- Pangs of birth.
- Life in a rich man’s house.
- Life with a new master.
- Repairs and old age.
- Stolen by a thief from a temple.
- Sold to a bill collector.
My brother is lost. The tragic end. I was born in a dingy work-shop of a wealthy Pakistan shoemaker. My father’s name is well-known all over Pakistan and I am proud of my father especially when I think how he had to work in the teeth o competition of importers of foreign shoes. I had to pass through a series of painful operations before I was born. I was cut out from a calf’s hide and was made smooth and soft with much hammering and rubbing. Then I was cut according to measurement and the various parts were stitched with the aid of a sewing machine. After this I was fitted on a wooden frame and a bottom of thick hide was stitched to me. After a lot of painful hammering, stitching and sewing I was kept in the sun to be dried up. I was ready for exhibition and sale after I had been beautifully polished.
I had been kept in the show-room for some days, when on the inquiry of some customers, I had to be brought out and tried on the customers’ feet. But for some days the bargain could not be struck as my father demanded fifteen rupees for me and my brother, who was born at the same time as I was born, we were twins. Since then we have always moved together. A wealthy man once stepped into the shop and purchased us.
I think we were exceptionally lucky in starting our life. When we were purchased by that rich man, we always moved on carpets and clean marbles, or else we always moved in a luxurious motor-car rest before our turn would come because he had many pairs of shoes with him.
This sort of rotting on the shelf and doing nothing soon tired me and I longed to be on the even of an ordinary man if he would take me out on the road in the sunshine. I was feeling very solitary. My master gave me to his servant after some time. He was too proud of me and polished me regularly in the beginning, but latter on dust and mud began to be collected thin. My new master gave me, for repairs and once again in my life, I had to undergo the painful operations of cutting and stitching. There was no doubt that I was getting old.
My new master brought me out newly repaired on the new year’s day and took me to a temple. As he went inside, a stranger forcibly inserted his foot into me. I knew that he was not my master, but there is a curse on us that we cannot speak. Hence I had to submit to him in dumb helplessness, I came to know that he was a regular shoe-thief. He sold me for a rupee to some poor stranger on the street in the darkness of night. I must say that he was an honest man, but he put me to extremely hard work. I became weak and old. I wanted some rest, but as my master was a bill-collector, he had to move from door to door. This was a terrible strain for me. Once in the monsoon, as my master wanted to catch of local train, he jumped into a compartment, but in a great hurry my brother slipped from his foot. Before my master could get block my brother the train starte. Now. I have not only been deprived of my brother, but I am also rotting in the dark corner of the street alone without my brothers sole me in my old age.