Fatehpur Sikri duo take cane to places

Nawab making a single seater garden chair by the roadside near Kadri Park in Mangalore.

Making it to the coast all the way from emperor Akbar’s very own land, Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, Rambir-Nawab duo are trying their level best to make their both ends meet.
The duo are going places not just with bundle of canes, they carry bundle of dream and talent as well.

Both of their parents took to cane furniture business several decades ago. Though Rambir and Nawab (who became partners much later) learnt the art from their parents, opted not to take up the same business. After trying their luck as factory workers, the duo finally landed up embracing the cane business about 15 years ago.  After undergoing advanced vocational training for the unemployed youth under the aegis of Khadi Gramodyog, the two joined hands to design cane furniture. They started designing furniture which would catch eyes of the modern buyers. 

Even as Rambir does the talking, quite Nawab continues to give finishing touches to the half knit cane chair. “The two of us travel with our handicraft. We have been to Kerala, Hyderabad, Goa, Mumbai, Mangalore, Bangalore and exhibited our talent. It is a continuous journey. We rarely go home,” says Rambir adding that they have spent Rs 40,000 to bring the raw material to Mangalore but over the last 30 days, the business has not been encouraging.

“We will stay here till we earn the amount invested and then go to Kerala. We usually have good business in Kerala,” says Nawab adding that their chairs are not only adorning gardens and drawing rooms of the huge bunglows but are also seen in pubs and bar counters.

The duo have round single seaters of various sizes, which cost anywhere between Rs 175 to Rs 350. Single garden chairs with back rests cost Rs 650 and the two seaters with back rest cost Rs 1,400.

The expert hands of the duo make single seaters in one day, single seater garden chairs in two days and the two seaters in three days. “We have no option but to quote this price because we spent a fortune transporting the raw material. We cannot afford to slash down the price,” say the duo.

After having slogged for livelihood for years, the duo want their children to be educated. “We are happy with what this business has given us but yet we want our kids to study. We have taught them the art of making cane artifacts but we do not want them to take to this business. Though they design some cane furniture during vacations and leisure time, we want our children to shape a secured future for themselves,” say the wandering partners.

The caravan of the two does not stop no matter what. With the hopes of better deal in their next destination, the journey of the duo goes on.

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