Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Knife Sharpner in Streets: Chennai Vendors

Knife Sharpner seen with his machine in Chennai
Knife sharpner engaged in shrpening knife

Knife Sharpeners in India (You Tube)

It is a common sight to see Knife sharpening people carrying the strange old portable machine on their back and moves around the narrow lanes and bylanes of Chennai. The so called sharpening machine is the uncomplicated wooden frame, an old bicycle rim connected to the foot operated pedal through a shaft and crank, the whetstone or grindstone  wheel fixed on top and the thick cord serves as the belt between bicycle rim and the whetstone or grindstone wheel. While shaperpening the knife the man operates the pedal and the two wheels are in motion and the whetstone or grindstone wheel sharpens the knife based on the priciples of friction.

Most of the knife sharpening people found in Chennai are Muslims. They sharpen knives, scissors, arivalmanai (used for cutting vegetables in Chennai) and other sharp metal objects from the household women to the fruit vendors.

It is rare to see the vendors engaged in sharpening knives and scissors are and the trade is simply becoming redundant with time. People prefer to purchase a new pair of scissors or a knife to save themselves the hassle of waiting for an itinerant knife sharpener to appear around their streets.

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