In the southern districts we have this push cart iron. The chap who ‘irons’ , ushers his cart around and presses your clothes for a fee ! A common sight in Madurai ! Its not common in the big cities where electricity rules and ‘powered’ irons press !
So, theres this chap who comes home pushing his cart around. He carries with him a simple soul. And will charge your a rupee to press shirt. Perhaps two. And he has a cart which consists of a ‘bed’, a solid stone slab for keeping this solid brass iron and a slot for storing his coal !
And Yes. He uses coal !
Now that’s some heavy duty metal ! It indeed is heavy ! The chamber that houses burning embers of coal sometimes look downright scary. With a feisty burning crimson ! And when he presses your shirt, with the might of this muscle, the crimson coal and the hardened metal, you can almost hear your shirt squirm !
Call me old fashioned. Call me backward. But, there is a certain charm in this cart. And in the iron. The iron that houses the crimson coal that can kill either with the heat or with the weight ! And of course, the lazy elegance of his pressing of clothes. A ‘lazy nonchalant elegance’ that would get David Gower some company.
It may be a common sight down there! And it indeed is something to experience. To just stand there and see your shirt pressed with a rather different energy !
A charm that resembles a old world locomotive that is gushing into a station ! Perhaps its to do with the coal. Perhaps its got to do with the heat. Perhaps it is do with the steady solid style.
Or just perhaps, its the nostalgia of the old times. Or of another place.
Where ‘pressing’ gets a languid tone.