Monday, March 19, 2007


Getting keys made in India is a rather complicated affair. Well, getting the keys made is not so complicated, finding the place that makes them is near impossible. I was walking through the market on my way to another market, looking for anyplace to get a key made. I past the endless shops with saris, cloth, fabric, toilets, door handles, car engines, ropes, jewelry, toys, pottery, bed covers, lights, and what not, but found no place for keys. I asked in a hardware store and was sent four or five doors in the direction from which I had just come. I walked in and was sent four or five doors back in the direction of the store that sent me there in the first place. I stopped in between the two places and was sent four or five stores away and so on, until I gave up. I learned one lesson that day. In India, nothing is ever obvious, and I finally found the place to have a key made. The juice stand.

And there was the key maker squatting on the ground with his tools and sack full of keys next to him. He digs and digs through the bag to find the model that best matches the key to be duplicated. Then, he takes a thick metal disk and places one end of a short board on it to elevate the end and the other end he places under his foot to secure it in place. He holds the keys next to each other to see what needs to be done and then takes the new key and attacks it with a file. It is the kind of sound that when it starts causes every hair on your body to stand at full attention. He files and hammers a little here and there and every few seconds, he matches it with the original key and repeats the process until the key is duplicated. The whole time this is happening, a small group gather to witness the whole event, the gora and the keymaker.

1 comment:

  1. You should have asked me! My keyshop is tucked between the scooters in a parking. :)