Thursday, 26 November 2009

Tinker, Tailor & Chai Wallah

One of the many things I'll miss about India are the ubiqutous tailors, cobblers, chai wallahs, fruit and vegetable sellers and jack of all trades. You name it, they have it here. Even ear cleaners. (Admittedly I haven't spotted any in Bangalore but last trip, whilst in Delhi, a smooth talking, suited man in a park convinced me we musn't neglect our ear cleaning duties. And he did a very good job too.)

It's the tailors I'll especially miss though. They are absolutely everywhere and although they generally have the reputation of being unscrupulous, as far as I'm concerned they are amazing. For a small sum, you can have clothes made, altered, copied, whatever you want.

Next week at the creche I volunteer at, we're doing a craft activity making Christmas tree balls covered in different fabrics. The tailor in the second picture always has a huge jute sack of discarded material outside the workshop which I often take little tid-bits of. But the other day, I asked for the whole sack - he thought I was most odd, dragging the sack off down the road, two little girls in tow but anyway, yesterday Maya and I went through it all to divide it into a creche pile and a pile for me for making Christmas tags, wrapping paper etc. Maya immediately made a little nest for herself (picture one) and chose her favourite scraps for me.

I thought I'd also include a picture of another tailor I've used a fair bit here (picture 3) and his workshop. His name is Malek Malek and he has dark, brooding eyes rimmed with kohl and wears skinny jeans. On the other side of the wall of his workshop are framed prayers from the Quran and as you approach the workshop, something about the whir and clickety-clack of the sewing machine are strangely comforting.

1 comment:

  1. It's making me excited for coming to India!
    I love the tailors. My favourite tailor is also a handsome fellow who ought to be in Bollywood movies. He gets anxious because he disapproves of low necklines and anything that might show a bit of leg. He says I have to ask my husband first! I'm talking about a simple shift dress here not a thigh skimming number! I love his tailoring though. So much talent in these guys.{and they do all seem to be guys}