Friday, November 11, 2011

The Hunt

" Oh! God! There must be someone; at some corner or in the shade of the tree displaying the tools of the trade, but why am I not able to find one?" Thus ran my thoughts as I scoured the pavement and roadsides for a Cobbler. I was new to the city and didn't know where exactly to look  for a cobbler. When I started off from home, I was sure of finding one right at the next corner or junction! Not anymore...

That was three kilometers ago and the few minutes in the scorching heat was starting to get on my nerves...I have crisscrossed all the roads I knew till now. Don't know how far I have to go to find in search of a cobbler. "Why did this stupid zipper give up on me now? If only it had broken few weeks ago, I could have get it repaired by Velu, the cobbler at Tirur" -  I couldn't help thinking! And cities were supposed to have easy access to all facilities...

After all the initial efforts to locate the cobbler failed, I concluded that the effort had been a complete waste of time. "I'll have to buy a new bag to carry my things if I have to go on that trip" (In spite of there being half a dozen bags at home, none will be travel worthy when you need it) - I  thought.The government should declare cobblers as extinct species. Gone are the good old days when one could find cobbler at a corner of a busy junction or under a tree ( in many different parts of the town) mending shoes and umbrellas and bags...  Ah! those were good old days!!! My thoughts ran along these lines...

"Let me try at the one of the famous streets downtown, there would surely be one" - I decided and veered the vehicle onto another path. Upon reaching the busy alley and parking  the vehicle on the roadside, along with numerous other two-wheelers (and hopefully not under a no-parking sign!) I set out on the quest on foot. I carried the empty but bulky bag - already people are staring at me - and started off! I searched the streets, the possible corners where the target can be usually spotted, but with no success! The entire tribe of cobblers seemed to have vanished from the city altogether! "Searching for Tiger in the jungle would have been easier than this" - I couldn't help thinking.

The Sun was blazing! I felt I couldn't take any more of it & decided to call it a day.  "Perhaps, no one mends the bags and footwear these days like they used to! With 'use & throw' policy going around even in case of electronics and other consumer durables, who would want to repair bags and shoes; they would throw the damaged ones and buy new ones instead of bothering to get it repaired... So, may be, the cobblers have really become extinct." I reflected.

With such thoughts in my mind and an empty, bulky bag on my drooping shoulders, I returned to my vehicle. "Such a waste of time" - I muttered to myself  and came back home, all the while keeping an eye open for that elusive cobbler. With no such luck, I reached home, feeling defeated. The only relief was that the proposed trip has been cancelled, and so the immediate crisis has blown over.

Over the next few days, the search continued, but casually. Then during a chit chat with an acquaintance, the topic was raised and I was given the exact location where I can find a cobbler. Soon, I was on my way for the rendezvous. I was still skeptical because I had passed through that place many times, but never saw a cobbler there. But then, there he (no, they) was!!! I felt elated and stupid at the same time on seeing the line of cobblers sitting on the pavement and attending to customers... "POP" goes my theory on "use and throw'! By the look of it, people still stick on to their footwear till they wear off... A small tear doesn't make them  useless - there is nothing that a good cobbler cannot mend!

So, finally I found a cobbler (nay, a group of cobblers) and mended my bag. Of course, the infaltion has cast its net here also. What earlier used to cost 5 ` or 10 ` at the maximum now cost me  30 `! But, I am not sure I can blame them. Task accomplished, I return home as a victor!


  1. cobblers in cities sure are rare now

  2. There is nothing a good cobbler cannot mend. Well said , and hunted.
    I understand the plight of not getting work done.
    Very well turned the plight into a post.

  3. That was an interesting read, Nisha. Cobblers indeed have become a rare species:)
    Thanks for your visit and inspiring comments in my blog.

    ps: Are you from Perinthalmanna? By any chance, are you related to Deepa Mundekkad?


  4. Not just in big cities, even in a small towns like Tumkur, they are hard to find! Looking at your experience, and also the earlier posts (Misadventures), I wonder whether you have moved to Ernakulam.

  5. No Ajoy Sir, I have not moved to Ernakulam. I am now at Calicut! I guess the experience that I have shared is more or less the same in all places irrespective of small towns or cities...

  6. Deepa Gopal! Thanks for the comment! And yes, I am your friend Deepa Mundekkad's sister..


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