Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Tailor Up My Road


I must admit that dividing time between Bangalore and Chennai most definitely has its advantages.....I get to catch up with old friends, eat my favourite cuisines and above all, continue patronising my tailor who has been outfitting me these past many years. In fact, I sometimes think I have the best of both worlds....A thought, which I confess, does not go down very well with Dsk.

The sight of me carefully packing bolts of fabric for a trip to Bangalore never fails to irk hubby dearest and provoke eloquent speeches on the skills of the Chennai dress makers. No small wonder that I have taken to packing my bags in the dead of the night, long after the household has retired to bed.

But despite the best of my efforts at subterfuge, a few days back, Dsk managed to stumble on a pile of fabric beside my Bangalore bound bags.
" I really don't understand why you have to carry all this to Bangalore? When will you wake up to the fact that there are good dress makers in Chennai as well? You don't even give them a chance"
" But I am comfortable with the tailor I have. We understand each other and I just don't want to change something that is working well"
*Sticking my thick lower lip out mutinously*
"Where is your sense of adventure? I mean, you might just find a tailor here to be so much better..Why not try? There is that boutique up the road. Why don't you check it out?. ..."
I would have liked to argue further to and resist Dsk's efforts to prise me out of my comfortable rut. But his dig at my sense of adventure hit home. What if there was a better seamster round the corner, just waiting to be discovered? And what was more, the boutique up the road did offer to undertake embroidery as well, something my current dressmaker did not.

So the next morning, armed with my fabric, I marched purposefully up the road in search of the Ladies Tailor and soon was stepping into the cool confines of Chitra's Boutique.
The boutique was quite unlike anything I had seen so far. The walls, shelves and the windows glittered and gleamed with a variety of sequined, gilded creations in all colours of the rainbow. As my eyes adjusted to the kaleidoscope of colours around me, I spotted a diminutive, short sighted gentleman with a manic grin and a measuring tape slung around his neck.

Clearly, this was not the Chitra of the name board fame....Unless she had undergone a gender change.
I contemplated retreating with my precious fabric but his hunter's instincts proved to be greater than my survival instincts and I was soon effusively escorted to his work desk.
" Err, I want to stitch salwars....I have drawn designs...." He peered at the proffered scrawls with a frown. "I would like some embroidery on the salwars as well..Can I see some embroidery designs?"
Embroidery, it appeared, was the key. For all at once, his brow cleared and with puppy dog enthusiasm he responded "Madam, don't worry... I do and give"
" Okieeee, but what will you do? Can I see patterns?"
" Patterns? No patterns...I do and give"
I had half expected him whip out half a dozen design books and his thread palette but instead he seemed to expect me to blindly trust his creative genius, of which I had had no experience what so ever.
" What will you do?" .
I persisted, not willing to be swayed by his infectious enthusiasm. And perhaps he sensed my doubt. With a grand flourish, he waved at the dazzling creations all around " Madam see...All I do...I make beautiful dresses for you"
Little did he realise that his marketing spiel had only sent madam's spirits plummeting faster that the stock markets!!!
" No, I do not want anything like these...I don't like shiny gold all over my dresses...I have to wear these dresses for meetings and office....Not in Chennai but in other cities as well....I need sober, smart clothes...Can you do that???"
" Madam no like chamki?" he asked me incredulously, his eyes wide open.
" No"
" Sequins? Gold Ribbons?"
His hopes were being bludgeoned to death by my icy glares. "Do you understand what I need? I don't need clothes for a wedding...I need to wear them to work"
My blood pressure was rising to dangerous levels and yet, he wasn't giving up
" But madam, how will dress have GET-UP??? At least I use gold thread? I put design here and there, OK ya?"
His dogged determination wore out my resolve and I decided to stop arguing and entrust my precious fabric into his care. " OK, I have explained my likes to you..Now, let me see how good you are..After all, I am the customer and I need come back if, and only if, I like the dresses you make"

Having said my piece, I was about to sweep out of the store with my head held high, when he stopped me in my tracks
"But madam, after I finish, you cannot tell me that you did not like the dress or refuse to come back.........."
I back tracked just to check if he was joking, but his steady gaze indicated otherwise....The man was dead serious!!!
Wonder what Martin Luther King, Peter Drucker and the Gurus of marketing would have made of this one???

2 comments:

Ganga Dhanesh said...

amazing! he actually said that?!!!!

Miaow!!! said...

Yeah, I still haven't recovered from it...Nor have I mustered the nerve to go and check out the glittering creation he must have designed for me!!!
The silver lining is that I will be able to gloat over DSK...:) :)