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Joy of Making Indian Toys

Introduction The best thing a child can do with a toy is to break it. The next best thing is to make it. This book is about toys which children can make and break freely. The low cost or rather no-cost toys documented in the book are the everyday playthings of millions of Indian children, past and present. Joy of Making Indian Toys [Illustrations by D. K. Sharma] Strictly speaking, most of the toys documented here do not have a technical or standard name....

The King who Played Marbles

The little kingdom was plunged in darkness. There were no festivities, no sounds of music or laughter. Grief was writ large on the faces of the people and the lamps in the palace burned low. Outside the curtained bedroom of the young ruler, the men and women who worked for him stood and sat in anxious postures, full of sorrow. Many were weeping softly. The king was ill. He was on his deathbed. The short illness that had struck so suddenly but a week before, had been pronounced beyond treatment by the doctors who had come their heads together and tried every possible medicine… but death was stronger than their medical knowledge....

Tenali Rama and the Jinx

Tenali Rama and the Jinx

Clown, jester, poet…Tenali Rama, minister in the court of the ruler of Vijaynagar, Krishnadeva Rai (reign: 1509-30), was a lot of things. Stories, about Tenali Rama and his practical jokes on everyone around him including distinguished fellow poets and the emperor himself, abound in south India. His fame spread beyond Vijaynagar (present-day Andhra Pradesh), to areas that come in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka today. Tenali Rama was also a great scholar of several languages that included Marathi, Tamil and Kannada....

A Salty Life

A Salty Life

It is one of the most common scenes in Bollywood films. There has been a jewel robbery in the house of a rich man. He comes walking down a long staircase and asks all the servants to gather. Then his eyes fall on the oldest servant. The servant falls on his knees and says Sarkar aapka namak khaaya hai (My lord, I have eaten your salt). Remember the dreaded dacoit Gabbar Singh in Sholay, one of the biggest hits in the history of Bollywood, released in 1977?...

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