I Have Been Blacklisted

October 7th, 2011

I have found some recognition. Nonetheless, it comes from the cobbler who runs his trade quite close to my house.

The cobbler, who I have known since the year 1990, does not consider me a stranger. Not that he smiles when he meets my eye. But, we recognise each other.

Over the years, he has gone from running his trade on the footpath, under the open sky and just the tree for shade, now has a tin shed or what can be called a cabin. He would definitely call it a cabin. So also has he graduated from mending shoes and ‘chappals’ to mending bags and travel bags and suitcases.

Not that he has given up on footwear altogether. He prefers to build shoes from a flat piece of leather and design footwear that he likes to see on people’s feet. He doesn’t like to even look at what others may have stitched together into a shoe.

“I have black-listed you,” he said the other day day when I went to get a shoe of mine mended.

Gone are the days when it was “cobbler, cobbler mend my shoes. I will come by half past two. Stitch it up and stitch it down. Then I will give you half a crown.”

Our man probably teaches his kids “client, client buy your shoe. You better come half past two. You open your mouth, and, you be sure I will break your crown”.

“You don’t tell me what to do or what a footwear needs. Am I the shoemaker or you?”

“I don’t want to see you again. Take what I give and at the price I give you. I don’t like people who bargain.”

Now I am left dragging my shoe whose sole has come off for over a kilometre just to get get it repaired. I have to find a cobbler now who doesn’t recognise me.

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