Old Dress Alteration

So what if he misspelled it? The business idea isn’t really bad. As a matter of fact, I think it’s brilliant!

Meet Ravi, the proud owner of…well, I just noticed that he doesn’t really have a proper name for his business. Nevertheless, he walks through the streets of Rahul Colony everyday, pushing his cart. A golden bell, made of brass, dangles on one of the posts that supports the make-shift roof on his cart; it tinkles as he pushes the cart, a gentle way to remind the people in their houses that he is passing by.

The things that he use to run his small business are all pre-loved stuff. There’s an old Vidya sewing machine, that is undoubtedly the most costly investment for this business, a couple pair of scissors, measuring tape, threads, a plastic stool to sit on, a wooden block (although I do not know what it is for).

Ravi is in his middle thirties, married to a woman who is always smiling, and has two intelligent kids. He only speaks Telugu. A very hardworking man, Ravi is always busy doing one thing or the other. This business of his is hardly a year old, but he makes up to 600 rupees per day, what with a lot of homemakers these days not finding the time to modify their own clothes. I blame the back-to-back, never-ending soaps on television.

Have old clothes that needs alteration and missed Ravi’s cart? No worries. You can always call him on his cellphone, and he’ll come over to your house to make your life a little easier!



  1. Beautifully and delicately written, just like the gentle bell on his cart!

    I wish sellers on carts in Egypt would pass by with a bell, they resort to egotistical megaphones with their terrible voices booming in an already noisy city.

    This post has made my morning! 🙂

    1. Aww, thank you, Londoneya!

      “…egotistical megaphones with their terrible voices booming in an already noisy city.” I’m laughing so hard!

  2. hello, nadia,

    i love this. it’s different from your usual posts. he’s got an interesting job and his work gives us a glimpse of the place. glad you found the time to blog again. best wishes, always… 🙂
    35andupcynicismonhold recently posted..My Happy Finds

    1. Maraming salamat, San! Yes, Ravi’s business is really interesting. I thought it was cute 🙂

      Yeah, I’m back to blogging 🙂 This is something I really love doing and I miss the interactions with my co-bloggers, so I must find time.

  3. Hahaha! Brilliant idea. I wish we had more people like him. 🙂 Will surely wait for him next time I go to Rahul colony, insha’Allah 🙂
    Love the way you write masha’Allah. Oh and nadia baji if you are still in Hyderabad, find out about that shilparamam exhibition and go there. They have great stuffffff. Enjoy your stay. May Allah bless you 🙂

    1. JazakAllah khair, bint Maqsood! Ameen to your dua.

      Yes, I’m in Hyderabad for four more days. I’ve been after Masood to take me to Shilparaman ( I’m having a difficult time remembering this name!) exhibition. I’m like, “App mujhey exhibition kab lekar jaarahe hain?” And he asks, “Kaunsa exhibition?” And I’ll say, “Woh S wala exhibition with lots of clay pots!” 😀

  4. Hahaha! Even I’d a difficulty in remembering it initially 😛
    Oh and masood bhai ko samjh na aaye k S wala kaunsa exhibition, tell him its in hitech city. Its near the hitech exhibition center. 😀

    P.S: If you didn’t get it or realize it, its me hijabi, changed my username. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Bint Maqsood. Yeah, I recognized you alright … you are the only one who promotes the S exhibition with such enthusiasm 🙂 We are planning to visit one of these days, inshaAllah. I’ll probably blog about the experience too!

  5. OMG, only if there were someone who did the alterations on wheels, here in the US, I would be the happiest. However, this kind of business is so unique and I have never seen it while in Hyderabad, probably because I lived in the New City, that’s why:)

    1. Rahul Colony is part of the new city, but although I have been to Hyderabad about 5-6 times already, I have never seen another mobile tailor. I wish there was someone like him in Dubai too. The regular tailors charge so much even for a small alteration (because if I begin altering Masood’s clothes myself, I’m sure he’ll have to resort to buying new clothes) 🙂

  6. I think the most impressive of all is the idea of becoming a ‘mobile tailor’. Honestly, we dont have that in Malaysia, and I bet it is not even an everyday scenario anywhere else in this world (but do correct me if I am wrong).

    btw, nice to have you back, sis. I kept waiting anxiously for new posts from you in the last several weeks..!
    Atie recently posted..Senad Hadzic. A walk to remember.

    1. Thank you so much! You are actually right, Atie. I have never seen a mobile tailor before! I doubt if there are many businessmen like him in the world 🙂

  7. I have lived in Hyderabad for an year when I had gone there for a project. I love this city for everything can be repaired at this place of the world. People here are very friendly. The way they make their livelihood is very touching. Would love to visit this place again. Thanks for nostalgia is in the air 🙂
    Tammy Guise recently posted..What Is Wheatgrass?

  8. …. in Delhi – they sit at a fix place (generally under a tree outside a residential building) and off course they’re a life saver (n money saver too) for many.

    True – this article is quite different from ur usual post. Nice reading it n surprise to know that they earn so much didn’t thought they would earn that much in a day … but true in india’s hot summer it’s the most tiring job possible !!

    Keep writing 🙂

    1. Hello, Sharmila! Nice to know there are several men like Ravi in Delhi. We’d like some here in the UAE too (the regular tailors charge so much!).

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