The green train engine was sulking. The joker with the tin drum was completely ignoring him today, he has been chit chatting with the bald doll since morning. Sitting on the pelmet, the crying doll and the walkie talkie doll were watching the whole scene below with amusement. They are all Tiya’s toys, though she doesn’t play with them anymore she has kept them very carefully. Her dad had got her the bald doll when she was a little baby. The green train and the joker with the drum were birthday gifts from her uncle. Her Masi had got Tiya and her sisters the crying doll and the walkie talkie doll from abroad.
As a child, Tiya spent many afternoons playing with these toys. She would wind the train engine and it would go across the room with a shrill whistle. The joker would play the drum and nod its head. The bald doll would be put to sleep, while Tiya and her sisters would make tea in their toy tea-sets or prepare lunch in their toy kitchen and serve tea and snacks to the dolls and a few wooden toys. The crying doll and the walkie doll were their most coveted toys. They would show off these dolls proudly to their cousins and friends. The crying doll would start wailing the moment her soother was taken out. The walkie talkie doll would wish good day and walk a few steps at the press of a button in its belly. The girls would watch them with delight and clap their hands. The toys were numbered, but they were enough to keep Tiya and her sisters entertained, and they handled them with great care.
Even after they grew up, they cherished these toys. The train, the joker, the bald doll, the mini tea-sets and few wooden toys were kept in a showcase. The crying doll and the walkie doll were placed on the pelmet. The train didn’t whistle any more, the joker wouldn’t drum at all, the dolls have stopped crying and talking, but the girls loved them as much. These toys were part of their happy childhood. Tiya would occasionally take them out, dust them and put them back.
Around that time, Tiya was introduced to the whole range of Leo toys and Hot Wheels cars, courtesy of her cousin. Leo Toys and Hot Wheels were pretty new then, her uncle started getting these for his son. Tiya and her sisters were invited to play and share the toys. A train with an engine and bogeys moving on the tracks, a hen that would lay eggs, super-fast cars, Tiya had never seen such fancy toys. She would play with them for a while, but her heart went to out to her old toys.
Soon Tiya left home for studies and then took up a job. Her sister got married and had a son. When the child grew up a little, their dad, the loving grandfather, gave all their old toys to her little nephew. The joker and train were broken in no time, the dolls now have broken limbs. Tiya’s sister finally rescued the dolls from her son and put them aside, whatever was left of them. “He has so many toys, nothing holds his interest for more than two days. And then there are video games,” her sister often complains. “Don’t know why dad gave our toys to him”.
Times have changed, children are spoilt for choice now. What do they know about cherishing a few broken old toys?