Some of the testimonies to his craftsmanship are already resting with the American president Barack Obama and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabo in the form of mementoes given to them during their last visit to India.
But C.P. Pradeepan, a wood craftsman hailing from Vallikkunnu near here is on an interestingly different mission now. He wants to challenge the present Guinness record for making the world smallest functioning mousetrap, which is in the name of an Austrian called Franz Rosenberger.
Mr. Pradeepan is ready with his tiny trap, a grain-sized one, constructed of wood and metal, measuring 6mm x 4mm. The smallest mousetrap holding the present record measures 9mm x 5mm.
Mr. Pradeepan, whose numerous handicrafts are sold through the various outlets of the ‘Kairali’ Handicrafts Development Corporation, a state government undertaking, landed on his present venture as part of settling a score with the Guinness World Record authorities, who had earlier rejected one of his “legitimate” attempts to enter the acclaimed book of records.
He made it by constructing the tiniest possible working model of a ‘Charka,’ bigger versions of which had been presented to Mr. Obama and Mr. Wen as well earlier, as it represented the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi and therefore stood as a metaphor of India. The Guinness authorities however turned down his claim for “reasons unknown” to him.
Then he decided to make an attempt to enter the book by breaking an existing record rather than taking up the challenge of creating a new record in making the smallest version of a relatively unfamiliar thing (Charka) to the Western world. “I zeroed down on a device that is familiar to the whole world—A mousetrap,” said the 40-year-old craftsman.
His mousetrap, a bigger version which had been successfully tested for trapping mice, is made of four tiny pieces of Rosewood, three small brass-bars, two of them bent into U-shape and the other into an Z-shape.
A small box is made with the Rosewood. The two U-shaped bars are inserted through the holes at the top of the box, one at the front and the other at the back. The Z-shaped bar is inserted though the hole at the centre of the box. The food-stuff is fixed at the edge of this Z-shaped bar inside the box and the edge outside the box is connected to one of the U-shaped bars so that the U-bar is lifted up. When the rat bites the food-stuff on the Z-bar, it gets dislocated and brings down the U-bar entrapping the rat.
“I have successfully exhibited the model before some of the authorities including the Panchayat president of Vallikkunnue,” said Mr. Pradeepan, who was creating assorted forms handicrafts including wooden elephants, snake-boats and Urus, in a small shed adjacent to his house for the last 15 years. “I hope to enter the book of records this time around,” said the resolved craftsman, who is all set to make his Guinness claim with his tiny trap soon.