Doll tales: 2,000 and counting!

Dasara display

Doll tales: 2,000 and counting!

It’s quite surprising when Sumathi, a resident of Banashankari, says that the number of dolls in her display for for the Dasara celebrations this year is about 2000.

 She says, “I usually display more dolls but had to cut down this year as both my children are busy with exams. Usually, we all sit down together and decide which doll goes where. My children help me in putting up the display — right from shopping to decoration and packing them.”

Apart from the usual idols like ‘Marapachi Bommai’, ‘Ashtalakshmi’ and ‘Dashavataram’, her main collection includes ‘Nammalvar’.

The story of ‘Bhagavatham’, the story of Krishna and Radha, conversations between Ramanjunam and Vishnu and the unity of Srinivasam and Padmavathi duting ‘Panguni Uttiram’ are also some of the highlights.

According to her, it’s a family tradition as they have been continuously displaying the collection for the past 20 years.

She shops mainly in Malleswaram and City market for idols and even buys various materials for decorations such as ‘zari’, crowns, earrings, jewellery, ‘pavadai’ and sarees.
 “I have many dolls that have been passed on by my grandmother. It’s a good social aspect as the family comes together in arranging the dolls during the festival. My children give me a lot of ideas and assist me while decorating dolls. They are feeling bad that their exams clashed with the festival as they want to add more dolls to the display so I feel that this festival will surely stay alive throughout generations. It’s also a very informative tradition as so many students learn about stories like ‘Puranas’, ‘Thiruppavai’ and ‘Bhagavatam through dolls.”

She enjoys the sweet side of ‘Dasara’ as well such as preparing different types of ‘sundals’ and sweets and distributing them to visitors from her apartment.

“Honouring the woman or ‘kanya’ is another important aspect of Dasara.”
The only hard side here is wrapping up the idols once the festival is over.

Though she describes this as a big process, she diligently wraps the idols in paper and cloth, puts them away in a box and hails the festival for next year.

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