Next week it will be five months when I finally hung my black suede shoes. They were part of my professional journey for over a decade and a half now. The shoes travelled with me from Chennai to Pondicherry (Though now Puducherry, I love it by its former name) to Hyderabad. It also flew with me on my first international assignments to Paris and then Amsterdam and numerous trips in India.
I had always loved a good pair of black leather shoes. Don’t be surprised if I tell you that my favourite style to my undergraduate college days consisted of black trousers, a good white or sky blue half sleeves shirt paired along with a laptop briefcase bag and yes, a good pair of black suede shoes. No, I was not in any management college at that time. Though, the shoes followed me to my management college too and obviously stuck with me faithfully in my professional career.
The black suede shoes gave me a sense of pride, motivated me to be disciplined and be consistent. Probably my love of black shoes started after looking at my father who diligently polished his black leather shoes every day while he served the Indian Air Force.
Well, I finally hung my loved shoes in the June of 2021.
First, it was the pandemic that started creating a gap between my feet and those shoes which took me to places. It was an eye-opener. As days passed working from home sitting on my study table from morning 9 to late evenings until dinner time (every other day), I was slowly getting distanced from those shoes. I never realized that what I desired or better fulfilled my life could be achieved with or without wearing them. As the nationwide unlock process was initiated I was slowly getting attracted to floaters, sports shoes, the brown wildcraft leather shoes and even the underappreciated rubber slippers.
As time went by, I realized my mind and heart was not there where it should be. It never was. I was just enjoying the perks which came associated with (every month) them. It was my drugs. The salary credits every month.
The last 5 months have been personally terrible, professionally it was like I was in some vipassana. I’m short of words to share the emotional void after losing my mother. Slowly with time, we are learning to grow around the pain. Professionally, I’m very very satisfied. These past few months have been the best part of my life. Cycling in peace till 8:30 am yet sticking to the timetable of re-learning branding from the London Business School through Coursera. Getting enrolled in a masters course in Psychology (I realized how much I love this subject after graduating in science), developing a framework that always excites me – helping startups and SMBs. I’m just setting my sails up.
New things are happening. Coming soon…
PS: My black suede shoes after months of being in the cupboard have got a little mould. As I write this, they are basking in the sun.