Little Deep came home running and was visibly excited and said “Mom, I saw the guitar-man, he is coming this way”.
“Yes, dear, I can hear the ‘tann…. tann….tann..’ sound now. Okay can you call him ?” Deep wasted no time, ran out of the entrance gate very fast and returned after a while along with his guitar-man.
He is the Dhunuri – the pillow-mattress repair man. He has with him this guitar-like thing, basic tool for his craftsmanship. He took out a small square thick cloth, spread out on the courtyard in front of Deep’s house. Deep was happy to bring out the pillows… some on shoulder… some in his hands from inside thier house. He then handed over these old cotton pillows, mostly sagging, to the guitar-man. Deep’s mom took the cotton mattress out on the courtyard …this too was handed out to the guitar-man.
The guitar-man then tore open these, one by one very carefully, not to over-damage them. Then he took out the cotton from inside these pillows and the mattress. Spread the old cotton evenly on the square piece of cloth. Most of the cotton got clotted, like ropes ! And then the magic of his guitar began ! He placed his one-string guitar on top of the cotton, and very softly ‘played’ the guitar, meaning hitting on the string with a wooden piece. With the vibration created, cotton pieces became very fluffy and soon the heap became bigger and bigger. Thereafter the guitar-man, alias “Dhunuri”, put this cotton inside the old pillows and mattress coverings. Re-stitched those pillows covering and the mattress covering, by hand, bit by bit, without a sewing machine. Soon they were all looking new. Deep was happy and was lying down on the renewed mattress for a few minutes…. while his mom took out the money and paid the man. Deep at this juncture asked the guitar-man “can I play your guitar a bit ?” He readily agreed but cautioned “But do not hit hard on the string…. it might break the string !” Deep did try, but, it did not sound like the guitar man ‘tann’ ….’tann’….’tann’ !
Decades later a guitar-man was located, but, my grand-daughter could not be shown the demonstration of his craftsmanship, for, we do not use cotton mattress ….. nor cotton pillows anymore ! Yet another friend-in-need on the losing trail !