A Different Face of a Metro - Slice of Chennai

We Hubbers surely have a lot of things in common - a fact that explains the activity, the comments and the fan clubs. As I was thinking of the backgrounds of us Hubbers and the things that we write about, a question popped up in my head: Why don't I write about people who work in my neighbourhood, not neighbours but workers who are productively engaged and contribute to the immediate community? I believe that these little stories about ordinary folks will present an important aspect of daily life in an Indian metro - Chennai, which is where I live - and enable those interested in India to get a closer look at people who keep the wheels of the economy moving in a very special and interesting way.

The locality I live in is called Thiruvanmiyur, lying in the south of the metro, about a km from the beach. For more information click http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiruvanmiyur

Here is the first story.

Iron Men - Keeping us neat and tidy

These men that you see in the pictures operate from a make-shift workspace on a busy street. (You will find at least one such Ironing Shop in every street in Chennai) The man at the back (in the picture) collects clothes from houses and delivers them neatly pressed before the end of the day. They work from 9 am to 9 pm for six days in a week, pressing on an average 300 pieces of clothing every day. They work hard right through the day, with short breaks for lunch and a cup of tea. They have a ready smile and are always willing to stretch themselves for the sake of their customers.

Notice the old-fashioned Iron Box (with a wooden handle) that is filled with hot coal pieces and used for pressing.

Pressing along nicely

Comments 12 comments

Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 9 years ago from Chennai

Great that you have taken the initiative to write about the people of Chennai, Vaidy. This evening, I told a soup-on-wheels guy that this was the best city in India.

I love that sizzling smell -oldfashioned iron box on clothes sprinkled with water.

Thank you.

Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Vaidy! Please keep your hubs coming. We world-wide should get to know each other. This is the most fascinating part about the internet; it has shrunk the globe. I didn't know those type of irons were still being used...That is very hard work for sure...no dial to control the heat.

Great HUB

regards Zsuzsy

In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 9 years ago from California

So interesting. My great grandfather was a tailor and I still have a coulple of his irons that he used that are like the ones in the picture. WOW! I would love for somebody to pick up my clothes and iron them like that. lol. Nice HUB.

profile image

IĆ°unn 9 years ago

thanks for sharing the pics and info. I have an insatiable interest in other cultures and people. :)

Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 9 years ago from North America

I would love to stand by and watch the ironing and smell the clean hot smells of water sprinkled on fabric, heated away by a diligent hand. Lovely Hub! Now I want to go to Chennai. Bravo!

MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 9 years ago from Sydney

I will run out of money, if I keep wanting to go to all these wonderful places

Thanks for an innovative hub

vaidy19 profile image

vaidy19 9 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Wow what a response! Thanks guys. I am enthused to feature at least a few more similar stories shortly. Keep watching.

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Love the smell of clothes being ironed that were sprinkled with water....This was one of my very first jobs as a child. I was 10 and got paid a nickle for each item I ironed...be it shirt or pillow case or pants..a nickle was the going price. What an interesting place you live in. More more more....G-Ma :O) hugs

vaidy19 profile image

vaidy19 9 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Thanks people. This morning when the Collector Iron Man came home, I showed him the hub and the pics and told him that anybody in the world can see these pics and read about them. A quiet man, he gave me a big grin of satisfaction, picked his pile and left - One of those who haven't the foggiest of what Internet is.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Today, visiting Chennai for us means Tiruvanmayur!

There's nothing quite like the freshly pressed clothes these men churn out, is there?

vaidy19 profile image

vaidy19 7 years ago from Chennai, India Author

Hi Shalini,

Thanks. Nice to have you drop by.


ParadiseForever profile image

ParadiseForever 6 years ago from Chennai, India.

Hi Vaidy,

I really enjoyed this slice of Chennai--the way you focus to the world. Also your other hub which is tailor-made is quite interesting. Keep writing!

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