Tinker tailor tales

Representative image. (Photo/Pixabay)

Thimappa the tailor (TTT), operated in his street-level shop a few doors away from my house,  he sits with his ancient Singer sewing machine, busy making whirring sounds. The Singer machine is not motorized.  Clad in a banyan, he can be seen with his upper torso undulating rhythmically as he works the pulley wheel by pumping the sewing machine pedal with his feet.

TTT is quite a guy, I like him. He is willing to have my back whenever I need to tinker with my old clothes— in case I need to repair frayed shirt cuffs, replace the elastic strip on my pyjamas, or if I put on weight and need to loosen my kurta or pantu or jubba or shirtu swalpa. Recently, I had put on six kilos, my kurtas needed to be loosened more than swalpa. Such alterations (he calls it altrshanu) are his forte. He does a good job, and what he delivers fits comfortably.

But the missus dislikes him. “You look like you’re wearing a tent,” she says. “I can’t be seen in public with you wearing such kurtas,” she continues as she screws up her nose. I promise to discard this altered lot. I go to TTT and ask him if he can convert the kurtas into pillow covers and he agrees.

The wife disapproves of those, too, they are oddly shaped and too tight for the pillows we have so many anyway, she harrumphs. I have returned them to TTT to be made into handkerchiefs. They will be ready in two days. She dislikes TTT for another reason— his delivery schedule. She has observed how persistent I have to be with him. I ask him how long the altrashnu will take and he says two days. I call him two days later and his phone is switched off. Then two days later, Mrs TTT answers my call and says he has left the mobile at home and he is at the angadi.  I walk to his workplace and am rewarded with the answer that he has begun the work. It will be ‘gaarantee’ ready in two days. I give it a week. He says the work is not finished as there was no power. He forgets that I know that his sewing machine is not motorized. He suggests I phone in two days to inquire.

After two days, he has not come to work. After two more days, he says in English, “Saar, you don’t make urgent, it is raining. I told, told no? You listen me. How much I told? I can be able to do in two days.”

The loose shirts have taken two months, eighteen phone calls, six trips to his angadi, and I was up two notches on my blood pressure. The pillow covers have taken two months, eighteen phone calls, six trips to his angadi but I have gone no notches up on blood pressure, as I have learned to tailor my emotions. TTT is quite a guy. I like him. What he delivers fits well, is comfortable and looks good. He told me, no? I listened to him, and will phone him in ‘two days.’

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