The person I saw in KK Nagar is not exactly a mobile tailor but who has managed to occupy a vantage point opposite the Amman Temple. He need not go around asking if they have anything to stitch but people bring in clothes to get repaired or for small alterations.
The thought of mobile tailors took me back to my days in Tuticorin. I remember very vividly the sounds of mobile tailors shouting "thaiyal, thaiyal" on a hot summer afternoon. I dont know why but it used to be around 1 pm everyday. We would have been forced to stay indoors due to the hot sun but these mobile tailors keep making rounds of the locality at the same time. I really pitied them.
The person who you see in the photo is Mr Solaiappan. He is now more than 75 years and he lives in Tuticorin. From the time I could remember he has been a tailor, mobile tailor at that. I remember my Grandma getting her blouse stitched by him. He used to visit once a month our house and ask if we have any clothes to mend. We would definitely have some, as in those days it would be my cousin's half-trouser I have to wear or pavadai of my cousin my sister has to wear. So these guys had work to do and it was not considered wrong to wear your cousins clothes.
Last time when I visited Tuticorin and I just happened to meet him after so many years. These are some of the characters who are etched in your memory but you are not sure if you ever get a chance to meet him again, once you leave the town. I was really surprised to see that he is the same old person happily stitching old clothes around Second Gate area in Tuticorin and smoking away couple of beedis. I tried to introduce myself though I cant expect him to recognise me. Then I have to use the name of my grandfather and my uncle to see if he can relate to them. After these names he nodded the head in acknowledgement but I am not sure if he recognised me. But that doesn't matter.
I was very happy to see him after so many years and did manage to click a photograph of him. He would have wondered why this guy takes a photograph of him but I just wanted to share it with my cousins who I guess would remember him. Sweet memories!!