Hyderabad: “Bhande qalai kara lo (get your utensils a tin coat)” was one call to which every household responded to a few years ago. The tradition of keeping brass and copper utensils at home is long forgotten with the intrusion of pressure-cookers and stainless steel vessels.
Previously, the brass and copper-based utensils were widely used and the demand was high in all the seasons. In addition to that, they would require polishing every five or six years. This gave a handful of work and stable income to the craftsmen.
The practice of ‘qalai’ is slowly disappearing and the craftsmen ‘qalaigar’ are not very optimistic about the future in the trade. Many of these craftsmen can still be seen in the non-descript shops of the Old City.