Monday, February 8, 2010


Made in China

Latif Bhai cuts the metal strips.
Ganesh and Giridhar sharpen their sides to knife-edges.

D' Souza picks the junglewood bits,
sells them to Peer Muhammed
who sizes them down to knife handles.

Nair mates metal knife and wooden handle
on his attic work-bench.
As Ammini sharpens each against the spinning stone wheel,
sparks fly.
Their son, Pravin, trims all the edges,
adds the rivets and cleans the knives.

Rashid Bhai mounts the crate, packed with knives
onto his green Raleigh bicycle
and trundles around, galli-galli.
Leela Behn touches, feels, pats, bends, twists, haggles,
and buys one.

In another part of the city,
legions of precisely made stainless steel knives
made in a Kaizen-certified factory
glisten in a supermarket's flourescent light.


2 comments:

Kiran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kiran said...

Here goes again... there is definitely something magical about handcrafted things that mass manufactured goods lack.

The same magic exists in a scribbled hand-written letter. It is priceless especially in comparison with an e-mail...

So power to all the Bhais and Behens you've mentioned here! For some strange reason, Mr. Haldiram and his goons come to mind...