The blunt knife

A hot day, a long ride in Bangalore traffic, a full stomach! All these things combined made me crave a full glass of cool lemonade today.

It’s Easter weekend – one of those days when my cleanliness obsessed mother goes on a dusting spree. Normally, she makes the best lemonade, but obviously, it wouldn’t have been fair of me to ask her to make it when she had so much to do, so I thought I’d prepare some for everyone.

“Ma, is there any lemon at home?”, I asked her.

“For what?”, came the suspicious reply. I couldn’t blame her really – I’ve caused enough accidents to get myself banned from the kitchen for life.

“For some lemonade Ma”, I said.

“Lemonade? Now? No!” she said, sternly.

“But why?”

“Because I have to clean the house and I don’t have time”

“Mother, I’ll make the lemonade”, I replied.

She was startled! I swear I could almost see a tear rolling down her cheek. It’s almost like her face was saying – “My son? Doing something good at home? I never thought I’d live to see this day.”

Ah, but she did! And so, off I went to the kitchen. I pulled out the one lemon I could find from the refrigerator. Placing three glasses on the kitchen counter, I filled them up with water and put the right amount of sugar and salt in them, following the perfect lemonade recipe.

I then proceeded to something far more dangerous – cutting the lemon. Taking the knife in one hand and the lemon in the other, I placed the yellow fruit down and brought the blade down on it to split it in two…

…but it didn’t work. Nothing happened! The lemon sat there on the kitchen counter, almost seemingly laughing at me.

So I tried again. I hit it again, but still, nothing. So I tried a different approach. I violently began to slide the blade over the thick skin of the lemon. Still, it refused to let the blade pass through it.

After over five minutes of futile struggle, I walked up to my mother in disappointment.

“Ma”, I said with my face down, “is there a sharper knife? This one is too blunt.”

She looked at me, almost feeling sorry for me. She took the knife from my hand, went up to the lemon, and in a split second, she brought the knife down, leaving the fruit in two exact equal halves.

She looked back, while I stood there with my mouth wide open. With the most disappointed face, she showed me the edge of the knife that she used – the sharp edge – the one I didn’t, and said –

“My son, the knife is not what’s blunt here.”



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