I had moved to Mumbai after college for further studies and being a typical Delhiite, found survival in the maximum city a tough job. Especially when it came to shopping! People in Mumbai are quite different from those in Delhi when it comes to fashion sense, not good or bad different...just different. While it was great exploring the new city, I started to miss my thrift shopping destinations like Sarojini and Janpath and for me, Colaba Causeway and Linking Road were just not the same!
Until one day, I and my friend ended up at Mangaldas market in Crawford. It is basically a wholesale market for cloth material and we immediately fell in love! The prints, different kinds of material, the embroidery...it was everything we had been looking for! But then again, this was just unstitched cloth, what were we going to do with it? We didn’t even know any good tailors around. It was then that my friend suggested that we try the tiny tailor shop in her Gujarati colony. She and her roommate had gotten a few things stitched from there and they really appreciated his sewing technique and the exquisite finish he added.
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So, in under Rs. 500, I bought four pieces of cloth of varied lengths and excitedly we headed to the tailor that very evening!
I handed over the cloth materials to him and explained what kind of different things I wanted. For the indigo printed one I asked him to give me a shirt with a collar and since he told me that there would be cloth left from it, I asked him to make me a crop top from the same too! From another plain cotton piece I asked him to make me a similar crop top (I was really into crop tops at that time!) and for my tie-dye print, I decided, I wanted a skirt. For the last, a light pink cotton-silk mix material I asked him to make me a full dress with buttons and a collar - this one, I felt was a huge risk, because though he told me he understood everything the way I wanted, I wasn’t quite sure. After all, these were complex designs and he had never done anything like that before. My friend, however, asked me to trust him and so I did.
The next evening, we were in the classroom when my friend got a call from the tailor who told us that everything was ready! I was truly astonished! We had delivered everything around 8 pm last night and within less than a day he was done with everything!
I’ll admit, my heart was beating fast on my way to his shop. I had either wasted a lot of money, time and energy over nothing or just re-designed my wardrobe! I reached the shop and everything looked amazing! I am serious, it’s like he read my mind and gave me a copy of everything the way I had pictured it. I was so elated and I asked him how much I needed to pay him without really caring about what he’d quote and he replied… “Just Rs. 1350, madame!”. My mind was blow! In under Rs 1500 I had gotten myself five things that looked exactly, or even better, than any of those branded clothes would!
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After that, we would visit the tailor much more frequently and his amazing talent spreaded through our college like wildfire, so much so, that people would ask us to take them to him too!
Now both, I and my friend are back in Delhi but truth be told, every time we visit Sarojini or Janpath now, we miss our tailor bhaiya the most!