcounting & CSAAM interviewed

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