As I spend a warm winter afternoon , reclined on a cosy chair in my balcony , I feel totally blessed and happy. What more could I ask for ?
And there ! As if in reply to my musings , I hear an excited chatter from the street below.
And lo and behold , I sight a rare sight ! A pheriwala on a cycle selling many kinds of colourful toys for kids . The kind that children just don’t get to see these days .
As he rings the quaint cycle bell in anticipation of arousing excitement , the metallic sound is matched with excited chatter among the young children.
They gather excitedly around the Pheriwala and his delectable wares.
Now that is a sight which definitely adds to my happiness quotient – the sight of happy & excited children !
There are some children who remain at a safe distance from the pheriwala , admiring the trinkets from a distance.
Then there are some bold ones who venture close and cautiously touch the marvels on wheels.
The treasure on wheels includes funny little horns & hooters , colourful pin -wheels , wooden tik – toks , some damrus , bright diamond shaped kites and much more.
Twisted red balloons hang from the handles of his cycle , much like grapes in a vineyard.
Even the cycle wheels are embellished with some colourful threads.
Two adventurous young souls are already exploring the coloured spokes.
A couple of them are already on a high decibel conversation with their parents from far , sending out a brave request for a piece of treasure from the pheriwala.
In response to the loud clamor, I can also see some parents taking resigned steps towards the pheriwala .
The pheriwala accepts cash but also proudly displays a Paytm signage on the front wheel.
Perhaps this is the only visible mark of his advent into the all invasive tech era.
Each of the goods on his wheeled chariot are manually operated. All that children need to do is touch , push , blow , break and fix it together with their own hands.
In an age where parents claim that their children are ‘attention deficit ‘ , the Pheriwala manages to hold their attention for a good twenty minutes. An Olympic feat indeed !
The teacher in me begins to tick . Why is the pheriwala still so attractive for the kids ? Why does he fascinate young children ?
Well , the answer is really simple
That’s because essentially children love the human touch . They thrive on touch and feel. They love to own , cuddle , imagine, hold and stamp their toys.
So, I gather that its really not about the money and fancy gadgets after all . It’s all about perking up their neurons . And setting them on the path to joyful discovery.
The screens and the bot still have a competitor – the pheriwala .
The thought warms my heart to a merry cheer which even the sun cannot furbish.
Long live the pheriwala !