Anandpur used to be known for its traditional Punjabi shoe-making (Juttis), but now you won’t find any craftsman here. Daulat Singh, one such craftsman, was known all over Punjab. All these people have passed away now and their kids went to colleges, taking up new jobs. Years ago, the Maharaja of Bilaspur received a pair of Juttis. It impressed him so much that he ordered his officials to look for the craftsman. The pair was made in Anandpur, the Maharaja invited the artificer and the other shoemakers to honor them for their craft.
My father was a farmer. I was interested in technical work. I told my father about it and he asked a well-known sewing machine mechanic to keep me at his shop. It used to be so busy in those times, we cycled machines in and out all day. I learnt from him and then bought a shop of my own. It’s been 27 years now. We had to prepare the broken parts by ourselves earlier. Now they all come factory made, in bulk. You just got to pull the damaged one out and fix in the new one.
Punjabis have given up the hard jobs nowadays, they source out all the hard work to people from Bihar and U.P. It’s like foreign now, migrants do all the travail. Even my kids, they will come and sit along, do a thing here and there but they don’t want to do this, they want an office job. This, our work, it’s hard, it takes an effort.
To learn anything, one should have these five characters, it’s written in Ramayana:
- Kaak cheshta – intelligence and agility of a crow. He’s so active, try throwing a stone at it he’ll fly instantly.
- Bako Dhyanam – concentration and patience of a crane. Have you seen him standing on one leg? He does it while hunting. When a hunt passes by, he attacks.
- Swan Nindra – sleep of a dog, sound and alert. If you sleep like kumbhkaran, timeless and lost, anyone can loot you.
- Alp aharan – light and required amount of food. It keeps you fit and active. You can’t walk like this after having four paranthas in the morning.
5. Grihtyaagi – giving up the attachment to home. It means giving up your comfort zone, building your own world, the life you want to live.
Story by: Gurdeep Dhaliwal