When the son was barely 2, we took great pleasure sitting on a bench outside our apartment complex and watching the traffic pass by. The Ring road on Kanakpura road provided us a variety – from horse drawn tongas to cement mixtures to autos and tractors.
One of the earliest picture books I bought was the toto the auto series. A set of 4 books, each book has 2 stories. So toto , the auto and pattu , his driver who is hard of hearing go about helping people. There is even one story that talks about girls being equal or stronger than boys.
So toto in its own way is a book on good manners- from helping a baby leopard that strays to reach his parents,to saving an monkey from bondage, to helping kids stuck in rain, toto does it all
But can you expect a little auto to behave well every day. Nooooo ! toto is jealous of a new auto one day, watches too much cartoons on TV on another day , and there are days he gloats with pride, only to turn a good boy later !
Set in Indian villages and towns, the book has rich illustrations of Indian villages and towns, something that every child in India can relate to
So enamored were we with autos, that we even went to buy colorful bedspreads to be sent to daycare
…And when we talk about the 2’s , how can we forget the tantrums. My son wanted to take toto (the boy auto -yellow+black color) on some days , and palli (the girl auto that is yellow +green) on others days . And there were days he simply refused the car and wanted an auto
..and there was another day where an auto was parked for a few minutes near the play area of our apartment complex. The kids had taken possession of it in no time and had great fun playing on it
..So there you go, an auto never fails to delight little kids!
Don’t forget to watch the toto the auto song on youtube