Anjali’s came from a family of tailors. The work of the needle had pulled her ancestors through crumpled and smooth history across at least five generations. When Anjali’s uncle first set down his sewing machine in a damp valley of a new country there were no other tailors in the area. ‘Damp and cold are the perfect business partners of any tailor,’ her uncle wrote when telling Anjali’s father to join him. Even as a four-year-old Anjali knew that her design in life was to become a tailor. In the frequent visits to her uncle’s tailoring shop she came to love the warmth of a hundred sympathetic materials. But many disappointments lay ahead of her. ‘You have to cut your cloth according to the means available,’ said Anjali’s uncle. ‘The machines of Asia pour out garments that the people of this poor corner of the world can at least afford.’ ‘Although they hang from their bodies like curtains,’ added her father from the far end of the kitchen.
The Tailor tells of a woman’s struggle to realise her ambition.
‘You are cut out of the right material,’ said Anjali’s uncle. ‘You are soft as Egyptian cotton when that is required and hard as a thimble where that is needed.’