Deja Vu

Chennai walks – a dying “profession”

Today morning Amma and I went for a walk after many days. All of us have been having the seasonal viral fever and the never ending cough so the walks had come to a full stop. The cough is a funny thing – its there many days after the fever. Even Sri mentioned that he the cough has persisted while the fever went away in one or three days.

A few minutes after we got back home, I heard a moped coming into the our gated community and someone calling out loud “saanai” “kathi saanai”. This is the knife sharpener and I thought these guys were no longer in business. He came to the house opposite ours and got their grinder stone sharpened and also their knives. I went out and asked his permission to take a few pictures. He happily obliged. He even called me when he started to sharpen the knives. He wanted to know if I had any knives that had to be sharpened, and I told him that I use the serrated ones so they don’t need sharpening. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I use Swiss knives that Keshav had got for me – these don’t require sharpening at all.

The knife sharpener is first fixing the grinder stone.

The knife sharpener is first fixing the grinder stone.

He posed with his knife sharpening equipment !

He posed with his knife sharpening equipment !

Its so hard to imagine in this day and age that someone can make a livelihood out of sharpening knives. He carries all this equipment on his moped. It was a throw back to an earlier era … Am certainly praying that he gets enough to live a decent life and provide for his family. Am sure he does some other work too to augment his earnings.

I have to now capture a picture of the “boom boom Madu” – there are a bunch of guys who decorate a bull and bring it to every household in the village or town and they will ask for rice or clothes etc. They will bless the house and the people if you give them something. Probably one of these days I will find one of them.

I had written a review about this book Book review – The lost generation which speaks of 11 dying professions and the knife sharpener is definitely one of those dying professions ! 😦



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