Car 6

Mr Sanjay Kumar

Outward appearance

Broad-shouldered man, balding, all in grey: jeans, shirt, jacket, scuffed boots. Between his feet is a grey bucket with washing up liquid and window wipes. He appears to be asleep. His hands clasped in front him form an arrowhead shape with his index fingers. They point to the bucket. A large keyring weighs down his belt.

Inside information

Owner of seven businesses around Kennington Road near Lambeth North. All of them were having difficulties with the exception of the dry cleaning shop. Now they all are.

What he is doing or thinking

Sanjay is resting but not asleep. He takes advantage of the tube to close his eyes. He thinks of his businesses.

Another dry cleaning shop has opened on the parade. It's part of a large chain. The manager, a Punjabi, offers swingeing discounts. "Your second item free. Half price discount for all items brought in before 9.00 am."

Such pricing is not sustainable. It's an attempt to drive Sanjay out of business, backed up by the stability of the chain. They are relying on his other losses to pull him down. When the Punjabi, sleek with his mobile phone, passes Sanjay in the street, the man grins.

So Sanjay washes his own windows, hoovers his own floors and racks his brains. He sees the faces of the staff he might have to let go, in the security shop or pharmacy.

Can he offer customers something else? Loyalty vouchers? Personal delivery? He sees himself carrying hangers in plastic bags, running up office stairs.

Then falling.

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