Testing the waters

In the bylanes of Navi Peth, Babu Omar silently prays for the showers all through the day. He is old and wrinkled, and easily irritated unless you come up to him handing over your broken umbrella for repairs. "Every time it rains, I am relieved. But it's nothing more than petty showers. People like us make our annual income in these few months of rain," says Omar, devastated with the weather conditions. The 65 year old, as he likes to believe, is too well- experienced with the skill of umbrella repair to take up a new vocation. "I know many umbrella repairers have started selling fruits and vegetables. Some of them have started repairing other stuff as well. But I am too old to learn anything new now," says Omar, who is dependent on his son, a vegetable seller at Mandai.

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