Celebrating mass-produced, frugal, aesthetic design from india

The Indispensable one : the chaaku

Call it chakku or choori or chura …

Knife is sure to be that one object that is used by us all so often.

The origin of a knife date back as far as two and a half million years ago. The earliest knifes were shaped by knapping (percussion flaking) of rock, particularly harder rocks such as obsidian and flint. As recent as five thousand years ago, as advances in metallurgy progressed, stone ,wood  and bone blades were gradually succeeded by copper , bronze, iron and eventually steel.

Not only did the form of knives and the materials used undergo a change but the type of knives grew with the demands of newer and more modern societies.

While the basic functions of knife still remain same (to cut) its use in various areas was explored. A huge range of knifes are available today only to suffice the needs of a modern kitchen

Though the knife is available in many varieties, the material of the most popular mass –consumed variety of knife is the one in our homes, steel blade and plastic handle.  And this is the one particularly we are focusing on. it sometime comes with a circular opening in the plastic handle meant for hanging the knife. A very utilitarian feature.

With an affordable price range of Rs. 15 to Rs. 60, Indian knifes are available in many varieties.

In India there are some towns famous for manufacturing of knife only. Meerut, Rampur and Aligarh have been time again known for their knife manufacturing industries.

The knife also finds its reference in daily language to refer to a quick witted person – zaban chaaku ki tarah tez hai (your tongue is as sharp as a knife).

It has found reference in Bollywood films also time and time again, like the famous song, CHAKU CHURIYAAN TEZ KARA LO!!  Seen here is also the equipment for sharpening knives being used by the actress. The charge of sharpening the knives, done by local door to door vendors in India, the qualities of a knife are all emphasized here .A wonderful educational watch for knowing the knife!

 So, why do we love this little tool?

For the simplicity of its that it has not changed essentially from many centuries

And its ease of holding
long shelf life
and durability of design
And the very fact , we can’t simply do without it in our daily life makes it a design mela product

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