Torn jeans are in fashion but there's a rip in my favourite pair of 501s that was getting a big too ugly so went looking for a tailor to patch it up. Yes, I'm trying to get the patch back in fashion.

Found one just down the road. Small little dingy place. I ask the guy sitting there, in Hindi, if he'll do the needful. He gives me the odd look I'm so accustomed to now, and says he can. He examines the damaged goods while I ask him whether he'll patch or sew it up.

"Do you speak English?" he asks, looking very disgruntled.

I tell him I do, and Hindi as well.

"No, no Hindi. English is fine," he says.

So we decided that he will sew up the rip. He says come back tomorrow at 5.

Then: "Where you from?"

I hesitate as usual before opening the dreaded can of worms. "America."

"Where in America?"

I go for Ohio.

"Not New York? You know New York?"

"Yes, I've been there."

"You heard of Blondie?"


"Blondie, Blondie? Singer! Big Singer!"

I say that I have, and that Blondie is a bit before my time. It doesn't register with Tailor.

"My cousin, he knows Blondie. Used to work with Blondie. He's big singer, ya?"

I say yes, a while ago.

"Yes, long time ago," he says enthusiastically. "Maybe thirty years back, huh?"

I nod.

"My cousin, he used to send me albums and photos of Blondie," he continues. "You speak Hindi huh?"

I nod again.

Then he laughs and displays a toothless grin. "I been in India all my life and I never learn Hindi, you believe? OK man, you come back at 5 tomorrow."

And with that he goes back to his sowing machine.


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