City Landmark – Maqbool Sons Tailoring Shop, Mohan Singh Place
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Delhi wouldn’t exist as a major metro without its countless small enterprises. Like this family-owned tailoring shop launched years ago by an enterprising UP villager seeking a better standard of living for his family.
Maqbool Ahmad died a few years back but his two sons go right on managing Maqbool Sons in Central Delhi’s shabby Mohan Singh Place as a thriving venture. “We’re because of our father,” declares elder son Muhammed Muzzail. “He spent the first 20 years of his career as an employed tailor in Bambai and then decided to set up his own shop in Dilli.”
This decision was welcomed by his family in the village who had seen very little of him during the Mumbai years. His wife, Mahfoozan, and the sons were finally able to move in with him on a permanent basis after he settled in Delhi.
“Those first few years in the capital were very difficult,” recalls Mr Muzzail. His father had invested everything they had into the new shop. Which meant hard times at home. “No TV, no fridge, no guarantee we could get new clothes for the Eid festival.” Slowly, the shop thrived. To such an extent that Mr Ahmad even managed to buy the home he was initially just renting.
In 2009 the entrepreneurial tailor died, leaving behind his wife, sons and daughters—and Maqbool Sons as a profitable business. “I visited my father just last week in the Panj Peeran graveyard (in Central Delhi),” says the elder son. Proudly showing an old black-and-white photo of dad as a young man.