BENGALURU: Got a government job interview, but falling short of a tooth or two? Well, head to KR Market because that is where the fixers are.
Mohammed Salman Khan, 22, claims most of his customers are just looking for a temporary fix for a fallen tooth. “Many senior citizens come to me a few days before they are to attend a wedding. They want to look good, but can’t afford visits to the dentist,” he says.
Salman learnt the trade watching others do it in the market area. He claims to make and fix teeth under `100 for the elderly. The poor, lower middle and upper middle classes, and, according to these practitioner’ claims, even the rich visit them.
Sheikh Eijaz’s services have made him popular among the rich in the city, he says. “They take me to their homes to fix temporary teeth on their wives’ request. I never sit on the sofa even though they ask me to. I always sit on the chatai (carpet) laid on the floor,” says Eijaz.
He says a lot of his customers are elderly watchmen who want to look sharp at their job even after losing their original teeth. Ask him if the policemen bother him for hosting a roadside stall and he responds, “They also come here to get their teeth fixed. A lot of junior level policemen come here when they lose teeth during the training session.”
Eijaz claims a Tamil Nadu MLA’s driver too came to him to get his teeth fixed before he landed the job. “You don’t get hired for a government job, if they notice you have a tooth missing at the interview,” he says.
Ramesh Joseph, 45, is visiting Eijaz Pasha’s open air clinic for the first time on his friend Krishnappa’s recommendation. “My tooth fell off. I am here to get a new one,” says Ramesh.
His friend Krishnappa, who runs a shop in Electronic City, stands by him assuring that it will all be okay as Pasha puts a finger in Ramesh’s mouth to check his gums. “I got a tooth of mine fixed at Pasha’s two years ago. I haven’t had any problem since, so I got Ramesh here,” says Krishnappa, 45.
Isn’t he concerned about the hygiene, especially with flies surrounding the stall constantly? “No. I haven’t had infection and that is what matters. And it is cheaper than what the government hospital charges,” adds Krishnappa.
“They give a two-year guarantee. What more does one want,” asks Abdul Wajeed, who owns a mobile repair shop in the city. He got two new teeth fixed on the upper jaw six months ago from Sheikh Eijaz. “Even my wife hasn’t figured out that I have new teeth,” he laughs. The 50-year-old’s wife has got seven temporary teeth fixed by Eijaz. “If there is any problem during the guarantee period, I fix it for free,” informs Eijaz.