|My son’s peeing partner|
I am a souvenir fanatic, I have to buy stuff wherever I go but as it turns out most often, it is not actually the specialty of the place or even worse it is available in Pondy bazaar or the numerous “handicraft exhibitions” that are put up in many places in Chennai. You are sure to find chennapatna wooden tops, semi-precious jewellery, traditional Rajasthani outfits for kids, carved wooden corner tables, centre tables etc. in these handicraft exhibitions in the city. No item is exclusive to any place anymore. Most things you find in a tourist place are already available somewhere in your own city. As long as what I buy is unique and I like it, I don’t mind buying coloured glass chandeliers in Goa, painted terracotta ganeshas in Kodaikanal or silk coin purses in Darjeeling.
I found those silk coin purses so enchanting I bought one for everybody in the family. Imagine my embarrassment when a few months later I found heaps of these purses being sold on Pondy bazaar platform. This happens a lot to me and my husband is ever-ready to point out my blunders. But I don’t mind. He never stops me from buying anything, so I guess that more than compensates for his pointy behaviour.
Danish display however is a really cool crafts store unlike your usual Indian touristy shop that you’ll find inside most 5-star hotels – pashmina shawls, semi-precious jewellery, carved elephant you get the picture? If you are going to Kodaikanal, you should visit Danish Display especially if you love crafts, knickknacks and pretty things. Danish Display has a wide range of things, I loved just looking though them. Most of their stuff is quite unique, although they have the usual wooden bangles and jute jewellry also. They have these tiered crocheted lamp shades I couldn’t resist buying although I knew I wouldn’t be using them in the near future. My kids would use it to swing from dining table to fridge top and back. Top of the fridge is the only surface in the house that remains untouched by their antics.
There are some delightful little terracotta toys which are quite ingenious. The “little peeing boy” is one such and it looks so cute too. You need to dunk the little terracotta boy in hot water for some time and then in some cold water. The first time the heat causes the gases inside the toy to expand and the second time the cold water makes the gases contract creating a vacuum which sucks in water. Then when you stand him on the edge of a table and pour some hot water on top of his head (again gases expand and the water is pushed out of the tiny hole) the little boy starts peeing in a lovely arced trajectory just like a real little boy. My 1 year old son squealed in delight and hurriedly pulled down his jatti to pee along with the terracotta boy as if it was a peeing party. Another gem is the terracotta bird whistle – Pour water into the little bird shaped whistle and blow – you’ll hear real bird-like tweeting sounds.
They have a very interesting collection of traditional Marapachi dolls, very chic hanging lamp shades, brass figurines, terracotta idols, wooden walking sticks, brass inlaid wooden bowls, wooden mail organizers and a lot lot more.
The store is in the busy market area near the bus terminus and a short distance from the Kodaikanal lake. Parking is non-existent in the area just like in Pondy bazaar. We circled the market area twice, drove up an almost 90 degree steep road and turned down a narrow rocky bylane on 2 wheels only to go back and park the car at the hotel. It was just like the climax comedy chase scene in movies, funny and scarier. Walking is a much saner option. On the way, you could try the hot chocolate from the “Chocoloate factory” on the same lane. The Hot chocolate happens to be melted chocolate and was too sweet for me. It also tends to coat your tongue and you’d have to do a lot of licking a’ la “Missing me, close your eyes..” Cadbury ad, to get the chocolate out of your mouth. But it is definitely worth a try.