My grandfather worked his hardest to bring us to Amritsar from Jaiwali, 25 KMs from here. He learned the woodwork from a craftsman here and started his own business later on. Then bought a house before establishing this shop next to the Golden Temple. He used to travel by train to work. Sometimes, when going back home tired, he fell asleep and would skip the station and then had to travel back. Today we are one of the best Paalki makers in the world. Our product has gone all around the globe, you won’t see such quality being produced anywhere else. My father and his cousins have maintained the business well.
It’s all good and glittery, but when I see everyone else suited booted walking to their job with a suitcase in hand and a car beneath, I wish I could do the same. I’m proud of what I do, I’m learning all the skills from my father and continuously help him with the business. But our work is hard, it’s manual mostly and I don’t want that hardship. Our ancestors didn’t worry about such stuff. They would wear anything, travel by any means available but my generation does mind. We want the best without enduring the hardship.
You may have heard the saying ‘Jinhe kiti sharam, ohde futte karam’ (Self-doubt can never get you to your goal), that’s what my grandfather believed in but millennials want overnight success. It takes years to build something, I have learned that from my family but today’s ever-changing world doesn’t give you the time to reflect that deeply, to devote so much to what you are into. One gets sadder from stranger’s success than one’s own failure.
Story by: Gurdeep Dhaliwal