Archive for March, 2012
On a misty wintry Januray evening of 2008, I ventured out of Aligarh Muslim University to see the famous lock and key makers of the country in a drowsy jeep, which took us through the alley ways of the suburbs, vehemently horning through burqa clad crowd shopping through the local festival.
I walked through the slushy lanes with huge iron doors with multiple fancy locks that open to the dark rooms bustling with machines and metal noise! Men, women and children worked in corners of the dark rooms along the lane, organised in various stages of the process. Unpolished locks and keys were made in differnt rooms, they were assembled in another room and finally polished else where at the end of the lane! The labour is cheap and child labour is rampant, hence supervisors a bit hesitant to open doors to the camera!
I’m back to my city in the Southern tip of India after a significant three years far away in New York. So many things have changed. The local festival season of Pongala is a great time to roam over the bustling suburbs, to explore the recent trends of my lovely city.
As I walked, I could not but stare at the display window of the dilapidated shop on the side walk.
The sight of a young princely man in a photo frame…he was not any of our Rajas..he was not one of our curly hair chested film heroes either..! I was curious, but then who?
He was the employee of that tiny dark tailoring shop in the suburbs, as mentioned by his employer.
At a point when young men of his age might be dreaming of suits, did he rewind a century behind? No, its the balance sheet of a prosperous religious soap season that ended a few months back on our television channels, when my grand parents piously clamped themselves to the chairs post dinner, hesitant to even attend phone calls. The young tailor was an actor in one of such godly soaps.