Monday, May 22, 2017

Diminishing trades

I was returning home after running an errand this evening. I saw these three guys sharpening knives in front of a bakery beside my house. 


I ran to my house to get the two kitchen knives to sharpen. It wasn't necessary but I was excited. It's not easy to spot mobile knife sharpeners these days. These men were still sticking to a legacy.
What are these nice mechanical knife sharpening machines called? They are run by pedalling a wheel which rotates the grinding wheel mounted on top. The knife's edge is held parallel to the wheel. The fire sparks that emits while sharpening is something nice to look at but better be away from them. 
I remember seeing them often as a kid. By the time I came back with the knives, they were gone! I cursed myself for not hurrying up. Then I saw them carrying their machines on their back and walking away. I tried whistling to get their attention, well I'm not a good whistler. So I just ran after them and got the knives sharpened. I asked them why they left so soon from the bakery, they said nobody came by to sharpen the knives and so they left.
Seeing them pedal the wheel as the knife was being sharpened was mesmerising. Yeah! i find that little joy in things as these. Moments like these take you back to your growing up years. Not everyone wait for these people nowadays. It is much easier to replace a blunt knife with a new one rather than waiting for these guys when you are not sure when they'd turn up and if you are going to be at home and notice them when they do turn up.
Busy lives, most of us work, start early and return late. And the little time we get free; we either want to chill at home sleeping or on TV or loaf around. I was thinking how much such old profession and trades are getting lost these days. We used to have women selling coconut broomsticks, rangoli powder or even men on their cycles coming to your doorstep to dye old clothes or even mobile tailors. 
Alas! It's a priviledge if you come across any of these bygone traders these days.