Monday, January 12, 2015


Thought behind the Thought
The road is as easy or difficult as you decide to make it! If one is bothered about the potholes dug up at every few steps, the gravel spread on the road, the unfinished and unpaved surface, one is sure to be hesistant, if not disgusted at the thought of walking down the road. Ofcourse, wearing a good pair of shoes helps. At least, it buffers the impact of the rough surface on your feet and helps you go a little further than you would have gone with bare feet!
This is what I thought, one evening, when I was going down a particularly nasty patch of road. And I thought, isn't this just like the journey of life, where you have a very rough and unmade road to walk on? But if you take everything philosophically, it can buffer the impact, and help you walk farther! In fact metaphorically, you could only walk if you haven't got footwear on, but you can travel, once you put on your philosophy shoes.

Art, Craft and Design

Footwear has been an important element of the craft culture of various regions. Like the Kolhapuri chappals, the traditional footwear craft  of Maharashtra, India.

Kolhapuri chappals are Indian hand-crafted leather slippers that are locally tanned using vegetable dyes. Kolhapuri Chappals or Kolhapuris as they are commonly referred to are a style of open-toed, T-strap sandal which originated from Kolhapur, a southern district in the state of  Maharashtra.

According to historic records, Kolhapuris were first worn as early as the 13th century. Previously known as Kapashi, Paytaan, Kachkadi, Bakkalnali, and Pukari, the name indicated the village where they were made.

Official government documents state that in the late 1920s the Saudagar family developed an indigenous design of chappal, which was thinner than the original and had two side flaps, which gave it the name "Kanwali" or a chappal with ears. It also had a decorative upper. It was sent to Bombay and was noticed by J.J. and Sons, a prominent footwear retailer in South Mumbai. They ordered 20 pairs of new designs of Kanwalis and sold them in Bombay. The increased demand for Kanwalis had prompted Saudagar family to teach the skill of making these chappals to others. 

Originally made from buffalo-hide and thread, they weighed as much as 2 kilos because of the thickness of the sole, which made them durable despite the extreme heat and mountainous terrain found in the state of Maharashtra.

Kolhapuri Chappals are very comfortable to use and are also believed to be good for health (eyes, back pain, diabetes etc.). For instance, one of the famous Kolhapuri chappals i.e. Kolhapuri khas kapsi chappal reduces heat of the body. These chappals are usually free from all allergic properties unless if the wearer is allergic to specific types of leather.

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