|Mr. Wong's Shoe Mart (standard:non fiction, 818 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Aug 17 2013||Views/Reads: 2928/678||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A story of a Chinese immigrant that operated a shoe mart for decades in a southern Indian town.|
Mr. Wong's Shoe Mart Subba Rao In India animal leather is considered unclean and unholy. At the airports check point, travelers are asked to remove their belts and shoes for security reasons; at Hindu temples the devotees were asked to remove leather belts, shoes or any other leather objects before entering the shrine because leather is considered impure and unholy since most leather comes from cows hide and cow is sacred. Though leather jackets, shoes, belts, bags, purses and other leather objects are purchased all the time, in Hindu culture people that make living in making or repairing leather shoes were at the bottom of hierarchical caste system, kind of untouchable in the sense people don't want to touch them, a totally different meaning in the west where untouchable means somebody too powerful. During communist takeover of China, few Chinese families escaped to India for asylum, one such family travelled all the way to a coastal southern Indian city to make living. Everybody called him Mr. Wrong; perhaps the local people have trouble pronouncing his real name Wong. For a Chinese he was very tall and sturdy. He was always in white under shirt with sleeves and a striped pajama pants. Mr. Wong operated a small shoe store right behind an unofficial bus stop; there was no standing structure as a shelter for people waiting for the buses, it was a busy street corner where the city buses stopped to pick up passengers. People waiting for the buses always gathered at the entrance to Mr. Wong's shoe store. Mr. Wong didn't like that; for every so often, he would come out of his store waving his hands in a funny way to disperse the people from the entrance to his store. People regrouped in front of his store for the bus anyway after few minutes. This was a regular scene and people were amused than get angry at his shenanigans. Mr. Wong's wife was short and chubby always in flowery pajamas like nursing staff in hospitals. Pedestrians walking past the store mistook her for a mannequin whenever she sat on a chair inside the glass showroom in the store front working steadily on shoes. Mr. Wong won the hearts of the people for making quality shoes at discount prices. Though locals never consider touching or shake hand with native cobblers, they shook hand with Mr. Wong and some even hugged him for giving a bargain deal on shoes. Mr. Wong though a Click here to read the rest of this story (73 more lines)
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