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In the unpretentious little town of Sawantwadi, in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district, is a shop called Kanekar Toys. Here, on the shelves, counters and even the floor you’ll find woodenware of all kinds. There are painted stools, ladles, necklaces, jewellery boxes and key chains. But it is the wooden toys that demand the buyer’s attention. You’ll find babushka dolls with an Indian twist, cars, bikes, planes and bullock carts made to scale, little animal figurines, pencil sharpeners shaped like Raj-era soldiers and many more such excellent handcrafted wood toys. After staring at the many toys with my eyes and mouth wide open, I decided to buy this adorable Pinocchio (Rs 60) with its moveable head and limbs and a very happy caterpillar (Rs 90) with a flexible back. The caterpillar is for my three-year-old niece but the Pinocchio is mine.
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