Dear Makers of Amul Cheese Tins,
You know, I have a can opener. In fact, I have several. More than one, certainly. The one I think of as the can opener has been in the family for some forty years and is doing sterling service still.
Can openers are such a wonderful invention, I must bow to the person who conceived the idea. They don't seem to care about my left-handedness and work equally well if I am turning the lever clockwise or anti-clockwise; they just need to get a bite into the edge, and then it is voila time.
Now, you used to have a nice tin, which it was easy to open thanks to the aforementioned device. And then, perhaps you got the 'improved better new version' bug, you went and started making tins with ring tabs. Hullo, cheese tins aren't beer cans, you know? The weight of the metal sheet and the thickness all differ, don't you know?
I was brought up to be obedient and follow rules and instructions. This morning as I pottered around making breakfast, I took out the new cheese tin and I noticed that you have added a ring tab, as though a cheese tin was a beer can. The helpful instructions printed on it said to pull the tab up towards the rim and then to peel it back.
I obediently inserted my index finger in to the ring and pulled the tab up, no problem, but to pull it back? Did you have Samson and Hercules and other strongmen in mind when you decided to go for this? Do you think the superhuman strength mothers display to pull their children out from under cars or whatever carries over to opening a tin of cheese?
I acquired a gash, thin and not immediately bleeding as such, on the first phalanx of my index finger before it occured to me that I could use my can opener as usual. But my assumption of Herculean might had lifted the top of the cover in a few uneven chunks. So after I wielded my trusty can opener, the top still wouldn't come off, it was being held down by slivers and twists of metal.
Usually, my can opener runs its lovely course round the edge of the tin and I insert the tip of a knife and lever the top open. Today I had to get my pliers which also cut metal to do the job. But before I got to that point, I already had three what in cruciverbal speak would be: Delicate fabric shares wounds (11) lacerations, bleeding freely on my thumb, two on other fingers.
I know it is only one finger out of ten, but if it weren't for our opposable thumbs we humans wouldn't be what we are. I know too, I am left-handed, so a cut up right thumb doesn't sound like a disaster. But have you considered that no matter handedness, most tasks need two- handed operation?
If it was one cut I could have stuck a Band-Aid on it. Gritting one's teeth and carrying on is what people do after all. But, dear Makers of Amul Cheese Tins, multiple lacerations meant that I could not dress the cut. Cuts. Whatever. How many spot Band-Aids can a thumb take, after all?
I abandoned grating cheese, anyhow. And then I abandoned the notion of cooking with any vegetable that needs peeling since you know, peeling requires using a thumb to guide the blade and all that, and my thumb wasn't up to it.
Even cooking innocuous Dal Palak or stir-fried okra was fraught. Did you ever consider the phrase adding salt to wounds? It hurts. And consider adding a twist of lemon to a dish. Do you know what the juice of a lemon does to a cut?
But, dear Makers of Amul Cheese Tins, what hurt most was this: as I bled and tried to stop the bleeding and open your tin at the same time, I dripped blood on surfaces; of the pliers, the can opener, my chopping board, the tin and into the tin. There is no way, no amount of scraping off the top that will suffice, that I can bring myself to eat cheese from that tin.
Please, could you see your way to making tins the way you used to? I am a vegetarian, you see?