The child in a 63-year-old has over 2,000 toys

August 13th, 2011 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), Aug 13 (IANS) They say in every man a child is hidden. And to discover that child in 63-year-old Gopal Khanna is not difficult at all.

Just look at his passionate collection of toys!

Khanna, who has collected more than 2,000 toys from as many as 12 countries, continues to buys them - but not to sell.

It is to satiate the urges of the child in him.

“I know my hobby is quite strange considering my age,” the retired banker says. “It is all because the child within me is still alive.”

Khanna, a resident of Azad Nagar in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, is often the butt of ridicule. “But I am so passionate that I hardly bother about those people or their comments.”

His impressive collection includes toys made from metals including gold, wood, marbles, rosewood, granite and clay.

“Dolls, train engines, cars, musical instruments, miniature monuments, wild animals and much more: you will see them all in various shapes and sizes in my collection,” Khanna says.

But he is not all play. Till his retirement three years ago, he managed to combine his passion with his role as senior computer operator in the Bank of Baroda.

“My collection includes toys from France, America, China, Japan, Italy and various other countries,” said the young old man who is partial to travel and has visited many countries.

He has recently returned from the US, from where he brought some dolls and a toy armoured tank.

Aware of his passion, Khanna’s relatives and friends, some settled offshore, now gift toys to him too.

“I could not have got such a vast collection if relatives and friends had not gifted these to me,” said Khanna.

He has been collecting toys half-a-century now.

Khanna’s craving for toys started when he started setting up `jhankis’ or tableaux at religious functions.

“I developed a unique bonding with the toys and other items used for the jhankis,” he said. “I started collecting the clay toys from these jhankis that remain part of my collection.”

Of course, with his collection growing by the day, Khanna has made special arrangements for storing them.

“I keep them in separate glass cases,” said Khanna. He takes every care when he gives some of them to his grandchildren for playing.

“My three grandchildren often ask for my toys,” says the man who is locally popular. “I hand over the toys only after giving them handling instructions. Not only this, I follow the kids till I get my toys back.”

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