Translation of Hindi story Dhanywad Chappal. May you wish to read the original Hindi version, please Click Here.
After wandering all day in the sweltering heat, when I return home in the evening, the first thought that comes to mind is to wash and take a rest. I too just took off my shoes and went to the bathroom wearing my slippers. All of a sudden, the lace of the slipper broke. I slipped and managed to stand back from falling. In a fit of rage, I took off that slipper. Hit that as if I had some old enmity. Abusing the slippers, I threw them on the porch, outside the house, to one corner.
I turned back to the bathroom again. It felt like someone was calling me from behind. Somebody was saying to me, “Hey! you should thank your slippers at least.”
I looked back. No one was there. I felt like an illusion. Ignoring the voice, I went ahead to the bathroom and started washing my hands.
The voice came again, “Gentleman! you would have said thank you to the chappal.”
“Who is there?” I looked back again. There I was, standing by myself. Maybe I was talking to myself. Possibly the voice was coming from somewhere inside me.
“Slippers aren’t alive. That is no human to whom I go and say thanks” I said with frustration.
“Well, If you threw it like a human being, and got angry in the same way, abused it the same way. Then how did it become a slipper in apologizing or thanking?”
It seemed logical. My mind too became restless to argue with my conscience.
“So, according to you, it is not a slipper, but a living creature?”
“Exactly! I think it has the same sensitivity as a human or a living being. Remember when you were going to throw that slipper out. How bitter you were in your heart. How did you abuse? When you were doing this, did you, even for a moment, think that you were talking to an inanimate? Or doing this ridiculous act of talking to a lifeless slipper? Then in your mind, it didn’t come; that it was just a non-living slipper, not any living thing or creature. Your anger towards it was the same as it would have been for a living being.”
“If you get angry, on whom do you yell it out? If my foot slips because of the slipper, whom should I abuse?” My temper was going up to the seventh heaven. But my conscience was speaking to my mind calmly. Taking a deep breath, he continued with his talk.
“It’s not my point whether you say it to slipper or not. That is not what I meant to say. I just want to say – if you say good or bad to a lifeless slipper, then surely your mind must have had some effect. That effect could be good or bad, whatever. As far as I understand you must have got bitterness in your mind.”
“Brother, the bitterness flew away actually and the mind did become lighter.”
“Exactly! That’s exactly what I am saying. Its reaction has been the same as if you are talking to a living person or a creature. I just want to say that the way a broken slipper slipped, and you abused it. Did you thank it at the last moment of slipper today? I wish you thanked it today at its last moment. Say – thank you chappal! I am very grateful to you for supporting me for so many days. You suffered such a heavy load. Saved me from many thorns and sharp objects. Moreover, you saved me from slipping till today. I want to thank you for all this.”
“The limit is reached! Does anyone say thank you to the slippers too? Is it not too much?”
“I don’t think so. If a slipper can be abused, then it can also be thanked for good service. I want you to go now. Pick up the slipper with respect and say thank you slipper! I also thought what is the harm in this. Let’s say thank you. See what happens right.”
I came out to the place where the slippers were lying. Despite the conflict going on in my mind, I thought that let’s say thank you to the slippers today. All those scenes swirled in my mind, like a movie, the first time I had ordered that slipper online. No matter how old anyone becomes; there is always the joy of getting new clothes and new footwear. I was very happy to get the new designer slipper. Wearing it and going to the market did not feel bad. I wore it a lot at home and outside too. The slipper was so comfortable that it did not feel good to wear shoes after wearing it. I got emotional thinking about it. I wanted to say thank you but tears flowed out of my eyes. Not a single word could come out of me. I picked up the pair of slippers, took them outside, and immersed them in the recyclable trash can.
While coming back to the house, the conscience asked – how did you feel? I couldn’t speak anything and went inside silently. After that day I felt a change in myself. If you also want to feel that change, then definitely say thank you to your slipper once. It is not necessary that your slippers are broken. You can also say thank you to your current serving slippers. The result will astonish you.