Friday, May 28, 2010


My eyes nearly popped out of my head when Param appeared at my doorsteps like the summer rain. It was as though an eel had developed amnesia forgetting all about being slippery and presented itself to be pickled and devoured. Why I am offering this parallel would become explicit if I furnished enough dope on Param's antecedents and idiosyncrasies.


A tailor by profession, Param was no different from others of his ilk except in one small detail. He seldom, if ever, stitched at a stretch for more than a few minutes. He worked, like municipal taps, in short bursts. Being someone with itchy feet and perpetually parched throat, Param, after every 50 cms of frenzied sewing, went out for a cup of tea as though it were the elixir of his life. Normally his shop(a one-man show) wore a desolate look, like a town in the grip of a plague epidemic, while Param merrily downed his cup of stimulant in some godforsaken restaurant. On those rare occasions when he was at the post, he slipped behind the cupboard at the mere hint of a suspected client approaching his shop, morbidly scared of additional work that would hamper his periodic tea-drinking jaunts!

To me, unfortunately, he seemed nothing short of a sartorial genius and I always felt as though I were streaking on a nudist beach if I wore any attire not tailored by Param. But the biggest hurdle was tracking down my outwardly mobile tailor and the thought often crossed my mind that I should equip him with a radio-collar around his neck(like they do to keep track of tigers in the wild) in order to monitor his movements on my radar screen.


So, recently when I needed a new shirt - I wished to appear chic wearing it at my forthcoming address to the local Humour Club - I launched an elaborate 'man-hunt' for my tailor, visiting tea stalls I never even thought existed. And finally *buttonholed* him at a nondescript cafe forcing him to take down my measurements in full view of the amused cafe's clientele. From then on, each time I caught him at his shop (or behind the cupboard), his stock reply was, "Only the buttons remain to be stitched, sir", even as the uncut shirt cloth winked at me from his shelf. And as the days slipped by, my patience, besides my new pair of shoes, began to wear thin.

(To be continued in the next post The Tailor In New Light

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