I’m not going to say ‘only in India’.. but sometimes that phrase does feel appropriate and today.. well – I had interesting experiences at the carpentry shop!
We are in a big town called Nizamabad – staying at a lodge right in the middle of the market area. The Deshpande Foundation conference is happening day after tomorrow .. and we have come for that. I am happy – we have found a lodge which is not only cheap but also clean. Joy.
So today after lunch downstairs – which got invaded by 12 Indian Ladies having a ‘kitty party’ and making an incredible racket while playing some sort of bingo type numbers game – we headed off through the street markets. We were on our way to supervise the building of a wooden model of the bore well recharge process.
The carpenter shop was a small structure filled up with bits of wood, and rough sawdusty chunks of shavings. Out the front partially on the street lay the beginning of our ‘model’.
I asked Sikandar – ‘Do you have a drawing’ – he looked at me and grinned and said “Yes” but I immediatley knew the drawing was in his head! He said pointing to the young man who was busy chiselling out a chunk from a board – “I transferred it to his head”. And so he had.. and the model continued to grow.
I was given a chair and perched there between the shop and the fairly potent drain – played on my phone and watched proceedings. The ubiquitous chai came – delivered by a small man who when I smiled and thanked him, broke open into a beautiful reply smile.
I caught that one in my head.. not on my camera!
But now its getting too hot.. the sun is sinking and the rays are full into the shop now – so .. the head guy picks up two of the hand made chairs – carts them across the road to a space – plonks them down and invites me and Sikandar to sit there.. across the street in the shade.
The perfect spot to view proceedings. We sit there watching the passing parade who by the way are also watching us. The weird foreign lady and her companion – sitting as though in their living room by the side of the busy road.
And the model grew and a couple of hours later it was declared complete and a success. Drawings or no drawings – it turned out the way it was planned. Sikandar and I headed off to find me a new pair of sandals… another story.. for another day.