My father used to be a tailor. Then, when we grew up, my brother started making bra patterns. He was so creative. We started working on bras. He made such comfortable pieces. He knew the exact size to be made. At the time we were one of the best in the business. Suddenly, my brother died of cancer, we were totally unaware of it. I set on my own from then on.
// Did your kids take up this work? //
Kids? I don’t know. I had a daughter once. My wife died, three months after giving birth to her. I tried to teach her, educate her but she didn’t listen much to me. You can’t scold your children, they are precious. One day she came home, poured a can of petrol and lit herself up. Almost burned to death but remained alive for 18 days in the hospital. She had broken up with some guy from around here, I learned later. I lost her to that.
My wife was pregnant before that too, we were expecting a son, but on the delivery day when we went to the hospital, the nurse told us he died. She didn’t let us see him, I still don’t believe her. I’m sure she sold my son. He must be 35-36 by now, roaming around.
I made money devoting myself to this business, bought a plot of land nearby. I was living with my younger brother then, in our ancestral home. I didn’t leave the house much and had cut down a lot of work in the shop. People barely saw me. My brother went and sold the plot by telling them I was dead. I’m still fighting the case. It’s on my side and the next hearing is in June.
//How’s the business now days?//
Talking of this business of bra-making. My old customers still come to me, no one else can satisfy them. They have moved to big and far away cities but I get their calls, ordering 5-10 pieces at once. Now I’ve cut down a lot. I can do this and I get lot of orders but I’m tired now. I’ve lost the trust and strength to carry on.
Story by: Gurdeep Dhaliwal