I am…

Remember all those times you bought ready made clothes that fit perfectly except for that extra inch around the arms or the waist? Those shopping in Ameerpet rarely have that problem because help is close at hand. For years, tailors or ‘alteration specialists’ as they are better known have worked on perfecting the fit of many a pair of jeans or salwar-sets.

Y. V. Raghavarao is one among them. One has to wait at least five minutes before you catch his attention. Eyes fixed on the red and black Kurta he is working on, his dexterous fingers folding and holding the polka dotted chiffon in place, time is money for the tailor from Tenali, Guntur.

Every day from 11:00 in the morning to 10:30 late at night, Raghavarao can be found in his usual spot, right next to Big City Factory Outlet in Ameerpet. Most of his work comes from Big City itself.

“They give me all their alteration work so that is where most of my customers come from. Besides that I also get customers from all over the area,” he explains, even as his feet continue to pedal the old Singer. A weekday afternoon is a good time to stop by at his shop, because he is busiest in the evenings and the weekends.

Raghavarao famously alters not just ladies clothing but also gents garments. “I get more lady customers but I get at least a few men coming in to alter shirts or trousers every day,” he explains.

Although a master tailor by profession, Raghavarao’s skills were not enough to compete against the retail that was sprouting up in his town. He packed his bags and came to Hyderabad along with his entire family. They now reside in Rehmat Nagar, not too far away from where Raghavarao has set up shop. Ask him if he is here on work he says, “ Kaame ke liye nahin, hum jeene ke liye aaye hai,” (I haven’t come here to work but to live).


(A weekly feature on men and woman who make the city what it is)

Kaame ke liye nahin, hum jeene ke liye aaye hai;

(I haven’t come here to work but to live)

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