Saturday, 11 October 2014

Dhobi mark (Mark of a Washer Man)

As I was digging in the old trunk, I came across some of my cloths form the academy days with some weird markings and all my cloths bore the same marking. Those are the markings made by the Dhobi (washer man).

Even now it amazes me by the marking of a dhobi on the cloths that maybe sent for washing. The markings are simple. It is the combination of +, - , _, =, .., ( , ) , # , ! , etc. there is a proper place for marking and it cannot be erased even after repeated washing.

With those marking they can make out the address accurately. I know that because when I was in India the dhobis did not misplace even a single handkerchief that was sent for washing. And there was no long address and names written on the cloths other than just the weird markings with a dark pen.

I asked them about the secret once, but they did not divulge with the secret. The markings of the dhobi in India can be compared to that of barcodes. It is just a weird drawing for us but for them it contains a great deal of information.

The dhobi marks are so awesome that sometimes we refer to signing the documents as putting a dhobi mark. Please put your dhobi mark on that = please sign on that, jocularly. Thais could be understood only if one had used the service of dhobis in India.