karna's feet

there's a small comment that is made immediately after yudhishtra loses his game of dice with duryodhana. draupadi is getting molested in front of the pandavas while they stand in front of her watching. yudhishtra, in his anger and frustration can't even look up. his anger is so terrific, he feels like he can tear apart every kaurava in the room with his bare hands. in such a fit of emotion, unable to meet anyone's eyes, his own eyes find karna's feet. the shape of karna's feet, strikingly similar to kunti's, startles him and calms him at the same time, and he manages to keep himself together.

there's something about this story that i find that i identify with in the strangest of ways. i like noticing people's feet. that's actually an understatement. noticing the shape of people's toes comes as naturally to me as listening to the sound of their voice, or seeing if they have two eyes and one nose. sometimes, i get so uncomfortable around people who wear socks or shoes that i can't even talk to them without mentally trying to figure out what their feet must look like.

most times, i even go a step further - i judge people on the shape of their toes. i decide whether i like you, you're a snob, you're sweet, you're harmless, you're patient, you're annoying, you make me comfortable, you think too highly of yourself, i could go on and on - based on how your toes make me feel. i've even had crushes on people for their feet. (i could tell you about someone i sat next to for a whole cricket match, and only looked at his feet. his feet, i can tell you with some certainty, are the nicest feet i have ever seen.)

people who know this about me often think it's weird or strange, a fetish, even (with good reason, they think). today, i found out that a cousin of mine does the exact same thing (and now i feel normal.)

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