This short story by Uttaran Das captures a beautiful relationship where love, humour, and a pinch of suspense always keep the fire burning strong.
At first, it was only one box of shoes. It arrived on a Monday morning and was addressed to my husband Utsav. He was not at home; he was not even in the country. Utsav was in Europe, promoting translations of his book The Magic Typewriter. Tearing open the polythene packaging, I took out a pair of tan Oxford brogues with a two-tone burnish effect. They were beautiful. Utsav’s shoes are always well-polished, clean, I thought. This was one of the things that had attracted me to him. If a man took such good care of his footwear, it revealed something about him, and though I could not put my finger on exactly what it was, I knew it to be something good. While I was thinking of all this, the coffee went bitter: I had left the Moka pot on the gas too long.
A second box followed later in the day. It had a pair of matted black monk straps. Then came a third (sneakers), a fourth (longwings), a fifth (whole cuts)—a whole avalanche of shoeboxes, each containing a size nine, filling up an empty corner in our drawing-room. Since the sixth box, every subsequent one had aggravated my alarm. I wondered where I was supposed to put all this. Utsav had not given me a head-up or anything.