How did you come to be an upholsterer?
Vijay has a big smile. He’s the workshop’s self-styled joker, the one who brightens everyone’s day. “My Guru brought me here. We came from the same neighbourhood in Uttar Pradesh. He was the one who suggested I learn upholstery and I’m so grateful that I did.”
A Guru is considered a wise and knowledgeable person. In sharing their wisdom with another, they’re bringing that person out of the darkness and into the light. Vijay’s smile wavers when he tells us his Guru passed away. “I can still hear his voice in my mind,” he says. “Telling me the best way to do things.”
“When he passed, it was the saddest moment in my life. He taught me a lot about how to be a good person.” A colleague, sensing Vijay’s sorrow, rubs his shoulder. “He did a good job,” his friend tells him. “You are a good person.”
Vijay smiles a little. “I still miss his guidance.”
Vijay Bahadur, upholstery artisan, 31