Building a reputation for their unique talents are Rajesh and Shanmukh Pentakota of Vizag. Working under the label of ‘Wonder Toys’, the father and son share their story with Teja Kovvali.
A cricket stadium seems to be bustling with loud cheers as fans work themselves into a frenzy. The floodlights take effect and the commentators quip on air as Lord Ganesh takes on an inspired bowling unit of rats in a lively game of cricket. If you’re wondering at the viability of the model, then meet Rajesh Pentakota, who fetched recognition for the above and 55 such other working wonders.
A TV technician by profession, Rajesh started creating working models about a decade ago when he wanted to signify the importance of festivals to kids. Taking help from potters to make clay models, Rajesh would use his expertise in electronic and mechanical domains to bring forth exciting concepts. “The models soon gained popularity among public and I was encouraged to explore my skill further,” he shares.
Pursuing the art with great passion, little did Rajesh know that his work would have a profound impact on his elder son, Shanmukh. Inspired by his father’s models, a young Shanmukh was first determined to build a working model of the ropeway at Kailasagiri in Vizag. While feasibility issues deterred the initial process, the fervour and persistence of the child resulted in his first working model fetching wide scale appreciation. Shanmukh’s penchant for art grew stronger as he began trying his hand at different things. Be it creating crafts with waste material or making an award-winning vfx film on sparrows, the junior Pentakota has been stunning everyone with his myriad talents. Thanks to the 18-year-old’s dexterity in making clay models, the father and son duo has now been building models together. While the elder son readies the miniatures, the father sets up the mechanics and electric circuits to get the model up and running.
Currently busy in building a working model of a pregnant woman, Rajesh says he would soon hang up his boots. Speaking on his future, the man says, “Over the past decade, I have invested too big an amount from my pocket. This has made it a bit tough to meet the financial needs of my growing children. Also, given that I’m getting older by the day, working as a TV technician is appearing to be a challenging task. I, along with my elder son, hope to establish a small-scale industry with government’s help and lead a settled life in Vizag.”