A knife-sharpener is actually a profession back in India, or atleast it was when I was growing up. There used to be a guy who would ride around in a bicycle outfitted with wooden slats carrying a wide variety of sharp knives – and a really heavy whetstone to sharpen knives with wedged somewhere in front or behind him on that flimsy bike. He was the original dare-devil; imagine riding around the bumpy Hyderabad roads with so many sharp objects close to your body!
My mom or grandmother would flag him down and present all the knives in the house to him for sharpening; in a very ‘green’ display of using human energy, he would hook up the whetstone apparatus to the cycle in a way that the stone would whirl around as he pedaled – and he help up the knives against that blade to produce a deafening ‘grrrrr’, plenty of sparks that amused my 8-yr-old self, and a brilliantly sharp edge. I would watch my mom slice through piles of vegetables the day after this awesome feat of low-tech machinery, and sorely miss the ingenuity of the true ‘cutting-edge’ technology of the good old days!