By Soumya Srivastava; Dhenkanal: Swatting flies and chewing her nails, Damyanti Munroo, 26, sits in her stall of Gujrati artificial jewellery in the Pallishree Mela, Dhenkanal. Her eyes look for a potential customer but are only left as vacant as her stall.
“The business this year has gone to the dogs. Lord Indra isn’t being kind to us”, she says feeling harassed by the incessant rain. Damyanti is a ladies tailor from Mayurbhanj, Odisha who works as a sales person for a Gujrati jewellery merchant in festive season. “I have just come back from the fair in Narco and will go to Cuttack next”, she says about her plans.
Damyanti made around Rs 50,000 in the month of October last year but the possibility of her making even the half of that amount this time has been washed away with the heavy rainfall. “My employer gives me around Rs 10,000 for every eight-day fair that we attend but our earnings from the first five days has been only Rs 2,000. How can I expect her to pay me now?” she asks.
While trying to save the jewellery with a plastic tarpaulin she knocks down some earrings off the table. Reminded of someone, she says “My brother always pulled my leg on being so clumsy. He keeps telling me that I will be a shame for my in-laws.” It is not just Damyanti but also her brother who is being severely affected by this perilous downpour.
He is a farmer in Mayurbhanj and both of them together try to manage the household with whatever little they earn. His crops have been destroyed due to the cyclone and rain and he was depending upon her to earn even more than last year. “I am afraid I can be nothing but a disappointment to him, like he had predicted”, she says with her eyes filling up to their brims.
A fleet of women come strolling by and Damyanti smiles from ear to ear. She wipes her eyes and welcomes the god-sends. They leave after a short inspection of her products without having bought anything. Damyanti picks up her fly swatter again.