A Man is Known by his Shoes
Tenzing had come armed today with an umbrella , yes! It was raining again in this part of the world . The summer hot air rises up during this time as the cool droplets of rain sponge on the earth and the dust on the ground . Trees regain their bright dark colours and the birds fly away into the comfort of their nests . The the flower petals turn. Inwards as if to protect themselves from showers . The streets become slippery as the traffic slows down , ones covering themselves with plastic sheets , cloth and umbrella run helter skelter to get shade under a roof or a shop on the way side . “ We need to see the rain , I think we should venture out of a while , just be careful walk slowly and watch where you are going .” He barked his orders before he took me under the wings of his blue umbrella , it looked like a ladies .” You see to understand nature , we need to understand life and understand that we need to understand water , in rain you can really understand water . The water on the earth table , in sea , ocean , river , ales ,canals and waterfall , evaporates due to temperature and heat , this water gets into the atmosphere as water vapour , which rises into the air and settled up in the atmosphere in the form of clouds that hover in the sky . These clouds are like mops full of water droplets and then they burst into rain falling down on the earth in the form of droplets of water .You see water sustains all ,w without water their is no life . Even in space man is trying to find out wether their are planets that can support human life , the first evidence towards that is , if you can find water on that planet .” He explained more like a geography teacher then a Bon monk .
The rain does something to the smell of a place , their was the smell of flowers and lime in the air the sir would turn muddy at times but their was a definite lemon , honey like smell all around .My shoes where wet and so are Tenzngs , the pot holes on the road and made some muddy water splash on my things and parts of my ankle . This was one hell of a break , I could see. Monkeys on either side of the road running into the bushes or taking refuge in the thick foliage of trees .
“ Water my Hindu friend it’s everywhere in streams and waterfalls all over the mountains infant they say the stream of this region are like milk when the fall from the mountains , the water is so fresh , why do you think the best apples in the world are grown in Himachal .” Tenzing knew his fruits . He posted to patches of farm and crop land in the hill tops ,” Those ares are where the farming happens , things like paddy and vegetables are grown to sustain us here in the monetary , again water is important to make sure the crop grow well and their is enough of fruit and vegetable to sustain all of us .” Indeed this amalgamation of the Hydrogen and Oxygen atom was amazing , along with air it was a vital component that sustained life ,” Well they say in Hindu philosophy we are made of five element or the panache tatva , Air , Water , earth , Fire and Space . The union of all these makes the human body or for that any other organism or animal .When death concours the five elements just evaporate into matter and operate into their own unique forms , the soul or the atman takes another form of being .” I was an expert in Hindu mythologies and my grandmother had read a round many such stories form the Purana’s and Geeta . So what that meant was that the form dies but the essence never dies , it just takes another from .” The clouds have gotten dark all of a sudden , it’s just early afternoon , it will not be easy to walk up with the road all wet , lets find a comfortable spot to sit .” Tenzing had been walking for a while and all this five elements talk had got him a bit tiered .
We found a small wooden shack one owned by a shoe maker who had two black umbrella’s open to give him shade and protect him from the rain . We ran near the. Shack and sat down an the wooden stool kept near by . The shoe maker was oriental , vey old past 70 years , he was working on fixing leather soul with his needle and there’d , he had some gum and some laces next to his feet , he was busy trying to fix the damn shoe and hardly looked at us at first .Then he gazed at us and with a sudden nod and smile invited us ,” I fix the shoes , I am a shoemaker , ,lot of tourist come here , most have bad shoes or their shoes break , help them and make their shoes shine again .” He was no doubt trying to sell is skills , but I was OK my. Shoes where fine a bit muddy and some of the rain water had gotten inside my socks also , but over all the condition of my shoes was perfect . Tenzing looked a bit concerned , the soul of his black leather shoes , which as more like a roman candle had chipped off and he had also broken a buckle . “ Now that needs repair I shouted , you get those fixed .” Tenzing opened his shoe and flung it at the shoemaker ,” Make it good as new .” Tenzing said like it was a. Command .
The shoe maker got going on the shoe with all his tools and with the knowledge of his craft , he chilled chunks to leather from the sole and stcikedt the buckle back , he used gum to paste the leather patches and then polished it to perfection , all this he did with all humility and total concentration , he was doing it perfect as if if was his prayer . I just gazed at him at time rain water would fall on his neck or cheeks , he would just wipe it off with non old twill and get back to work again .” You are very good in mending old shoes , I can see you have learnt the art of polishing well , was dedication towards a job not seen very respectable in our society , mean you are just a shoe shine boy .” The shoemaker gazed at me with soulful eyes ,” Yes you might see it that way but I see it very differently ,a s see myself as a man mending broken soles and shoes , a man making sure you walk straight , and without any discomfort . I give people a path a direction I help them walk , I add so much. More to their lives . I give men a direction .” A detailed explanation about the nobleness of being a shoe boy was given to me .Now that was a lofty idea , Wow never thought like that before , what ideals for such a lowly man , he was a shoemaker for godsakes , thinking he was given even a grand path and vision in life , he was saving poor souls like me who had no direction of clear path in life .
“ Yes you know a lot about a man form the way he wears and maintain’s his shoes .” He gazed at my feet no doubt trying to figure out what kind of a guy I was . I looked at my black leather shoes wet and muddy , but the soles still intact . I thin k I have kept my shoes well , they were not damaged at least I knew what. My path was . Or may be that was the lesson of the day for us , the shoemaker had hit the nail on the head , the lesson was a Man is Known by the way he keeps his shoes . It’s that simple and so very deep at the same time .