Today in New Delhi, India
Sep 19, 2018-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Delhiwale: A cobbler’s love story that ended too soon

Surinder, a cobbler, has a bleeding-heart tattoo on his left arm for his lost love

delhi Updated: Nov 04, 2017 15:27 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi wale,Cobbler
Surinder mends shoes in central Delhi. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

Young Surinder has literally cobbled together a living.

We run into him in a tumbledown lane in the central parts of the city, where Surinder is perched on a padded seat by the roadside next to an open drain. He has just finished stitching the sole of a slipper for an impatient woman who gives him Rs 5 and walks away.

“My Dad was also a cobbler until he died of TB, so I’m the new family elder,” explains Surinder hurriedly, as another customer approaches. The strap on her chappal is broken. Surinder hammers a nail into it and gets Rs 2.

His wooden cash box is slowly filling up. It features a sticker of Guru Ravidass “who belongs to our community,” says Surinder. “We worship him”.

As the eldest of four brothers, he left school after his father died to carry on the family profession. “This wasn’t easy,” says Surinder. “One faces problems, one has to take tough decisions.”

There was this girl with big eyes and long hair, who lived on the same street as Surinder in faraway Sunder Nagri. They fell in love. The happy couple were forever together, even lingering amid the ruins of Purana Quila or frequenting Delhi Zoo.

“When she smiled, I felt so happy!” recalls Surinder. The young cobbler was so upset when the romance ended that he got a bleeding-heart tattooed on his left arm.

Now, a customer approaches. Back to business.

First Published: Nov 04, 2017 15:23 IST