The Knife Sharpener

Wrinkled hands of a knife sharpener. Shot in Bangalore, Karnataka, India.

I noticed him from across the lane, his wrinkled hands grabbing my attention.

He was a ‘dhaar wala’, a knife sharpener. They are traditionally known for sharpening and selling knives throughout India.

They sharpen blades on a rotating stone disc, one that’s either manual or battery powered. Sparks fly as metal kisses the spinning stone wheel.

Knife Sharpener Wrinkled Hands sharpening a knife

I watched him manoeuvre the blade, his skill speaking louder than words. Wielding this apparatus requires dexterity, earned with scores of practice. His nimbleness was evident, years of mastery etched into the folds of skin.

Running along his arms was a riotous collection of scars, testimony to the decades spent in this craft.

With more mechanisation, such jobs hang in the balance. In the uncertainty of now, their future looks bleak. 

Read a moving article on them by the Hindustan Times here.

A portrait of the ‘dhaar wala’

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Published by Ishan Shanavas

I am a young adult, interested in nature, photography, art and culture. An aspiring polymath, I share my learnings through my blog. I also include insights from my favourite books.

2 thoughts on “The Knife Sharpener

  1. You shine light on the things and people we often look past and forget about. And that is so beautiful and compassionate.


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