Storytellers of a new generation
Subscribe to 101India

The Last Of The Mattress Fluffers | 101 Traces

The twangy sound of the gaddawala's instrument may soon fade away.

Back in the days before coir and foam mattresses, pillows and mattresses were stuffed with cotton. And when those mattresses became lumpy, the mattress fluffer would drop by with his 'pinjar'. The twanging sound of his instrument is an instant throwback to a simpler time, when things were not just discarded, but repaired and reused.

101 Traces looks at the last of anything: ethnic communities, folk craftsmen, disappearing trades, forgotten people. It sketches portraits of these unique individuals, locked in a battle they cannot win: a battle against the future. Together, they represent the dying whispers of ancient heritage and traditional individuality. As India moves towards homogenized global pop culture, 101 Traces honors the people, the objects, and the skills that connect us to our ancient identity.