My readers would by now be familiar with the variety of pherrywallahs that ply their trades on our streets.
This post is about another such pherrywallah who finds his place here not because he supplies me with his ware regularly but, for the sheer novelty of his business. The very nature of his product makes his trade high value low turnover and infrequent purchases from the same clientele.
Aleemuddin the vendor, and his younger cousin Altaf are originally from Shopalpur where there is a small carpet making cottage industry in its last legs. His family have been weaving carpets for generations going back to Mogul days when they supplied carpets to the ever moving armies in the Deccan plateau. Today, that cottage industry faces extinction due to competition from machine made carpets and so Aleemuddin sources carpets from other centers in India in the northern parts as well as from his own family’s dwindling output.
You can see that to switch from a manufacturer to a trader, Aleem has brought in man made carpets as well as smaller items like door mats to sustain himself.
He is not very verbose, but maintains that he makes enough to sustain himself and his immediate family of a wife and one child with another on the way. He however says that he will see that his children get proper education and go on to other livelihoods rather than the family business of carpets.