Platty is the nick name for one of my son’s classmate.

Platty for Platypus.

When my son told me that everyone calls this child Platty I didn’t really understand why. He did try to explain that Platty wears shoes that are really too big for his feet and he walks like a platypus. But I wasn’t interested in the explanation because I didn’t want my son to call anyone names, besides who would get their son to wear shoes that are too big in this day and age? I  told my son that under no circumstances will he join his friends and call anyone names!

On the day of graduation, all the kids had to stand in a line and walk up to the stage to get the award.

I noticed the way this particular boy walked. He was very skinny and very short and he was walking as if he was slapping the ground with his a platypus. I looked at his feet to see what is wrong with his feet and noticed that he was wearing a size 9 shoes ! ( my son is a big boy and wears size 8 shoes and this boy’s shoes were bigger than my son’s) .It occured to me why they call him Platty !

My family was no way poor. My father earned a substantial amount of money, but my mother wanted to stretch the dollar to infinity..and one of the things she did was to buy shoes/sandals that were few sizes big that she hoped, I would hopefully grow in to it.  ( better economic sense ! instead of growing out, you grow in to it.. see how you can stretch the value of the dollar?)

I remember how my friends laughed at me when I wore the horribly ugly bata sandals that were too big for my tiny feet. I couldn’t participate in any sports because my sandals would come off my feet every time I ran.

I did what I could to stop the torture. I used a blade and slit the strap off the base and told my mother my sandals broke. Unfortunately my mother was smarter. She heated  a kuda kambi over fire ( metal part of the umbrella) and melted the (cut) edge of the of the slipper and glued it back. If the slipper was ugly before the surgery, it was uglier after amma’s handiwork. And I learned a lesson that day. That I would never do the same to my children.

My son needs a new pair of shoes every term. Not because he outgrew the previous pair, but because the shoes are no longer built like a tank and my son is not known for taking care of his stuff!

But I chose to have children and the least I could do is to not to torment them. Every child has a right to wear shoes that fit.

Get ready to cast your rocks my way..because the boy who wore shoes that are too big for his feet is Indian and this idiotic phenomenon is only seen among Indians. As usual every time I write about Indians, hackles are raised and the messenger is shot !


3 thoughts on “Platty

  1. My parents did it with uniform shoes when i was really small. They used to stuff it with some old cloth i think. I don’t blame them much- money was scarce back then and they just wanted it to last a year. Stopped it once i started growing drastically. Or May be when i became big enough to protest.
    With my son, i have another problem. I usually buy shoes and clothes whenever i see decent ones on discount – when it is far too big for him. Don’t want to spend 1700 rupees on a 4 year olds jeans! I don’t intend him to wear them immediately – but he wants to. These days i hide it.

    • Shij: This particular mother drives the latest Audi A4 and the father is a senior govt employee! It is not about not having money, but idea of not ‘wasting’ money.

  2. Same here..
    I was a little shocked when I saw a child wearing a shoes may be 2/3 times her size in my church.. I just couldn’t understand why? They want to save at the expense of your child’s dignity? Yes, Indian.

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