Rummaging|The Key Maker

While passing near the Rojgareshwar Mahadev temple at Choti Chaupar, I noticed this key maker engrossed in his work. He was rummaging through the bunch of keys frantically searching for a perfect one sitting on the road-side.


Duplicate key makers have been around for ages and are a great resource in the hour of a need! They help you make an ingress when everything else fails. In Jaipur, one can find them in crowded places like markets. There are many duplicate key makers at Chhoti Chaupar.


For years they earned their living sitting on the side pavement of the shops lining the Chhoti Chaupar until a few years ago when they were uprooted because of Jaipur metro project. The project caused barricading of the shopfronts and many shops owners had no option but to close them till the project gets over. It has already been 4-5 years; No one knows when this project will be over?


Chhoti Chaupar has historic importance as it is one of the three large public squares, an intersection of two major markets of the old Jaipur city.

Many ancient temples were razed; the idols from all these temples were installed at an off location site. Some people termed it as “Museum of God” and were unhappy with the way the entire episode unfolded.

chhoti chaupar demolition of temples by jaipur metro.jpg
Picture credit – Hindustan Times

There was a big public uproar. Fearing a backlash in the upcoming Rajasthan state elections, the ruling party decided to rebuild one of the temples – Rojgareshwar Mahadev temple at Chhoti Chaupar. Of all the demolished temples, this one is highly revered. Unfortunately, the party lost in the elections. Some claim that the party paid for their sins while others say this created a disconnect with the public. In my opinion, this might be a local factor but there are many other elements involved. But who knows?


There is an interesting incident related to the razing of this temple reported in the local newspaper. In the 1940s, the son of Mirza Ismail, a minister in Jaipur court fell ill when he ordered the demolition of Rojgareshwar Mahadev temple. A well-wisher informed him this an outcome of the wrath of God, he quickly recalled his order for destruction order of temple. This might seem like superstition to many but that’s how people deduce from the situation.


The government pushes for such projects because it needs something “concrete” in its list of achievements. Jaipur Metro phase 1 operates on a nonviable route just to appease a “political connection”. It’s an irony that these projects claimed to benefit public are counter-productive to the public interest. The metro project will continue to be in loss for years causing a drain on taxpayer’s money.


On a different note, these key makers have been displaced from their workplace and forced to sit on the roadside to earn their daily bread. Poor people hardly have a voice and they simply adjust to the changing situations. It shows a big disconnect in our society.


While the destruction of the temple led to public protests and backlash which resulted in the rebuilding of Rojgareshwar Temple, no one stood up for these poor people. The metro project is ongoing yet the devotees “secured” their lord but the unprivileged people have been left on their own to suffer. I hope the “lord” is aware of their situation and will do something similar to the incident.

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37 thoughts on “Rummaging|The Key Maker

    1. It’s a tricky thing, Mick. The poor people are too engrossed with their daily struggles and earning bread to team up. I guess it’s same everywhere. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The destruction of temples is a “sin” also in a cultural sense, since it represents a total disregard for the history and cultural heritage of your wonderful city. I was deeply touched by your report about the poor key makers who suffer the most by the havoc of modernization.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Will definitely check it out. I’m sure it must be great. Underprivileged people never have a voice. They are too engrossed with earning their daily bread. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful series of photos in black and white, Arv. The story makes me feel a bit emotional. Particularly when a group of people did anything to get their stuffs done, but suffered the poor ones by taking their livelihoods away at the same time. I do hope the ‘lord’ will do better in the future..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nurul, I suppose it’s the same story across the world. Poor are always the sufferers. People who have connections gets things done but poor people always suffer.
      Isn’t it so? What’s your experience?


  3. Hi thanks for including me in the group. I would like to take up Amer visits water walk once weather improves July Aug.
    Pl send me your visit schedule and also the fee charged..

    Get Outlook for iOS


  4. Key makes make such interesting photography subjects. As technology keeps updating, keys may slowly fade away. I wonder how these key makers will evolve. In Seoul, most doors are are keyless with combination locks. It saves clunky metal in our bags, but adds to the number of passwords one has to remember. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel a change only brings in a different set of problems, it doesn’t make things any easier. I remember seeing an advertisement where a drunk owner tries to open his voice assisted door with password and the assistant wouldn’t recognize his voice, thanks to alcohol. So it’s akin to losing key in the midnight. I’m sure there will be some solutions over the period of time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The plight of the key makers is really sad. Pray to God that they get the help they deserve.
    As always you have captured everything so well!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sad to see that many times in lieu of bigger projects, small incomes for the poor are sacrificed. Most people don’t even notice or talk about them. Glad you did, Arvind. I loved the monochrome look of the post. It added to the character and the history you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a universal phenomenon, Parul. One is unlikely to note given the fact that we all lead a busy life preoccupied with our schedule. Monochrome pictures have much more impact than color pictures. Have you ever tried?

      Liked by 1 person

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