Cobbler’s advice

Recently I received a particular WhatsApp message from a number of sources.

It is being portrayed that doctors wish people get affected by disease, lawyers wish people get entangled in number of untoward incidents, cobblers wish footwear of people get defective etc.

Now there would be no scarcity of people defending the doctors, lawyers and other “white-collared” professionals of glamorous vintage! But who will defend the cobbler? So I desire to take the cudgel on behalf of the neglected marginalised cobbler.

It was early morning and I was walking briskly towards home from the market with bags of vegetables. Suddenly the strap of my leather slipper snapped. Now either I have to continue walking barefoot or avail a rickshaw. Now no rickshaw was in sight.

At that juncture, I noticed a very old cobbler, sitting beside the road, repairing a lady’s slipper. As she was paying him after the job was over, the old cobbler mumbled something to her. Neither could I gather what he said nor was I interested in it also. Now he started repairing my slipper and after completion asked a nominal charge for it without taking unfair advantage of my predicament.

As soon as I paid the amount, the cobbler again mumbled something which I could not decipher. When asked to repeat, I gathered with much difficulty that he is advising me what to do if my leather slippers get wet. Then I realised that he was offering this very advice to that lady also! Now this vulnerable person is engaged as a cobbler braving heat, sun and roadside dust under open sky day in and day out, from dawn to dusk. His kitchen runs only if our footwear gets defective.

And here this poor senior citizen is advising his customers how to take good care of their slippers so that they remain fit and fine!

Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata

Traffic rules

I have noticed that that people, mainly in the Kathmandu Valley, are flouting traffic rules to a large extent. Instead of climbing overhead bridges in order to cross roads, pedestrians are crossing roads haphazardly.

Of course, they know breaking traffic rules means they are liable for punishments as stated by the traffic rules. But neither are they serious nor are they careful about the rules. Cases of accidents are on the rise even in the capital as well as other cities in the country.

Although the government should be concerned about this, it’s really not the case in our context as pedestrians are hardly fined for jaywalking and causing traffic disturbance. On top of that, the traffic police are unable to control unruly pedestrians who do not want to use the overhead bridges.

It may be a little bit difficult to climb the overhead bridges but using them will definitely save  lives and  not hinder the flow of vehicles. The concerned authorities must install traffic signals in all intersections and busy bypasses to manage the traffic and pedestrians. Children should also be taught  traffic rules in classrooms.

Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar