Smiling his way through life

Smiling his way through life
One has often read and seen, and some may have even experienced travelling onboard the luxury tourist train called ‘Palace on Wheels’. But a ‘Tailor on Wheels’ is an absolutely rare phenomenon!

J Sridhar, a 42-year-old resident of Kammanahalli, born and brought up in Bengaluru, has carved out a novel idea for earning his living.

He is seen in different and far-flung localities of Bengaluru on his motorcycle turned mobile tailoring workshop. Parking his vehicle at a convenient vantage point adjacent to one’s home, he earns his livelihood by carrying out alteration and repair work on all types of garments, linen and loose furnishings. An eye-catching caption displaying the words ‘Alteration Tailor Mob: 9980228270’, which is painted prominently on the sides of his workshop, cannot help but attract one’s attention. Residents and passersby hurriedly note down his particulars, while some even stop by his vehicle for making further enquiries.

His unique mobile tailoring workshop consists of a sewing machine firmly fixed on a steel angle frame, which is tightly attached to the pillion of his motor cycle. He carries a steel stool on which he sits while working on the sewing machine. Since his workshop is quite compact, finding a parking space on footpaths, passageways or under a shady tree is generally not a constraint. It is indeed a unique and distinctive contraption for earning a living on the move, rather than from a shop or home.

After passing his pre-university exam at the age of 18, Sridhar worked as an apprentice for five years in a tailoring shop. Subsequent stints at three other jobs helped him broaden his tailoring expertise, and gain valuable experience of the trade. More confident of his skills, he opened his own tailoring shop from where he operated for three years. Not content to work within the confines of four walls, waiting patiently for customers, he craved to do something different. A great deal of thought and planning finally led to a brainwave. The need of the hour was to reach out to a niche clientele who were hard-pressed for time due to busy work schedules or domestic preoccupations. They needed someone who could quickly alter a pile of unused clothes in good condition into wearable ones.

Who does not require alteration work for their clothes, linen and furnishings? “Loosen this blouse, increase the length of this skirt, tighten the waist of this pair of trousers, shorten the sleeves of this top” are common demands of Sridhar’s customers. The list is never ending. Very few tailors today are willing to carry out alteration work. Even if one is able to cajole his neighbourhood tailor into accepting some alteration work, it would be a Herculean task to get the job done. Sridhar decided that the answer to customers’ woes was to provide timely and hassle free services instantly in their presence. He wisely decided to cash in on this “facility of convenience”. Once, he embarked on his enterprising venture, there was no looking back.

Sridhar has now been a tailor on wheels for the last ten years. His venture has proved to be quite lucrative, as his customers do not grudge paying him a little extra. After all, he provides instant services with a smile, and that too, at your very doorstep!

(The author can be reached at sudeepmull@gmail.com)
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