Wednesday, July 20, 2005

typology study :the small town fixer.

men on motorcycles, terrycot shirt and pleated pants in small towns all over the country create their own opportunities away from traditionally defined safe ‘careers’. they work as traders, contractors, businessmen, brokers- shifting between professional disciplines with ease and √©lan. the real skill that they have is an amazing entrepreneurial spirit, a willingness to work and an amazing knowledge of the networks that keep a small town running and a method to make these networks work. after all these sub-district centers, pit stops on major highways and market towns run on connections and camaraderie. it matters who you are and where you come from. your entire family history is present with you wherever you are whatever you are doing.

they are amazing people these small town fixers. they work as jovial, approachable mediators in between the complex machinations of a small town and the demands for the simple life outside the metropolis. we met some of them in the towns on the mumbai-nasik highway at vasind and shahpur; when amit and me went with mr ganesh to the property he bought near shahpur.

in the city a paper in a bureaucracy has a life of its own. it will find its way to the right place provided with the right amount of monetary fuel. in a small town, ganesh told me, the paper has to be associated with a face and a life story for it to go through.

the entire process was managed and choreographed by men like sandeep patil, prakash agarwal, milind gujarathi, lubricating the right sets of hands, pointing us in the right direction, helping us contact different people for different kinds of work- all merely for a small commission.

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