What was once Madras is now Chennai. So, it was only a matter of time before “chappals” became “sandals.” Once a lowly accessory that prevented feet from getting hurt, it has now morphed into a statement of fashion and affluence. I remember the days when buying shoes (inevitably in nearest Bata stores with inviting “Rs99.9999 only!” signs) involved only 2 things: size and price. Now, a whole lot of analytical data have to be gathered, processed, PowerPoint presentations made, urgent meetings set up, and budget plans drawn to find the right pair of shoes for the right occasion. And then there is the inevitable dread of some other female wearing the same footwear! Ah the difficulties of being a product of XX chromosomes are just one too many! Also, not a lot of people actually walk these days. So it doesn’t matter if every step wearing your new Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos is just pure agony. It’s fashion dahling! And that explains all the tottering and falling on the sidewalks of Chennai. According to (made-up!) statistics , every woman who walks wearing heels falls at least 40 times every year! Not very surprising considering the fact that even the few steps that Indian women walk literally on air (Nine inch nails is passe , welcome to nine inch heels!) happen to be on potholes, drainage lids that have not been fully closed,and broken slabs of concrete doubling as pavements. And for that I salute the indomitable spirit of Chennai women. We may fall, but we always rise up (and purchase another pair of heels on sale!). Move over Heidi Klum! Urban Indian heels is on its march!