Shared experience 05/06/2013

The other day when I attended an Award ceremony, I was  gazing in awe at the blouse the master of ceremonies wore as it  enlivened the beauty of the sari as well as  its wearer. Well,  it was not a designer blouse  with lot of embellishments costing a fortune but a simple one with a  border  and  all credit should go to her tailor for doing his job well.

Talking of  tailors  in Chennai, we have dozens and dozens of them and ironically the majority of them are men. I am yet to understand  the reason for women not taking to the profession of tailoring, specializing in stitching womens’ blouses to the satisfaction of their customers. I for one have not been lucky  in getting a good tailor in Chennai  where I have been living for the past  four decades  with the result   my collection of badly made blouses over the years surpasses the  number of saris in my wardrobe!

Not one to give up hope in locating  a  tailor  who would do his job well  invariably after a time my conversation with my friends and  acquaintances  would  end up asking them to suggest  a good  tailor and  they  promptly would accede to my request   vouching  for  their tailors’ efficiency and perfection of job.

The first  on the list  I chose to try was one who would pick up the  fabric from  my door step and deliver the blouse within a couple of days. He appeared promptly  as soon as I called him and  as proof of  the confidence  his customers had in his expertise, he dug out  more than a dozen  blouse pieces from a carry bag  his customers  had given for stitching. Impressed by his self assured  demeanor I  felt I could take him at his word  and gave him  two expensive  blouse  pieces along with  a sample blouse. Lo and behold, he was back within 24 hours sporting a broad smile and handed over  the finished product  with a triumphant air. I told him I would try them on before paying him and  decided  to see the last of him when  I found my blouses not only ill fitting but also  beyond repair!

The next tailor I  tried was another one highly recommended  by another friend of mine who advised me to give the  sample blouse with a right fit. I wanted to tell her that was what I had done on the previous occasion but thought  the futility of convincing  her. Trudging through the dozen stairs I reached  the air conditioned shop bearing the owner’s name and introduced myself to her saying her  customer was a  close friend of mine. She had  a separate work area  where  half a dozen male tailors  were  working for her. I was glad she did keep to her promise of  getting my blouses ready within a couple of days  but  the job proved thoroughly disappointing  with the  blouses needing major alterations which were carried out no doubt but the result was they became  so bad that  they were  not fit to be worn.

The third  owner of a shop  was a  lady again who owned a shop in a busy  part of Chennai  who   said  she believed in  taking  the measurements of the customer for the blouse to be perfect. She wrote them down on her palm and promised to call me after the blouse was ready. I left my phone number with her and since  no call came even after a month, I  decided to visit  her shop  wading my way through the overcrowded  road. Well, I realized giving  measurements made no difference!

Not one to give up hope, I  scouted for another tailor and this time was attracted by a board which read ‘Ladies and gents tailor’ and decided to try him.My husband who had a few shirt bits gifted by our relatives  jumped at the opportunity of getting them stitched. Having collected the finished product/s  we came home and I noticed  my husband rushing  back  to him seething with anger.

What happened? I asked when he returned.

‘Do you expect me to wear these which  look like a ‘circus goodaram?’ is what I told the tailor and  gifted them to him, he said, his face looking all flushed in anger.

Now I am glad he has realized I don’t complain for nothing!


n.meera raghavendra rao


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