Memories of a childhood

Sawantwadi toys from Maharashtra are facing the onslaught of commercialisation

Memories of a childhood

Shoma Abhyankar

The piercing sunlight makes its way through the kaleidoscope of foliage and falls on the grey cement floor where an array of bananas suns itself. A basket of bright red pomegranates sits next to these. The rest of the floor is strewn with chisels among other tools, wood shavings and carved wooden pieces, all suggesting an artiste’s unfinished craft.  These fruits made of wood are the handiwork of 75-year-old Suresh Mahadev Chitari and his assistants.