Abhisek's loved Deepika Padukone. Because, according to him, she had the most beautiful feet in all of Bollywood.
Beautiful feet. There was something about feet that he found extremely attractive. He always thought it was weird. When his friends would be ogling at women's pictures, he realized he was the only person who would be looking down at the feet. But he had managed to keep it a well-guarded secret.
"Damn! They are so big! I love them!" his friends would say.
"Ya... yes! Me too!" he would lie.
But this was just one of the 2 well-guarded secrets that he had. The second one was his curse. His feet. They were the ugliest feet he had ever seen. It was something that would give him sleepless nights. He would always wear footwear that would cover up his entire feet so that nobody saw it. It was his second well-guarded secret.
Sometimes he wondered if his love for feet was what made him change his place of work. From being a salesman at a dress store, he had become a salesman at the shop across the street that sold women's footwear. He would tell people and convince himself that its because of the pay. But he secretly feared that it was solely because he had watched the salesman at the store getting to look at the beautiful feet of their customers. He would spend all of his free time just gazing at the shop like a hungry little child while the lucky salesmen would hold and caress his customer's beautiful feet. He had always felt a tinge of jealousy.
Once he had made the jump, he felt he was living the dream. Of course, not all the feet were to his liking, but at least once in a day, he would come across a pair that would make him look at them in utter shock as to how beautiful they were. He would try harder to please the owner of those feet. He knew they would come back if he pleased them well enough.
He never took a day off. His new boss loved him and would even point him to the other salesmen and ask them to be like him. He felt he was born to do this job.
He wasn't exactly boyfriend material, but that never seemed to bother him. The last relationship he had was during his high school days. He had gotten used to living by himself. Sometimes he does try to chat up with the customers with the extremely attractive feet, but that never seemed to lead anywhere near a relationship.
His parents made a surprise visit one day. They had a secret agenda on their minds. They told him to get dressed in his best clothes, and they took him to a house. He realized he was going to see his possible future bride. Arrange marriage was the norm. He was very nervous. He wished his parents had given him a heads up to mentally prepare himself for this, but he understood their drastic measures. He had been avoiding the topic of marriage for years. He guessed they knew this was the only way to get him to come along.
It was customary for the boy and girl to talk to each other in private for a few minutes. Abhishek was nudged by his mom to go to the verandah where his possible future bride stood waiting.
As he walked out to the verandah, the first thing he did was to look at her feet. He was struck with awe. She wasn't wearing any sandals, and her feet were the most beautiful pair he had ever seen!
That's when he heard her say,
"Ahem, my eyes are up here."
Abhisek snapped out of the trance and quickly looked up at her face. May be he had an awkward look on his face because she burst out in laughter. It was the most embarrassing moment of his life.
A month later, they got engaged.
They used to chat over phone a lot, and they would go out on dates every weekend. The dates were the most exciting part for Abhishek as he would get to see her beautiful feet again. She seemed very romantic and would always walk with her arm in his and would hold his hand when they sat together, but Abhishek was starting to get anxious. Anxious that she would think he was weird if he ever told her about his secret.
3 months in, on a lunch date, sitting across from her, he removed his shoes and looked down at his ugly, very insignificant-looking feet in shame. He was expecting her to scream in horror and leave him right then and there, but she just sat there and said nothing. After a few moments, he gathered the courage to look up at her face. She looked back confused.
"My feet are ugly." he said trying to emphasize the point.
"I..... I dont care..." she said confused. Abhishek was taken aback.
"Your feet are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen." he said after a moment's silence. He was expecting her to scream in horror and leave him right then and there, but she just blushed. She took hold of his hands and said,
"You got the most beautiful hands I have ever seen. I have always loved hands for some weird reason!" she said laughing.
"Hands?? Whats so beautiful about them!?" he snapped. He didn't get it. How can someone love hands? Its like 5 pieces of meat stuck together. How can it be beautiful?? She seemed close to tears. As if he had said something horrible to her. The rest of the evening, they tried to talk about other things, but the awkwardness was palpable.
A few more days of awkwardness followed. They rarely talked. Abhishek would sometimes message her a good morning or a good night, and she would reply the same and that was it.
Abhishek was starting to get the feeling that may be this wouldn't work out. He was wondering whether he should just break it off.
Then one day, out of the blue, he got a picture message from her in Whatsapp.
It was of her feet. Her gorgeous, beautiful feet.
She had painted the nails and drawn some mehendi designs. It was as if she was trying to make them more presentable. For him.
It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen! The next thing he knew, he was taking a picture of his hand and sending it to her.
She replied with a kiss emoticon.
He immediately called her up. They laughed. They talked. Things were back to normal!
A month later, they got married.
Abhishek still thought she was weird for liking hands, but he had grown to accept it. A lot of the nights, she would apply nail polish on his nails. He would, of course, remove them in the morning before he headed to work, but sometimes he would wake up late and he would just let it be. Some of his customers would give him weird looks though.
After a few months, he quit his job as a salesperson and joined another job in an office cafeteria. He had to wear gloves there for hygiene reasons, so he no longer had to worry about anyone seeing his nails anymore.
And, of course, his phone's wallpaper was a picture of her feet. Her beautiful, gorgeous feet.