You know it's official summer in India when everyone takes out their favourite pair of chappals.
Come on, ya'll know what I'm talking about. We all have our favourite pair. We, Indians, harbour a certain kind of love for chappals that no amount of brogues, bellies or Oxford shoes can replace.
In fact, a chappal has multiple uses within the Indian culture. Who remembers their mother, aunt or dadi threatening them with a chappal in hand?
It is perhaps the 'Chappal khaani hai?' that has systematically suppressed the childhood rebellions of several Indian kids.
All the elders in my house had a pair of the blue-strapped rubber chappals that doubled up as the weapon that kept me from being too mischievous. And I'm sure this is how it goes in every middle-class Indian household: an elder threatening with a chappal in their hand and your heart engulfed by fear. Stops you dead in the tracks even today, doesn't it?
Isn't this the same chappal that was more scary than any other artillery?
And that's why we, millennials, had our own answer to the long-lasting rubber chappal: the Osho chappals.
They were pretty AND comfortable, a rare combination for a pair of slippers that can be worn for a day-out with friends or family. Moreover, you could get yourself a pair in just about 100 bucks!
We would wear them out real quick because those were the chappals we'd be wearing everyday. For playing or till the bathroom, the Osho chappals became indispensable.
The Osho chappals have now joined the Bata chappal in terms of its vintage value given that there is a whole variety of chappals available to us now.
There are so many colours and designs available that all desi millennials can manage to hoard chappals now. In fact, for all those ladies who have wanted comfort with fashion, there are the rubber wedges! You can get yourself the Kohlapuri chappals for ethnic days and a simple slider chappal for the days when you want yourself to go urban.
In fact, if you're a true street shopper, you probably already have a collection of chappals to boast of. It isn't just the variety with these street shops, it is the prices too. For a footwear that has changed form, the chappals have stayed financially loyal to the middle class Indians.
Therefore, even with the horrific tan lines that they give us, we still cannot stop wearing them. It is the comfort they provide, and honestly, it makes me wish we could just slip into our chappals and come to office.
In fact, all Indians have their favourite pair of chappals. And losing them gives most of us separation anxiety as we move from one room to the other, asking everybody around, 'Tumne meri chappal dekhi?'
Comfortable and easy on the pocket, the chappals are truly the best Indian footwear. No matter how many fancy shoes we spend money on, no branded heels or loafers will ever match the happiness that walking around in your favourite slippers can give you.