He is one of those who rely on daily wages. What is appalling to me is the low rates he charges. I'm sure its the rate people generally pay to the cobbler but I feel its not decided properly. Their earnings depend on how much work they have put in, rather than how critical the work is. Critical work can demand higher pay but I think he is oblivious of this fact.
Last weekend I went to him to get my shoe stitched which had torn off from the front. It was almost ruined but I decided to go to a professional, i.e., the cobbler, in case there's still something that could be done to save it.
I took off my shoe and showed it to him and asked him to stitch it up. Very carefully he ran the thread through it and in 5 minutes, he stitched it so well that it was as good as new !! I picked up the shoe and examined it, trying to tear it off at the same place but it was solid work, the shoe didn't budge. I started looking into my wallet to search for change for Rs. 30/40 because I assumed that would be his pay. I asked him, "Bhaiya, kitna hua?" (How much should I pay?)
Rs. 10, he said. I asked him to repeat, again he said, Rs. 10.
Standing there at 1:30 PM under the blaring sun and its sweltering heat, I felt he had asked for more because I would be more than happy to pay more. Perhaps he quoted his price based on the amount of thread he used and the time it took, but he had no idea how important it was for me, that he had given me at least a month or two more with these shoes, thereby delaying me the expense of Rs. 1000 on a new pair of shoes. I could have offered him more, but I figured that it would have been odd, or would it have been?