Dnyaneshwar Gopal Rao, who is turning 78 soon, bemoans the decline of tailoring as a means of livelihood. I’ve known Dnyaneshwar for nearly 20 years now and he has stitched many clothes for me.
“We belong to a family of tailors that has stretched back several hundred years,” he says proudly. “But today my son Arvind Kangokar is the only one in the family who is in tailoring.”
Arvind is 47 and says both his children are in other professions; so too scores of younger people in the family who have opted for different careers.
Dnyaneshwar belongs to the Bhavsar Shimpi community of Maharashtra which has been in the tailoring profession for centuries. His forefathers migrated to Mysore during the Peshwa regime and stayed back for generations. But Dnyaneshwar migrated to Pune in 1963 and started his business.
Today the shop near our house in Hadapsar, which used to be busy with tailors is empty and Arvind does some tailoring and outsourced other jobs.