The pandemic has caused tailoring business to drop significantly.
There was dismay in his eyes.
He looked at me with disappointment. There was extreme sadness in his voice when he broke the silence.
"Last year, during this time I was in my shop, busy with making Eid outfits for my clients," he recalled with a dry smile on his face.
"This year, I have nothing," he said as his eyes welled up with tears.
We were sitting on the verandah of his single-storied house in Keraniganj. It was an extremely hot day and the power was out.
We picked two plastic chairs and went outside to sit under a guava tree for shade and respite.
The father of two daughters and a son, he has been a tailor all his life. He could not recollect since when, and said, "Probably since my teenage days."
The coronavirus pandemic has caused businesses to shut down since the end of March. The mall where Taslim runs his shop has also been shut, forcing Taslim to close down his only source of income.
"The tailoring business does not bloom all year round. The peak season is from Shab-e-Barat to a week ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. However, we are the busiest during the month of Ramadan because most people buy and make new outfits during Eid-ul-Fitr," he explained.
The pandemic has brought his life to a standstill with a bleak future ahead. He has no orders and no revenue, let alone profit. To add to his woes, Taslim said he had to pay the staff salaries in full even after having almost no income.
Asked about his factory, Taslim said that he has three apprentices who work at his shop in Elephant Road in the capital.
"I cannot take orders because the machines are inside my shop, and it has been closed due to the pandemic," he told this correspondent adding that he did not make a penny during this festival season.
On the other hand, another tailor in the same market, Farooq had a different story to narrate.
"Ramadan is the month of business and profits for us. I make between Tk4 lakh and Tk6 lakh every year just in the month of Ramadan. This year, I did not make half the profit, but I am not empty handed."
The pandemic has caused businesses to drop significantly, but that could not stop Farooq from doing his work.
Farooq's factory is not inside the market but rather near his house in Bosila. The factory, which was initially closed, was finally reopened after the government's nod.
"I told my clients that if they can send me the fabric, I can make the dresses and get those delivered to them. The responses were not overwhelming but, it is always good to have something over nothing." he said.
Although the government has permitted reopening the malls, many owner associations have, however, kept them closed to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, seeking anonymity, a staff from Top Ten, a reputed brand of fabric and tailors for men, said that there has been a sharp fall in the number of sales and tailoring orders since March.
Not only during Ramadan, the tailoring business has seen a sharp fall since the last two months due to the pandemic. It has also given rise to an acute financial crisis.
Many tailors took shops on lease and now have to pay a fat amount of money as rent. Recently, a number of owners have been putting pressure on their commercial tenants for rents.
"The shop owner threatened to throw me out if I did not pay the Tk1 lakh rent before Eid," said a tailor of Banani Super Market, seeking anonymity.
The overall situation can be attributed to the economic crisis and the shutdown imposed by the government.
"People are now staying home and making new clothes are the least of their concerns now," said Urmi, a banker who lives in Dhaka.
She also narrated that given the current situation, she has not bought a new dress like every time. She blamed the pandemic and said, "Going to the tailor's shop amid this situation is not wise, hence I chose to avoid the hassle."