Unusual Occupations

Thursday, October 01, 2015

31 ways to make a living : The Sambrani Man



The Sambrani Man
  
The smell of the Sambrani incense wafts through the dingy dungeons of the nearby corner shop as the oppressing heat of the mid-afternoon blazing sun darts the eyes.  At the end of the row ahead in the shop the Sambrani Man  is collecting his ‘dakshina’ ( donation) after  having spread the lingering fragrance of his Sambrani incense through the interiors of the pan shop. 

He will stop at the tea shop next before he heads to the Xerox and stationery shop. 
This is the Sambrani man's routine everyday except on Fridays when he takes his weekly off. His customers are the shopkeepers who donate a few rupees into this bowl as a matter of routine.


Sambrani in English is called the benzoin Resin which is obtained from the bark of a tree. It is then dried, powdered and sold either in powder form or as blocks.  

When powdered and put into charcoal fire it gives out a dense smoke that wafts through with a special fragrance that can freshen up the atmosphere of an otherwise dull and dingy place.



In the crowded market places of many small towns, the Sambrani man's ritual is taken for granted and his income from his loyal customers keeps him stuck to his occupation. 

One of them has been featured on youtube. 
With the advent of super markets and the annihilation of small time corner shops his is an occupation that may well be on the brink of becoming extinct.


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P.S : If you are familiar with Sambrani, and this post has evoked some sort of nostalgia in you, then over this weekend make sure to take a leisurely oil bath, put on some divine music, dry your hair through a dense smoke of sambrani, before going overboard on your Rasam -rice and curd rice. When you wake up after your siesta that afternoon you will know what paradise feels like.     


This is a part of write 31 days - a writing challenge every october every day for which i think I may have signed up in drunken stupor.   Neverthless i am committed to keep up my promise (atleast till now ) .

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1 comment:

  1. For some reason, i just couldn't take Sambrani (It's called "Oodh" in the local dialect) frangnance well!! Every time i used to come in the vicinty of one, i used to run away and as a kid had volunteered to hit one of them. :) It's been a while i saw one, i think they are dwindling in numbers!!

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