Mangalore June 20: Mangalore has been hit by rains bringing many a person here to ‘adjustment’ mode. The impact is visible with house repairs, prevention of leakage, draining the water out of compounds, buying raincoats and umbrellas so on and so forth.
Purchase of umbrellas and raincoats constitute one of the key activities during the rainy season. Shops in Market Road near Hampankatta now look livelier with a wide range of these rain related gears on display.
Those with the ‘use and throw’ mentality, hardly bother to use the same old things again but for the poor and those coming from a low economic background, the things they buy once, are usually a life time investment. The ‘Kode Riperi’(umbrella repair) shops stand as a testimony to this. Needless to say, they are making a fortune in the rainy season- their ‘season’ as it is called.
People at these ‘Kode Riperi’ shops also carry out shoe repairs and bag repairs. “We earn nearly 1000 rupees per week during the rainy season, says Arjun, one of the repair shop owners in Mangalore. “But two months later, then the income starts decreasing”, he says sadly.
Arjun and others are usually seen setting the umbrella spokes right, stitching, replacing handles, straightening the umbrella rods, and changing the cloth or cover. The rates differ according to the nature of the job. “It may vary from 3 rupees to 60 rupees” says Murthy, another shop owner.
“We get the materials from Nanthoor and utilize good parts of some useless with the customer’s consent”, says Arjun.
When asked about the best brands of umbrellas in city, Arjun replies that when they come for repair they all look same. His expert suggestion? “For Mangalore rains, triple fold umbrellas are good as the spokes don’t break easily when compared to other umbrellas”, he says.
As rains continue to batter the city and spoil more umbrellas, these guys clearly are ‘making hay when the sun’s not shining!’
More from Arron Menezes:
* Far away from his home in UP, he makes Paanipuris for Mangaloreans
* Face to Face with Ben Rodrigues: Ordinary Mechanic with Extraordinary talent
* Meter Down: The Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Agony
* The Story of GMR and Mangalorean Fishermen