Cycle repairman who’s working since 1975

It was a humid afternoon in Pune; localities know the exact condition on streets. I was out there clicking pictures with my Cannon 600D. It’s the best camera if the lighting conditions are good. I clicked pictures of juice makers, tea sellers, and other street hawkers; the backbenchers of society. Something that caught my attention on that humid afternoon was a ‘cycle repairman’ near Shanivar Wada.

He was in his late 60’s, his wrinkled skin and white beard told me that. Can see him in the photograph, that’s him, the one I have shared above is clicked from the Cannon 600D. His name is ‘Haribhau Waghmare.’ He is working as a cycle repair man since 1975, in Pune. I talked with him for a few minutes; he seemed to be an interesting person. Then, I started digging deeper into his mind, life and story.

Haribhau lost his dad in 1975; that brought him to the profession of repairing bicycles. It supported his family financially and that was enough. He said that “I also tried my hand on truck driving. It paid good enough to a school dropout; but mother thought it was a risky profession” that brought Haribhau back to the cycle shop. He was paid Rs. 1 for a day’s labor, that’s something close to the cost of a candy today. Haribhau had even tried entrepreneurship after gaining few years of experience. First few years were good for the business; Pune was a city of bicycle riders at that time. Haribhau thought his economical and social condition is about to change. But luck failed to be on his side this time too; the shop was lost in a family dispute.

Haribhau, looks to be worried about the current situation in Pune; he thinks people should be using more bicycles than fueled motors. It is good for the environment, but more than that it offers health benefits to the bicycle rider. Cycle is the most selfless mode of transport as per the repairman’s understanding.

I asked Haribhau what does the work mean to him? He replied “It just serves me two times meal, that’s it”. I then asked him if the meal is satisfying enough? He got confused to this question perhaps, but an incomplete smile gave me the answer. Then after a moment he said “I think life decides fate for some, no one can change it”. He smiled after the answer! I smiled back.

I think that day I got something more than a photograph, it was a life lesson from the cycle repairman who’s working since 1975.


What the world would be like if woollen clothes didn’t exist!

Everything you can imagine is real – Pablo Picasso
Indian subcontinent has three seasons, summer, monsoon and the winters. In other countries, summer and winter are the only two seasons. It means each person on earth encounters with the cold weather for four to six months in a year. Climate of cool breeze and woolen clothes. It depends on the place; some places are cold, others a bit colder and few freezing cold. It is just the woolen clothes, that saves people from the chilled weather. Otherwise a coughing man and a sneezing woman would have been the couple of the season.
Imagine if woolen clothes do not exist at all! How does the world look like? Or rather feels like? How will the kid’s go to school on a freezing mornings? Hope there is a solution to the issue, otherwise a generation will fall short of education. What about people traveling long distance for work? Hope their employers give them additional sick leaves during winter. Are the grandmas and the grandpa’s good at health? Or is the climate getting too harsh on their wrinkled skin. Does the list ended here? Or the consequences are much harsher that my imagination?
I am sure it is gonna be a great market for the air-heater companies, even bigger than the recent smartphones market. Car’s with air heaters will be the new luxury. Bone fire will be the most common sight, making axed wood the most demand commodity. Just like the ‘stone age times’ fire would be worshiped, at least during the winters! It won’t surprise me, if wood pieces are sold as branded product by the capitalist. Something like ‘Smokeless’, ‘Scented’, ‘Fast action’ etc. Big businesses won’t bother how much it harms the ecology, their profit margin shall increase with the falling temperature.
Hope such situation does not arise; the woolen clothes are the best at. Serving humans since ages, that to without a single instance of acknowledgement. Remember everything you can imagine is real. Be thankful to woolen clothes!