MINOR ARTSIn pre-partition Punjab, a light wooden toy called Reloo Pehalwan used to be made. It represented an acrobat balancing himself pre-cariously on a small stool. Slightly different from this was another toy also called Reloo; made of paper. It balances itself on a small lump of clay. This specimen of Reloo is the restless type and cannot stand still. It keeps moving from right to left and vice versa, much to the mirth and delight of small children.
|A wide variety of traditional wooden toys are still being produced in Hoshiarpur. They are lacquer painted in bright colour-yellow, red, green etc. These include dolls, household articles, train, wheel birds, baby walkers (gadda) etc. About 30 years ago, small girls used to love to possess these toys.|
|The world of these colourful and joyful toys has gradually receded into the background, yielding place to cheap plastic products flooding our markets.|
|Wood and clay tops (lattoo) are still quite popular in some areas of Punjab such as Amritsar. Beautifully designed venetian lanterns known as Faloos or Fanoos were also made on this occasion by Muslim arti-sans. They were made of tissue paper, on which were pasted colour paper cut-outs of mythological figures. During the British period, a railway scene was very common. In the darkness of night, a diva (oil lamp) was placed inside the lantern, and one could enjoy the different scenes unfolding themselves in its flickering light. This provided a kind of entertainment for the people in those times when films were not in existence. Even today one can come across such a venetian lantern in Amritsar.|
|Kites, a favourite pastime of the Punjabis, is known by its various names - Guddi, Gudda, Mashli, koop, patang. Various festivals such as Basant Panchami (spring festival) provided special occasions for flying kites. Artistically designed kites, likes of which in my opinionare not made anywhere else in India, are available in many sizes. In some Pahari miniatures, one can get a glimpse of typically Punjabi kites.|
Sources: Cultural Heritage of Punjab, K C Aryan