Tell us about yourself.

Late afternoon sunlight streams into the workshop, Satya uprights himself from the electric saw and gives us a sober look. “I come from the Rajputs caste, the warrior caste,” he says. “Most of my family is in the army.” We ask him if he’d prefer to be in the army, he smiles and shakes his head. That’s not for him. He’s a peaceful man.

 

Armchair, french style

“It takes more skill to cut out the shape,” Satya says, showing us the leg of a freshly cut Lille armchair, rudimentary in shape, ready for the carvers to work in the detail. “This kind of work requires precision, one mistake and the whole piece is ruined.”

 

Armchair, french style

“My daughter is getting married soon,” he tells us. We congratulate him. He smiles at first and then he sighs. Could he be unsure of the match? “No, no. He’s a good man, I’m happy for them.” He pauses, “It’s the wedding that causes me concern. I just want everything to be perfect.”

Satya Pal Singh, 42, Carpenter

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