Al-Avalathi's Life (Al-Avalathi is the last Mallu to go to the Gelf)
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Lost soles

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“And God,please don’t let anyone steal my chappals left outside”,this forms part of my prayer most of the times I go to temples.Most of the times,because the rest of the times there is a chappal keeper outside the temple.Gods have been kind to me,not always though.
Somehow,this fear of losing my footwear has been very dominant in my life.It still haunts me.

The computer centre in Warangal was* a chappal flicker’s haven.But,after losing your footwear once or twice, a place like Warangal seasons you.If you lose yours,you take someone else’s; you return if someone questions,else the pair is yours till your next visit to the computer centre.

A chappal less walk back home just adds to the misery of losing a pair.Discovering the loss brings in a sense of helplessness and anger.

Chappal counter

A temple chappal counter

Consistency has been my forte as far as losing chappals are concerned.I have been nice to chappal thieves;have lost to them even during train journeys.
During Warangal days, traveling in a group of over ten in a general compartment was always peppered with a sense of freedom and excitement.The excitement had to die down.I had kept my shoes safely and kept looking at them in between micro naps.Talk about timing,somewhere in between my winks I realized my shoes were no longer there.

Strange coincidences have also happened;like someone unknowingly flicking my pair for he had a similar pair placed next to mine.So,I ended up with a pair worth more or less like his, but totally off the size(or even age ;) ).

But,why do some steal one of a pair?Funny, but at a time I was left with right,don’t know what he did right though.

Looking at the feet of people in the crowd surreptitiously, in search of my lost sandals, is an exercise in vain.Even if I spot my sandals on someone,proving the ownership is difficult.

Whatever be the sole objective of these chappal thieves,loss has always been mine.

*CC in NIT Warangal could still be the same,it can’t change;CCs across campuses are like this :-)

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1 nikhilnarayanan (Nikhil Narayanan)No Gravatar { 12.31.69 at 11:59 pm }

On my blog: Lost Soles

2 vikramcs (vikramcs)No Gravatar { 12.31.69 at 11:59 pm }

Got to read about our dear Computer Centre in NITW after a long time. Simple Solution I followed- Only went during exams!

3 Arby KNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 12:01 am }

Never had a chappal stolen from me yet. Guess I’ve been lucky on that count. But there was this one occasion when I came close. It was a school excursion, when few of my friends kept their shoes outside a temple, near Bangalore or Mysore (Not sure). We were entrusted the receipt for the shoes, since we weren’t going in. While we wandered around the place, we managed to lose the receipt. Fortunately, we managed to trace it back on the street, so no harm done. :)

4 PratsNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 9:33 am }

Yeah I can totally relate to it. But what makes me burst into laughter is remember the way ppl used to protect CC’s in school and the college. No shoes inside, computer kharab ho jayenge. And I can’t help laughing we all believed it. Lollzzz.
How the times have changed? R u sure CC of NIT Warangal wud still ask u to remove the shoes b4 u come in? I am sure BIET wudn’t have changed they wud still have that damn shoe rack :-)

5 A Cynic in WonderlandNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 10:15 am }

..hehe. true. i remember as kids being made to wear cheap shoes and sandals to temples. also the obsession in trains whereyou spend half the night peering down to see if they are in place.

6 Tony SebastianNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 10:29 am }

Yep NITW CC is still like that :D

7 chutneyNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 11:05 am }

Tell me about it! I’ve lost chappals too. Apparently they steal the nice looking ones and sell it in the grey market. Why people would want to buy used shoes (complete with foot bacteria) is beyond me.

8 litterateuseNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 12:05 pm }

lol, I remember my grandad had walked barefoot to a “Bata” store right after a temple visit :D

(BTW, you just inspired my next Tweet. I know, I know it’s deliberate & style and all that :P)

9 scorpiogeniusNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 1:41 pm }

lol, good one there, you brought some memories back man, to be precise ONE memory from my Physics tuition class during PDC days. ;)

Some bugger stole my newly bought Bata from outside our tuition center sometime during the class. It was shocking, as I got it just a few weeks back. Thoughtful as he was, our Professor always kept a spare pair just in case…(yeah, this was another Warangal, notorious for chappal thieves!) But the sad part is that I lost a Bata and got back a Baba Chappal, half the size of my foot!

Well, it wasn’t funny then , even though we used to laugh over it for sometime! :)

10 Preeti ShenoyNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 2:45 pm }

heh heh heh..Gosh–now I miss the chappal leaving cermony! There is not a single temple here, where I live.

11 Nariyal ChutneyNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 2:57 pm }

My consistency in losing umbrellas in school is exactly equal to your consistency in losing chappals. Then I found a solution . I stopped using Umberllas . But it cannot be done in the case of chappals :) . BTW chappal thieves are a common phenomenon in the churches in Kochi as well.

12 MartinNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 4:14 pm }

This reminds me of the time when my friends chappals got lost/stolen/vaporised at church. The poor thing had to buy the exact make of chappals from the same shop where he bought his first pair, albeit for double the price!!
Me, I have a special pair of chappals reserved for such special occasions. Sometimes it gets me donations and notes asking me to please buy a new pair!!

13 pratsNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 6:14 pm }

lol!!! I remember those lines in my prayers too…and the furtive glances at the esteemed chappals all through the pradakshinams…Thankfully most temples I go nowadays have those stinky stands…but my chappals remain :)

14 GultiNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 9:03 pm }

haha… Good old days

15 DhanyaNo Gravatar { 05.06.09 at 10:37 pm }

lol but I have never lost any thankfully :)

16 PraveenNo Gravatar { 05.07.09 at 12:52 am }

I got the answer to the mystery of y people steal one chapal from Christopher Nolan’s brilliant movie ‘Following’.. It is to deliberately mess with our lives..a sort of sadistic pleasure :P..They find this more important than the actual act of stealing..

thoroughly enjoyable post :D

17 maxdavinciNo Gravatar { 05.07.09 at 2:56 am }

ok why do you have sponsoring you?

Is it just me, or nobody noticed?

18 DeeptiNo Gravatar { 05.08.09 at 10:16 am }

What a “soleful” post … The pain of loss comes directly from your “sole” :)

19 DevilNo Gravatar { 05.08.09 at 2:58 pm }

I am one among those lucky souls who never lost the chappals..
bt seeing ur situation, i think u will need lot more prayers n help all the gods……..

20 arunimaNo Gravatar { 05.08.09 at 4:40 pm }

I have lost mine too. :-( but in a function. People steal chappals in functions too.

21 DeepakNo Gravatar { 05.09.09 at 2:00 am }

Although I have not lost any chappals yet, I have this constant fear of them being stolen. The fear is at its peak when the pair is a new one.
When I was young, I was often caught between the dilemma of losing my chappals and facing God’s wrath for not removing them. Often, the fear of losing my chappals won :D

22 ushaNo Gravatar { 05.09.09 at 11:23 pm }

‘finders, keepers!’, they say.. but now we know what about the ones who lose.
we once had kids from a nearby orphanage come over to office for a day,n they had all similar chappals with their names written on the side of the soles..
it would atleast help prove the ownership!

23 Billigflug KanadaNo Gravatar { 05.12.09 at 4:59 pm }

Haha this is a really amusing story :D
And writing one’s name on the soles is at least better that nothing against the chappal keepers, isn’t it? But as I see most of you even have got used to the fear of losing your chappals, right?And I think it’s better to do so, because it will probably never change…

24 UshaNo Gravatar { 05.13.09 at 5:33 pm }

I have special chappals to wear on my trips to such public places. They are so old and ugly that no one will steal them. Or I leave my good chappal in the car and wear a pair of hawaii chappals up to the temple gate.
There have been occasions when I have had the single chappal experience too – like Cinderella’s prince someone must be looking for me

25 SalilNo Gravatar { 05.14.09 at 5:00 am }

I think you should hold a Press Conference immediately to announce about your chappal losing. And if you are lucky, you will have a few pairs thrown at you! It is the trend these days, you see.

26 KidoNo Gravatar { 05.14.09 at 11:25 am }

hehe :D

I shall pray to god for you… May those chappal thieves never trouble you again… May all their chappals be stolen…

27 KidoNo Gravatar { 05.14.09 at 11:25 am }

hehe :D

I shall pray to god for you… May those chappal thieves never trouble you again… May all their stolen chappals be stolen…

28 UshaNo Gravatar { 05.20.09 at 12:31 am }

Lost at least 3 pairs at the temple gates :)

So I know :) Better lost soles, na, than souls, though? :D!

29 andyNo Gravatar { 06.02.09 at 9:31 pm }

applause!! grt post!!! in my view, the chances that a frequent chappal loser being highly religious or temple sticky would be vry granny makes an excellent eg… after a spate of ill lucks @ the nearby temple.. thot of takin the menace head on.. went to chalai mkt.. bought 2 pairs of cheap, nearly identical, branded chappals(endorsed by kavya maddy), swapped th left of one with right of th other, and used it as an exclusive temple wear..she was quite sure that even god wont take it away. last heard her temple goin co. benchmarked her process. practical wisdom or thironthoram @ his best??

30 SalilNo Gravatar { 06.05.09 at 9:17 pm }
31 NikhilNo Gravatar { 07.07.09 at 12:44 am }

Thanks for thr tweet

Thanks machu.

I know this one,the computer kharaab jo jayega bit.
Same across instis I’m sure

Tell me about such train journeys.Have lost even after watching a pair all night.



LOL! Let me know when u find the ans/

ha ha.

32 NikhilNo Gravatar { 07.07.09 at 12:49 am }


Cherippinu vendi kaal murikkal-kaalinu vendi cheripp murikkal-reminds me of this.



Above all religious divides.



Good for us.Thanks for the comment.

Ya man,those days

:D I don’t believe ;-)

Philo! What did u smoke last night?

Shhh…lemme make some money dude :D
Frankly it has been a waste,took that off.

33 NikhilNo Gravatar { 07.07.09 at 12:56 am }

:D Find a sole-ution then.

How can it happen!! unfair!!

Chappal is a function of…err bad one, chuck!
Thanks for the visit.

Ho! Thank god u have the fear atleast.

Interesting info there.
Thanks for dropping by.

@Billingflug Kanada

Thanks for the visit.Im sure many have.

Namovakkam! :D Thall medikkum njan.

Thanks for dropping by and for the comment.

:D Ivide okke undo teacher?

Thalle! Thiruvandoram! Anno, vanakkam.Vannathin nandi.Bonji vellam kudichitt pona? :-)

34 KrishnamNo Gravatar { 09.27.09 at 11:30 am }

You know what, I was searching for a kerala sardine recepie and follwing some site I landed here. Wow, you are famous and everywhere.

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