A toy truck by a real Highway
Made me stop and click with joy
Made of wood with bright hues
The seller created Highway news!
Trucks, Cars, & even planes
Wait for buyers in sun and rains
The sellers are poor but always smile
And when you buy, they wave in style!
Let me add a few travel notes here. These sellers of hand-crafted trucks, tractors, planes, jeeps, and cars sit by the highway between Patiala and Chandigarh. Yes, they must be facing the hazards of being so near speeding vehicular traffic that is constantly increasing in density.
I wish I could have stopped for longer and visited the village from where these beautiful (though shoddy if you compare them to toys that are sold in malls and stores) hand-crafted toys are sourced. I would have loved to meet the rustics who craft them. I would have loved to spend some time looking at the tools they are using… and maybe photographed their workshop (if they have any) so that the experts can then reach out and train them or get better tools for them.
However, I wouldn’t want too many well-meaning NGOs to step in and spoil the originality of what these craftsmen are doing… or they would simply degenerate into bad clones of what is there in bigger stores and uses plastic. Something tells me that these artists must remain anonymous and keep doing their good work of springing a surprise to observant drivers on this route. The truth is that we were looking for a roadside juice cart when we saw these marvellous toys lined up on the ground and some on a make-shift shelf. They were dusty but seemed to beckon me with a disarming smile and I had no alternative but to step down and photograph a few of them.
‘Let’s buy a couple of them?’ I said.
Specky wasn’t so sure and so we decided to postpone the purchase for a later date. I am surely waiting for my next drive to Patiala.
04 February 2015