January 3, 2015

The Toymaker

Even as a young boy, Julian has always loved to tinker. He would gather various stuff from the backyard and after a few hours would come up with something to play with. He not only liked to play with toys, he loved to make them.
After several decades Julian’s became the most successful toy company in the country. Though he no longer made them himself, he was personally in charge of the production. He was the one to conceptualize the design, to choose the color, the size and the texture. He decided which toy for which age and most importantly, he checked to make sure that the toys were safe.
Then, various types of gadgets came out and before long Julian was nearly out of business. A widower for several years, Julian sold his company and bequeathed all his money to his grown-up children to be divided evenly among them. Then one day, he disappeared.
His children began the search for their father. They notified the authorities and hired private detectives. But the toymaker seemed to cover his tracks well. It took his children a year to finally find him. He was selling toys to town plazas during fiestas.
He made cars out of old cans and rubber, airplanes and boats out of twigs and old tarpaulins, toy tea set out of clay and dolls out of rags. He sold them to poor children who couldn’t afford expensive toys and modern gadgets. His face would light up every time a child squeals with delight over his creation.  He earned just enough to feed himself and buy materials to make more toys for the next town.
His face didn’t register any surprise when his children came towards him. He invited them inside his cramped tent. He didn’t wait for them to speak because he knew what they wanted.
‘I know you’re here to take me home. But you have to understand that I don’t want to go. This is my home now, this tent and wherever it is. All my life I wanted only one thing.. to make toys, to make children happy. It gives meaning to my life. It makes me wake up with a purpose.
Can you imagine how it feels like when you don’t know what to do? Yes, I have money and though money can buy all the things a person could possibly want, it doesn’t make me happy, making toys does. So, that’s what I chose to do. Now, I’m old. I may not live long and I want to spend my remaining years doing what I love most and doing what I do best.. making toys.’
Then one of his children spoke..
‘If you want to make toys, we can put up a business.Something smaller than the one we used to have. That way, you don’t have to live like this..’
‘You’re not listening, my son.. I said I like to make toys. It doesn’t matter where. What matters to me is that I make children happy. I chose to make toys for poor children because they genuinely like the ones I make. They don’t see them as simple playthings, they see them as treasures. And by treasuring my toys, they treasure me, and that, my son, is what life is all about… ‘
His children left the toymaker in his tent. But they regularly visit him anywhere he went. And when he died, they knew how meaningful his life has been..
(Original story by the blog author. Any similarities with other stories, fiction or otherwise, are purely incidental.)

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