India · learning · tradition

Navarathri

This is my third post of the same title!! πŸ™‚ Trivia…

This made me look at what I had written earlier & when… 2007 & 2008. 2007 I have written about going back & following the tradition (don’t know if I have to laugh or cry at reading this!). 2008 just a wikipedia like note with pics taken from kolu at home. Then 2 years missing & this now!! πŸ™‚

Got no new dolls this year…yet. Think I got a proper Bengali Durga doll the last 2 years when I had not posted. Mum tells me that I had asked for a similar doll better looking one ages ago – but was expensive & we could not afford it then. I like this doll too.

Every year, as we keep the dolls on the steps, we reminisce about how we got the doll. Other conversation invariably revolves around how the quality of the dolls are not up to the mark. I can actually see that here… the dolls we have inherited from my great grandparents look so good even after all these years, but those we got recently are broken, faded. It feels like the artisans of yore actually took pleasure doing the dolls while the newer ones are more of a commercial venture?! Or is it just my random thought?

This year, one small doll is missing (we are in the process of finding out where she is gone…) It is Ganga in the Bhaghirath story of bringing her on to earth! Aside we are laughing at how even he cannot do that now if he tried & may be it is symbolical that Ganga is missing πŸ™‚ The weird conversations we have at home!!!! It is coincidental that in the 2008 post, one of the pictures is of the same set!!! So, we have her at least on that πŸ™‚

I noticed some broken dolls. Was wondering if we discard them… and lo behold Mum & I had a debate ( been a while since we even spoke to each other – we used to have so many of these nice debates – not fights/arguments…but debates πŸ™‚ ) She quoted “maha periyaval” saying He said that something to the tune of do we throw away old people if their limbs are broken or don’t function. My view was…hey these are dolls, we need to recycle. If they are broken, replace them…gives a boost to the artists when you buy, keeps commerce going. This got the response – well look at the dolls these days! πŸ™‚ Guess what in the end, I did succumb and decided to mend the mendable old dolls with quickfix cos they still look good. Even the paint of the old dolls look good!! What did they do – use vegetable paint I suppose?!

Anyways it was one “ok” day. With some work done, debates (& some arguments) – the kolu is up…hope to improve on it the next few days , may be go against my parents get a new doll or 2 or 3 …(and of course find Ganga πŸ˜‰ ). Must start calling friends and asking them to come over for the “vethalapaaku” . I keep saying I don’t believe in God & I do all this just cos this has been done all these years. I don’t want to influence my son with my views! He has to form his own ones… lets see!!

Happy Navarathri to one and all!

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6 thoughts on “Navarathri

  1. I for one have wondered why people buy a new doll evry year? is it cos they need to match a number or its another tradition [without logic]

    hope u find the missing doll

    1. Quite a few reasons come to mind – change the look of your kolu, encourage the artisans, for those who are just starting to keep kolu – chance to expand (we started with such a tiny kolu!! now we don’t have space to store the dolls & do not display all on the steps every year either!!)… and of course to replace broken dolls….

      Somehow I think there is always logic behind many traditions. Some have lost their meaning, some are misunderstood but most definitely do have reason!

  2. Haven’t kept a kolu in more than 8 years since my father passed away…some traditions lose their meanings…

    1. Mum here is pretty particular. Says started the tradition so have to keep it going unless there is a reason not to! Off late for various reasons am not really keen on participating in any of this.

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