a tale of two tailors

I always brought my shirts to Tej & Co. Drapers and Tailors, until the Monday morning when the proprietor (Mr. Tej?) denied that I’d given him my shirt on Saturday afternoon.


I had to return to his store every day for the next four days, engaging in increasingly acrimonious accusations (“You stole my shirt!” “You lie!”) until he finally enlisted the owner of Bhagwan Fancy Store three storefronts down (Mr. Bhagwan?) to translate and mediate.

I described the shirt. Mr. Tej denied he’d ever seen it. We went back and forth until Mr. Bhagwan suggested that I look around the store and satisfy myself that my shirt wasn’t there.

I found my shirt in the first bag I opened.

While Mr. Tej scowled and looked away, Mr. Bhagwan grinned broadly—he knew he’d just acquired a new customer.



7 responses to “a tale of two tailors

  1. One man’s indifference, other man’s profit!!

  2. ..only till Mr. Bhagwan makes the same folly and you’ll probably forgive Mr. Tej and get back to his services. That’s how it goes in the by lanes of Delhi.

  3. Dave,

    Maybe, Tej had genuinely forgotten that you had given him your shirt.
    Then, when you went over to his store, and acted like a jerk in his store (by your own admission), you put his back up, and he didn’t feel like helping you look for you shirt, even if he was willing to concede that you may possibly have given him your shirt.

    Your shirt probably cost no more than $25 (or its Rupee equivalent). Perhaps you make too big a deal over this one shirt ?

  4. Hmmm, don’t agree with this. Dave was right to claim his property, no matter how modest its cost. But seriously, Dave, tinkers, tailors, thieves, where else but India could you get such fabulous material for your blog and your book? The only other place I can think of that has as much interesting and exasperating variety is New York City. Admit it, life in Singapore must be pretty dull after India.

  5. This brought back memories in the not too distant past of my sojourn in Hauz Khas, and I know the shops you’re speaking about. Chris’s is a bit high-handed in his pontificating on the relative merits or otherwise of the shirt. The fact remains you’d entered into a transaction and were entitled to satisfaction. The tailor (had the boot been on the other foot) would have reacted the same way to you. I enjoyed your blog and look forward to reading more when I get the time.

  6. Well, I kind of feel that no matter how expensive the shirt was, he would not have kept it intentionally. Seriously, and old shirt isn’t that valuable even in India!! Moreover something of same sort-ish happened to me in US. 🙂
    I had a Lenovo laptop with international warranty. The screen stopped working and a Lenovo dealer(Lets not spoil anybody’s business by naming, there might be some genuine misunderstanding) told me that warranty was valid in India only but he could work around things for some payment, which was not the cost for the screen. I went to another dealer and he sent me a box right away for delivery and repair of the Laptop. So, I guess its just people everywhere!

  7. Try to get a receipt before handing over your clothes. Nothing too official, even a small note on a post-it should work (helps my Mum, who conveniently forgets about her clothes for months altogether but almost always gets them back thanks to that tiny piece of paper :D)

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