Tarapada came to Delhi some seventeen years ago from a small hamlet in West Bengal in search of a job. Within a couple of years he was a proud owner of a pan kiosk. In this harsh and difficult city, Tarapada seemed to have done reasonably well for himself and considered himself lucky. The pan shop did brisk business and it also provided him enough time to pursue his hobby of drawing and making patterns and images which quite often adorned his shop. It was not abnormal for the odd customer to praise his artistic abilities quite contrary to all the admonishing he had received from his family for "wasting" his time on unproductive activities.
Then one day he got news that his mother was very ill and he had to rush back to the village. When he returned, his shop had been removed and the authorities refused to let hum set it up again. His luck seemed to have run out.
While still deliberating what to do and where to start, he chanced upon an old customer. Yeswant Miranda, a web designer and loyal customer of the panwaadi swore by Tarapada's artistic abilities. At Yeswant's insistence and with some guidance Tarapada put all his creative energies into the "unproductive activity" of making lamp shades.
I am sure we could all use some of his lamp shades this Diwali!
Yeshwant believes that there are many Tarapadas in the galis of Delhi and is in the process of incorporating a company with the idea of giving talent a second chance!