We have a grey Godrej steel almirah at home, a robust presence for the past 16 odd years. Inside the almirah, to the left at the centre is a locker with a broken handle. Toys and games were never in shortfall at my house, what with the stream of visiting relatives that we had and the annual birthday parties of my sister and me. Even in this collection, there was the elite core which in my case were the toy cars and action figures. I had a whole bunch of hand-me-downs from my elder brother (in remarkable condition, considering that they were almost 10 years older than me), plus my own collection was nothing to laugh about either.
Whenever dad would go on a business trip for 3-4 days he'd return with one model car/truck to make up for his absence. It was a brilliant deal as far as I was concerned. No threats of disciplinary action would be paid heed to during that period of time of his unavailability and then at the end of it all, a new addition to my stash! The special forces were thus given the honour of living in the locker while the common citizens of the board-game and toy world had to make do with the shelves outside.
Now that I think of it, I must have been a very lucky kid as most of my favourite toys from childhood withstood the brutality I had meted out to them. GI Joe figures were smooth talked into bungee jumping with infinitely long cords and cars were guided like cruise missiles into each other's faces. The wonder of it all is that I still have almost all of them and my locker is a popular hot-spot for all kiddos who come visiting home. Every year I open my locker to find another couple of them missing, victims to some pair of tiny hands not as blessed by fortune as mine but I can't be complaining.
I had a GI Joe figure (a baddie, a Cobra guy actually) ironically called The Ripper whose lower limbs I accidentally ripped off at the groin during one of his more vigorously physical face-offs with another Cobra figure. It was a rather emotionally stirring day for me two weeks later when I managed to put him back together by some miracle of chance and the Ripper could actually walk and fight again. But before life could send me hurtling down on the path to becoming a famous surgeon, a similar accident happened to He-Man, the most powerful man in the Universe. All the powers of Castle Grayskull couldn't put him back together and till today he languishes in the darkness of another smaller locker inside the locker where more traumatized toys like him lie. I couldn't repair them but neither could I find the courage to throw them away. I hope that the newest young enthusiasts for my toy locker will someday do what is next to impossible for me.