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Jai riding the motorcycle and Veeru sitting on Jai’s shoulders…flip… Jai and Veeru’s side car separates from the motorcycle …flip… The sidecar attaches itself back to the motorcycle…flip… Basanti with her tanga…flip… A dance sequence with gulal, Veeru and Basanti…flip… Thakur standing with a long shawl over his shoulder…flip… Gabbar in the rocky hill with Basanti and Veeru tied with ropes…flip… Basanti dancing on the broken glasses…flip… Jai fighting the gang…flip… Dynamite bursting…flip… Jai about to die in Veeru’ arms…flip… Thakur assaulting Gabbar…flip… Gabbar with the police…flip… Veeru and Basanti at Jai’s funeral…flip…”The End”

Does it rewind your memory? No I am not talking about the epic movie Sholay. Remember watching a movie through the still pictures. A small black box with a small hole in the center. Peep through the hole and keep moving the red button on the top to flip the pictures one by one in sequence. Yes I am talking about the toy bioscope.


The small bioscope cameras was one of the toys we used to lavish in our childhood. I remember them being sold at the local market which used to operate once a week. Local vendors used to sell this by roaming across the streets and definitely at any of the tourist places or temples.

Toy BioscopeExtremely complicated machinery of toy bioscope :p

The internal machinery of toy bioscope is really really simple. It consists of a narrow flim negative with images rolled on two vertical rods and a small magnifying glass to view through.

Apart from the images from movies, the bioscope toys were geography dependent. If you were visiting Delhi these bioscopes used to have the images of Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Mughal Garden, Ashoka Pillar and other tourist places of Delhi. If you were in Agra it would have the images of Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, Panch Mahal, Agra Fort, Akabr’s Tomb and Jama Masjid. Buying one of these toy bioscope from all these places was like taking back a souvenir for ourselves or our friends.

After a decade(infact more than a decade) I came across these toy bioscope cameras in the market in front of Nalanda University, Nalanda in Bihar. I have been travelling to different places but I did not come across this toy on my other trips. That might be because I have not been to regular tourist places for all these years or they have now become extinct toys.

View through the Toy Bioscope

Bioscope toy camera is one of those toys that transports me back to the childhood days and makes me nostalgic. As I saw these hanging in the stall I could not stop myself to be a child again. I grabbed one of those and peered through the small circular hole and the images of posters of some famous movies flashed before my eyes and then abruptly the bioscope came to an end bringing me back from my childhood :(.

Very soon many of the precious possessions of your childhood like the bioscope toys will gather dust in the memory lanes. Before it gets covered fully with dust lets share those memories with others and relive those moments.

Do you have any other stories/information related to this yesteryear toy?

Share with us your stories about any of those yesteryear toys that just takes you back to your childhood.

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