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My first encounter with Indian footwear shopping was because of a printed cloth banner. I looked for Hindi printed fabric to turn into a shirt/pant. No one of my new local friends seemed to tackle such request before, in India cool=English. Only garments printed Hindi are political campeign T-shirts, product promotion T-shirts, uniform such as school, marching band, cricket team and religious holiday or temple T-shirts or shwls.
I was determined, motivated by my advance in Hindi reading thanks to my chai shop teacher Ashish. And then it flashed!, every morning riding my bicycle through market street to Soma's chai shop I remembered the Paragon shoe shop banner. It was printed Hindi!
The seller was patiente enough to acomodate my pantomime request. My spoken Hindi haven't even sprouted yet. He was gone behind a curtain, came back with a folded banner and refused to take any pay.
For 60 Rupees (around $1) This banner turned into a fishermen pant under Ajai tailor skilled hands. He was the Chai shop next door neighbor.
I remembered the jooti dukan wala's (shoe shop owner) gift and returned. When I wanted to gift my Yoga teacher, who also refused to take any pay, I purchased a pair of similar chappals to the eroded ones wore. We also took a photo with the seller smiling while holding my new Paragon banner pant. They happened to say "good to walk in those" while an illustrated hand pointed at the groin.
Paragon chappals चप्पल textile banner and Hindi Pant by ajai tailor - जूते shoe dukan shop owner bazaar market street - Desi rubber slippers - Indian flipflops footwear story essay jpg photo paragonfootwear
In the story Barefoot recommended.
Also by Etan Doronne
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