Chaki – by Bimal Prasad
This is a household grinding machine called a ‘Chaki’, made of stone. It has two parts:an upper plate and a lower plate. The upper plate is rotated over the stationary lower plate with the help of a handle fixed at its periphery.
There is a small vertical rod fixed at the centre of the lower plate which passes through a hole at the centre of the upper plate. The rod serves as an axis around which the upper plate is rotated with the help of the handle. There is sufficient gap in the hole through which grain is poured.
While the grain is poured by one hand, the upper plate is rotated by the other hand with the help of the handle. The grain is pressed between the plates and is ground and powdered. After some time, the upper plate is removed and the grain powder is collected from the surface of the lower plate along with the powder which has come out through the gap between the plates in the course of manual grinding.
The chaki was a common sight in Indian households; no more now. Though physically out of sight, it has left a lasting imprint on the Indian mind because of its metaphorical association with some Hindi couplets conveying deep meanings related to life and living. Continue reading