I remember the days when I used to play with these wooden toys. I especially remember the tram (which looked something like this) and imagined me as a tram driver, driving all over Bombay. (yes Bombay had trams till 1964)
After all what is a toy? I think it is just an object which, in the hands of a child turns into the actual thing. The way a child’s imagination soars with a toy is unimaginable. So when a child sits on this rocking horse, he gets himself transported to faraway places, fighting gallant wars, saving damsels in distress. . . . . . the possibilities are endless, which only a child can imagine.
Saw the display of these toys last week while driving down from Bangalore to the Nilgiris. On the way is a small town by the name of Channapatna which is famous for its wooden toys dating back to many generations.
Now they have come up with many more fancy stuff, like these wooden flower vase which is bound to have some international interest.
A plethora of musical instruments
and artists who play them
I have no idea how an abacus works so I wonder if this is a real one as I see only nine beads in some rows.
These squirrels (and the penguin) with an articulate body is a work of art.
Somebody has come up with this saving bank made of wood in a unique shape.
Are these Flamenco dancers?
Car seat cover with wooden beads
With a choice of so many toys, I observed a child picking up a colourful plastic toy (made in China)
The toys of Channapatna are made of wood and coloured with vegetable dyes. They are cost effective and safe for children to play with, provided parents encourage them.
It is not surprising that Michele Obama was impressed with the toys at Channapatna and bought some to be taken back to White House as mementoes.
The next time I pass by this town, I will make it a point to go into the interiors and visit some factories where these toys are made.
Sunset at the Nilgiris.
A three minute video showing more toys: