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Sunday, November 11, 2012

STREET REPAIRMEN / ARTISANS IN KGF IN THE OLD DAYS - THE COBBLER, THE UMBRELLA REPAIRMAN, THE LOCKSMITH ETC

There were a few other ‘service providers’ or repairmen, who were also an integral part of our life in KGF in those days. The Umbrella Repairer, the Cobbler or ‘chakla’ as he was colloquially called, The Bed Repairman, the Knife Sharpener, the Grinding Stone Tapper, the Plastic Bucket Repairer, the Lock Repairer, to name a few of them

All these ‘service vendors or providers’ had their own special way of calling out when they came around and people would identify their call and beckon to them in case they needed their services. Some of these people are now extinct with the changed way of life.

I remember the Umbrella repairer quite well. He always wore a faded black coat given to him by one of the ‘Dorais’. He carried a tin trunk filled with different tools and paraphernalia such as spokes, handles, black cloth, etc, required for repairing umbrellas or parasols.  His charges were very nominal and he would finish his job in a little while’s time and be on his way scouting for his next customer.

In those days, SUN BRAND Black Umbrellas were the prized possessions of every one and every family in KGF possessed atleast one black umbrella of this particular brand. It was duly flaunted in both sunshine and rain and many of them had faded to a dull grey from over exposure to the elements! But no one cared as long as they had an umbrella to protect them from the sun and rain.


The cobbler or shoe repair man was known as the ‘chakkla’ in Tamil. There were many cobblers in those days.  They could be seen sitting under trees or near the market or railway station, with
the tools of their trade spread out, busy repairing their customer’s shoes and boots and other footwear.

They were also expert shoe polishers and could shine a pair of shoes in a jiffy while the person waited. Some of them however, didn’t sit in one place and wait for customers. They would move around the streets and roads of KGF calling out ‘shoe repair, shoe repair’. They carried their tools and shoe brushes and polish in a bag on their shoulders and repaired foot wear and even suitcases if needed.



The plastic bucket repairer and the lock smith or repairer were also ‘door to door’ service providers in their particular area of expertise. Like the Umbrella repair man they carried the tools of their trade in small trunks and would attend to any repairs in next to no time. The lock repairer was very fast in making duplicate keys and could open any lock that was jammed in a thrice!!!

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