my friend Patroclus (name changed, obviously), who had a shoe thrown at him by a classmate girl. (really!)
Wow, the list is increasing…Protest and Disagreement have a new form of expression, and I cannot imagine anybody more happy than my uncle M. Having conceptualized this idea of ‘shoe-throwing as a path to political reform’ late when I was still a kid, I am pretty sure, uncle M would have been the first one to execute it on a big stage, had somebody put him in the big stage in first place, maybe with a journalism tag or something.
Any political rally on TV screen, and after every promise of reform by the political leader, M would say, “Chappal maro saale ko! Kuch nahin karega elect hone ke baad” [which kind of translates to ‘He is not gonna do anything after he gets elected, so hit my brother in law him with slippers’]. M’s idea of worn out, torn out shoes to a massive social reform was not limited to his political discontent. Back when Indian cricket team was playing really bad, his solution was not change the captain or coach, but instead, “Saale har ek ko 100-100 chappal maaro, and phir field pe utaro” [Hit each player with slippers 100 times and then send them to play on field].
I heard M repeat these statements everywhere in every possible scenario; If the movie is bad, shoes should be thrown at director/actor (not the actress, no way!), If there is a traffic jam, shoes should be thrown at the head of Police dept., If kid in the neighborhood was bitten by stray dog, shoes should be thrown at the dog and Maneka Gandhi. While watching the movie, he even thought that throwing shoes at King Kong was going to work.
[PS: While writing this post, I had assumed that he would be the happiest guy after all this shoe throwing thing catching up big times in protest circles, but while talking to my cousin (M’s son), I came to know his reaction on the famous/infamous Iraqi journlist Muntather Zaidi, and here is the twister in tale, he said, “Saale ko chappal maro! Amerikkan rashtrapati pe joota penkh raha hain!” (Hit him(Zaidi) with slippers, (how dare) he is throwing shoes at American President)]