There's a lot to enthrall the little ones at a handicrafts exhibition in the city. The exhibition is on at C.P. Arts Centre till May 29.

The country's exhaustive landscape and culture can be explored by being an extempore traveller who saunters down alleyways or on a railroad that runs ceaselessly for miles.

In the city, you can turn explorer even on a scalding summer afternoon, strolling through a modest room where it is all laid out on tables and mounted on walls. The ‘handloom and handicrafts items for kids', organised by Poompuhar, brings under one roof, everything from Channapatna ‘Russian dolls' to Chikan work dresses from Lucknow.

As soon as you walk past her counter of Channapatna toys, Hemalatha springs up to tell you about the toys and for every toy she picks, she has a story. When she spins a wooden disc, the five wooden birds mounted on it, at once lower their necks in unison and nibble on grains made of paint. She then blew into a whistle and it imitated the chirping of birds.

The Chennapatna stall had everything from a model of the ‘Thomas engine', sharpeners fitted inside wooden ducks, pencils with joker heads, toys on wheels to sippers for infants. While their old kitchen set had the traditional stove, the new one came with a cylinder the size of a thumb. “Children can choose,” she said.

On another end are rattles and boxes made of palm leaves, in a kaleidoscope of colours, the smallest of which can be used as a pencil box, and the bigger ones as gifts and chocolate boxes. These vibrant boxes are made by a group of artisans from Pulicat in Thiruvallur District.

The exhibition also has cloth dolls from Jaipur, Marapachi toys from Kerala, Kondapalli and Eddikuppa toys from Andhra Pradesh, Pallanghuzi sets in bronze and wood, number sets made of wood, and block-printed garments from Rajasthan, among other items.

“This is the first time we are having such an exhibition for children and we timed it for the summer vacation,” says S. Devaraj, manager, Poompuhar.

The exhibition is on at C.P. Arts Centre till May 29.

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