Thursday, December 30, 2010
Vallabh my tailor
I will continue with my account of our US trip, which I am sure is turning out to be a torture to all my friends, in the New Year. One good thing is that not much is left of it. From the time we returned from Mackinaw and surroundings to the time of our departure from the US was only fifteen days. One fourth of the total duration. Bearable. So, New Year has to be happy.
The picture here is a part of my torso, covered in my working cloth, the white coat.
Call it lab coat, apron or whatever. Notice the pockets? Designed and created by my tailor Vallabh. I was not annoyed when I saw it. Just amused. I knew how it happened. He stitched one pocket and went out to down a peg. He came back and stitched the other. The result is before you.
Vallabh is a shy, soft spoken and good natured fellow. Most of his speech involves just bobbing his head up and down. Positive reply, negative reply or anything. He occupies the small space available below the staircase leading to the first floor offices of an advocate, architect and a dentist in a small building next to the entrance of the vegetable market. He has two sewing machines and sometimes one assistant. His thirst is his only fault. He has to go out every hour or two to keep up the alcohol level in his blood. But it does not change his behavior. He is always affable.
I liked him and his shop. I feel intimidated by big, fancy establishments. I am comfortable with Vallabh. Moreover, I can just peep in either on my way in or out of the market and enquire about the progress. If he is in, he will give his shy, apologetic smile and say that it will be ready in the evening. If he is not in, he is out for a drop of his favorite. Sometimes I meet him coming from the waterhole wiping his mouth. He will smile and say he just went to buy vegetables. He stitched a couple of shirts and trousers for me. Not very good, not bad either.
Since I shifted to this place, where I just have to climb down the stairs to reach my clinic, the wear and tear of my clothes has reduced a lot and they last quite long. Most of the time I wear the white coat and I get it made long so that what I wear below does not matter much. If I shift to dhoti and an ‘angavastram’ for the time I am out of the clinic, I do not have to bother about clothes any more.
As far as the coat is concerned, only my patients see me in this attire and they are usually not interested in anything else other than relief from their tooth ache.
I can very well continue with Vallabh’s creations.