Saturday, February 2, 2013

Make versus buy

Chickpet is one of those serendipitious destinations in Bangalore. Every visit there, like in many other city markets is a revelation. Today, when we went there, the Raja market was one such revelation - this place sells stuff that people use to make dresses, jewellery and suchlike. The place was crowded to the brim - which means that there is a sizeable set of people who make their own creations - designers if you will. One of the things I have often believed that India is a place where people dont do their own work - as in, the DIY industry is non-existent. Todays visit made me rethink that assumption at one place atleast.

Anyway, we had to buy a timepiece for the house - since the one in the kitchen had outlasted its working use. And while conversing with the shopkeeper (conversing with shopkeepers in Chickpet is a great eye opener) - I realized that he sells clock movements (Thank you Ajanta, clocks - for figuring out that there is a market here) as well. The clock movement costs some 60 rupees and a full timepiece costs some 140 rupees. So, while we bought the timepiece, we also bought a movement set, and, with the kids, plugged it into a CD and created a clock with a Lego housing.The clock now occupies a place of pride in our front room (and I presume it will keep moving around as the kids wish).

The thrill that this simple activity worth some 65 rupees and some one hour of our time gave us is unimaginable. The more I think about it, making stuff with kids is one of the most constructive learning experiences for them (and for us).

And then, why cannot it be so for adults?