I met Dhirendra bhai in 20008 because I was running a local news blog, and he was an avid follower. He invited me over to his small workshop. He was an expert die and mould designer. I immediately knew that cause my father was also an expert thermoplastic dies, mould and machine manufacturer.

I had sold the family manufacturing business and didn’t like getting my hands dirty on the shop floor. I prefer to sit in front of my MacBook, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect men who get their hands greasy and spend hours trying to shape a metal die or plastic moulding every day. I felt I am too delicate for the heavy metal work and smoking hot plastic moulds.

I keep in touch on and off with Dhirendra bhai

Since I respected Dhirendra bhai’s knowledge of the world which I had left behind, I still kept in touch with him on WhatsApp. Every few years, I would check with him about his work.

Things were good, but then GST happened.

I don’t understand GST and how it has adversely affected small manufacturers like Dhirendra bhai. He was a technocrat who exported stuff to the Gulf countries. He was always making innovative products. Once he showed me images of the pet poop scooper he had designed, he said since you are in Bandra and it has a pet poop problem, it would be a food test market for him.

But suddenly, after the introduction of GST by the central government, I saw Dhirendra bhai’s upwardly mobile tune change to that of a disgruntled manufacturer. Since we were only conversing on WhatsApp, I never understood why he was so pissed about GST.

He would invite me to his office, but since I love my MacBook and rarely go out of my home, I resisted his invitation.

We again connected during Covid

This time his economic hardships had crossed the tolerance threshold. His business was ruined, and he had almost no income. He gave confusing statements. He told me we could work together, and he again called me to his office to formalise our work. I sensed it wasn’t a good opportunity and resisted the meeting again.

I messaged him last week

I lost touch after covid, but I again remembered my dad’s manufacturing work and thought I should check on Dhirendra bhai. I messaged him asking, “How is life?”

His son replied that his dad passed away due to covid.

So this makes me wonder, did covid kill Dhirendra bhai or did GST? If you know how GST has affected small businesses, email me.