Sunday, April 26, 2009

of craftspersons

a couple of days back my computer's power cable died in a mini-explosion of sparks and smoke. i went to my friendly neighbourhood electrical goods shop, but he did not have the cable i was looking for. so he picked up half a topaz shaving blade, a bit of duct tape, and a one-inch long piece of insulating sleeve and spliced the thing together for me. And you know what? not only does it work ,but i know it will work for longer than it did originally. That is because he taped it in such a way that the weak point-where i would always twist the cable- is now protected. I also feel safe with this because he took a lot of pains to make sure the insulation was ok.

and this brings me to the story of my cobbler. He has a little concrete platform, an umbrella and a locked wooden box of tools and materials. I have been to him a couple of times, and each time, I was amazed by the amount of care he took over his work. He would go on reinforcing tears long after i would have thought 'Done!' and then paint the thread over, and then polish it all up.

You will notice that the paragraph above is a horror of mixed tenses. I do tend to do that, but in this case I am confused too. A few weeks ago, we had a massive storm. The next day, the cobbler was not at his stall, and he hasn't been there since. First M and I joked about his flying away, Mary Poppins- like, to a place where he was needed more.

but i am worrying now. he was an old man. he worked painstakingly to scratch out a meagre living, and still took pride in his craft.


gina said...

duct tape is great, i had a working fridge for two weeks because of duct tape. i hope your cobbler comes back, maybe he went to see his grand kids that are out for summer holidays.

Anonymous said...

not enough to repair the tear. paint the thread over, pretend there was never anything that needed to be reinforced...

do post a picture of your cobbler when he returns.