Meet Ima,from Bangalore. For the last three years, she has been sitting near the Rangoli Art Centre, MG Road, selling childrens’ toys.
What toys and what’s so special about that, you would say? Well, she is selling traditional toys. Remember the slings, gilli danda , lattu, marbles we used to play in our childhood? Any many more. Forgotten today in the age of WhatsApp and video games. Makes you slightly nostalgic? Well, probably one reason why you should pay her a visit.
This lady takes pains, sourcing her toys from places as far off as Trichy and Madurai, and says even these are getting tough to procure now, because of the lack of interest from customers. Sure enough, I saw a gentleman stop with his grand-daughter, and then walk away, disinterested. And Ima says this is the case with most people- very few stop here. Sure enough, in the glitziness of MG Road, who cares for traditional toys?
Look at it this way. These are not only toys. These are art forms, gradually disappearing in a fast paced world. We spend money to collect art, right? We might as well as do the same for these works.
I had a pleasant chat with her. She is originally from Coimbatore, and despite the lack of interest from customers, has kept at it for three years. In her words, “I have to keep doing my bit.” Her website is www.imacreation.in
This Diwali, please salute this gritty lady who is trying to do her bit to uphold our traditions. And the next time you visit MG Road,Bangalore, please pay her a visit if you can, even if you don’t buy her toys. She will be tickled pink.
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