With the reluctance of the lazy suburbian, I ventured out into Bangalore city. I had to get print outs of the cover of my about to be published novel, A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage, select the best version and pack it off to the publisher in Delhi.
Since there was no way to delegate the job, I got ready. After weeks of bare footing in Yehlanka, I put my feet in two black prisons and got on the bus. I stumbled as I climbed it, I lost my balance twice inside. And after that the whole afternoon my feet complained, they were feeling too hot and stiff.
Pavan and I both chose the cover with a grasshopper sitting on a mountain that is floating in the sky, held up by a peepal leaf. The back cover has a woman's pallu spiraling above to become a cloud, while she stands barefoot on top of the mountain. The grasshopper is bare foot too, btw.
Then we went to a DTDC courier and kissed the envelope goodbye.
And then, as soon as we got into the auto, I opened the gates to freedom. My toes wiggled happily.
'Aai, you better wear the sandals for the bus, ok?'
'But why, shona?'
'You may get hurt, no.' he cautioned.
'Don't worry, tukru. We will take a bus that is not so crowded, ok?'
'Ok, but be careful, ok?'
'You will protect me, no?'
'Yes Ai. I will protect you but then you must listen to me. You cannot do cheating and run ahead.'
There is nothing much to write about what happened after, as it was uneventful. No one noticed, the bus conductor did not refuse us entry, we got off at our stop laughing and when he saw his crazy mom enjoying bare footing, the kid also removed his sandals and skipped along homeward, nange pair.