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The assault of the boots

By Kishore Singh
March 22, 2018 10:27 IST
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'Closets brimmed and overflowed.'
'The dining cabinet was emptied to stock footwear.'
'They were thrust into bookshelves still in their wrapping.'
'It was like a boot plague for which there was no antidote,' says Kishore Singh.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

I am a somewhat reluctant expert on boots. I may not be familiar with their names, or the many brands that tout them, but on sizes I am somewhat of an expert.

I know they come in ankle length and calf length, those that end under the knees and others that are thigh high.

There are those you can wear to work, or to go to the mall, while party boots boast scary stiletto heels.

They come in leather, canvas, suede, various shiny materials and can be very light or very heavy.

They feature elastic, buckles, zips, tassels, though sometimes they can just be slipped on.

Uggs are so warm, you can barely air them in New Delhi's brief winter, but they're perfectly fine to wear in London or Paris, where it's freezing cold, though they're somewhat less comfortable to walk in in Moscow where the snowfall is breaking records.

There, snowboots might be in order, but that's a variety I'm unfamiliar with because my daughter doesn't own a pair -- yet.


Delhi's winter was, if anything, briefer than usual this year. Meanwhile, my daughter had gone online, selected boots in different colours and lengths, ordering them to be delivered at my office in New York, from where I was supposed to carry them back.

To say they occupied a sizeable part of my bags was an understatement. But, apparently, the lust for boots is insatiable. Never gratified with just a couple of pairs.

So, of course, more began to fetch up at home and in her shoe closet -- pairs that weren't taken out of their packing cases because the opportunity to wear them did not offer itself.

It was when my wife decided that she needed to revamp her wardrobe and order herself some pairs herself that we started, quite literally, to drown in them.

It is a truth, verily told, that older women tend to dress more avant-garde than their age would indicate, so my wife's choice included footwear with leather fringes and with beads, knotted ribbons and shiny baubles.

Her choice extended to pink and baby blue. There were studs and pins, buttons and other fripperies and frills too numerous to mention.

They were reminiscent of the fashion of the swinging '60s and '70s, even though the trend was more suited to those of a younger generation.

I sued for a ceiling on further purchases. Footwear was pouring in even as there was no more room for it.

Closets brimmed and overflowed. The dining cabinet was emptied to stock footwear. They were thrust into bookshelves still in their wrapping.

It was like a boot plague for which there was no antidote.

There were parties to attend, true -- but boots are hardly ideal to pair with wedding lehengas and sarees.

Now that spring is here, boot season is fading out. I can venture they'll have to be put into storage, which begs the question: Where?

Nor is storing boots easy. My daughter wants to make sure they remain free of creases, requiring shoe trees and paper rolls to keep them propped, which means that storage must increase exponentially.

You can't shove them into box beds, so I fear they're going to dislodge part of my wardrobe.

Meanwhile, with the cold wave continuing in the West, more boot fads are popping up in fashion magazines and on online sites.

"I simply must have that pair," I hear my daughter sigh.

I suspect, warm weather or not in Delhi, the assault of the boots isn't slowing down any time soon.

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Kishore Singh
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