"Nice shoes man!" an office colleague remarked pointing to the red and blue pair of awesomeness I was wearing.
"Finally, someone noticed!" I wanted to say but had to settle for a humble "Thank you so much" instead.
"Nice! How much?"
Now this was my favourite part. For someone as self-obsessed and narcissistic as me, this question was one of the biggest incentives to buy anything expensive.
"Well not much (just kidding). Just ₹13,000 (yeah, that's expensive. Now give me that awed expression already)" I say.
This is the point where eyes go wide. This is the point where they want to touch and feel your shoes. And this is also the point where they say "Bade paise aa rahe hain tere paas".
Parallels would be drawn between the cost of my shoes and someone's house rent. "Itne ka toh main khud bhi nahin hoon" someone with a self-deprecating sense of humour would say. "Yes, true that" I'd say to myself but merely nod on the outside.
For someone who loves shoes as much as me, all this appreciation is orgasmic.
Now I won't say that I have a cupboard full of shoes, but I take pride in the small collection that I have. More often than not, I spend a considerable chunk of my salary on a good pair of shoes. And yes, those ₹13,000 ones got me a lot of compliments.
Till someone showed me Nike MAG on the internet.
Now these shoes happen to be priced at $24,000. Which is ₹16,35,000 in Indian currency.
Or more, depending on when you're reading this article. Because inflation is a sucks.
But seriously, ₹16,35,000 for a pair of shoes! Just to put things in perspective, you can buy 3 Wagon R's, 2 iPhone 7 and still have money left to buy a large tub of popcorn while watching a movie with 3 of your friends (which you can comfortably sponsor) on a weekend.
So it's either that, or this pair of shoes.
Yep, just one pair.
So why are these shoes priced so high? Do they make you fly? Do they wash and iron your clothes? Will they do your assignments for you? Will they withdraw money from the ATM for you? Will they cook for you?
No. Turns out all they do, is self-tie themselves.
They were visualized in the 1985 film Back To The Future and became a reality in 2015. Also, if tying your shoes is your biggest concern, then for a princely sum of ₹16,35,000, you can actually hire someone to do that for you.
"Bhai tujhe itna problem hai toh tu mat le na!" I can almost hear you saying. And you have a point. Whether they sell it for $2 or $2,00,000 shouldn't be my concern. The buyers will always be there. Besides, even that kind of money wouldn't have guaranteed me a purchase. 'Cause they made only 89 pairs of them. Hence, you need to enter a draw via their website and then pray furiously for a pair.
My rant is a mixture of 10% regret and 90% FOMO. On one hand, I want these shoes badly. On the other, I know I just won't be able to afford them unless I sell both the kidneys of every person I know. On the third hand (yes there are three hands) I genuinely feel that no pair shoes should be priced so exorbitantly. Ever. There are a lot of salaried shoe aficionados like me out there who only feel disheartened after looking at a pair like this. Seriously. And I used to feel like a king wearing my ₹13,000 shoes.
Hence, it's my humble request to you Nike people. The next time you decide to fix a price for your shoes, just think of all those salaried people out there who go for a movie on a weekday to save money. Who order half-a-plate of momos instead of one to save money. Who borrow a sutta instead of buying one to save money. Who spend an hour searching for happy hours to save money. Just so that they can buy a nice pair of shoes.
*Makes a puppy face*