Want to improve your height? In the Fifties, many British young men wanted to look tall. Some tricksters in England made use of this unusual craze. One Ad said, “Are you short like a dwarf? Not to worry. We have an easy method to increase your height. It’s a simple drill, actually. Send one pound sterling[Rs.14, then ]for instructions. Within three days you received a parcel which contained two wooden pieces, each of the size 3” x 4”x 4″. “Please stand on these magic material and your height would have gone up by FOUR inches and just like that !” About the same time, the Indian college girls too didn’t lag behind. On entering college, her dress formula changed overnight. She wore short blouse and sandals; her walking style had a specific slant and rhythm. Her height went up by an inch or inch and a half and she looked down upon all the school girls who used to wear slippers. Then came high heeled shoes. It started growing in height and settled at 2-3 inches long spiky heels. I used to marvel at the sudden growth in the height of a girl from 5 feet to 5 feet and 3 inches just within hours. Not every collegiate went in for the spiky thing but only those who could balance their body at a straight line. Some became experts after one or two falls. We the college boys used to hide behind a tree and watch them. We gave full marks and complimented a lady who did not falter in her walk. Only a small number came out successful after the so called training session. Some had twisted their ankle or damaged the leg muscles and were not seen for days in class. The news was that they had been admitted in hospital for ‘leg/ankle/ligament treatment’. “Serves them right,” we used to say. In later life, in social parties, one of the games we used to have was, to make men walk some 50 feet in spiky shoes and the ladies in the Army type ammunition boots. It was great fun. We congratulated the ladies who crossed the ’finish line in full shape. “Hope you are not hurt…?” “Of course not…:” But the gentlemen had no such good reports about running with the spiky lady wear. “I say, it’s terrible, man. How do these ladies manage this thing? I couldn’t take more than one step. High marks for the female genders…” My wife never wore this stuff. She was a simple Jane with near flat sandals. But I had wondered, how many ladies the world over got injured wearing spiky shoes? I had no idea at all. Even Google wasn’t very helpful. Possibly because no one bothered to make a survey in this connection or take a sample survey to show the statistical averages. And was I happy to read in my newspaper a report the other day about the aftermaths of using high heeled spiky foot wear? Over three million women have got injured wearing the trendy shoes by twisting their ankle or tearing a tendon. And a third of them have fallen flat on their face and many damaging their teeth and breaking their wrists. The Daily Mail, London has further reported that six in ten said that they would grimace and continue to wear a pair of uncomfortable shoes if they are complimented on their footwear on a night out. What have the shoe manufacturers to say about it? “Buying shoes can be hard work as women go for those that would look good in a particular out fit. That’s more important than worry about the pain it may cause.” The study of women aged between 18 and 65 found that 89 per cent who were used to spiky model admitted that uncomfortable shoes had ruined an otherwise perfect evening. 90 % possessed both type and chose the wear by tossing a coin and they refused to answer the questions of the surveyor about the after effects of spiky things. Only two percent said they did not wear the high heel variety. So, there you are ! Do you wish to admire the spiky wearers or pity them?