Celebratory mood sets in with Kolu dolls - The New Indian Express

Celebratory mood sets in with Kolu dolls

Published: 05th October 2013 07:57 AM

Last Updated: 05th October 2013 12:02 PM

It’s Navarathri season and Chennaiites are prepping for the customary Kolu even as the city gets into the festive mood.

With small toys, figurines, pujas, bhajans and gifts, for many women in the city, kolu is no more just about displaying terracotta idols of gods and goddesses. Thematic kolu has made its way to many houses as the ladies put in their creative best to usher in the divine presence and blessings. City Express spoke to a few of them to find out what’s happening in their homes this festive season.

With the little time she could spare from her daily routine, boutique-owner Jayashree from Mandaveli has decided to have two different themes for Kolu this year. Colourful dolls will depict the important festivals of India and another set of them will convey the story behind Navrathri and the different ways of celebrations across the country.

“I have been displaying Kolu for the past 30 years. I started off in a small way and had been having thematic ones for the past 10 years,” she said.

Tiny colourful dolls will depict festivals like Pongal, Vishu, Vinayaka Chathurthi, Holi, Krishna Jayanthi and many more. She has also put on display the dolls depicting celebrations in other parts of the country like Durga Puja in West Bengal, the Dandiya in Gujarat, Kolu display in the South and fasting and setting Ravana on fire in the North. All these set of dolls, that have been arranged with importance given to little details, will carry labels with a small description to make it easy for all to comprehend.

“I even have a 100-year-old doll in the display. It’s all about your desire, creativity, space and budget. Even if four of my relatives appreciate me for the effort, I’ll be satisfied,” said Jayashree, who readied the display along with her daughters Kavitha and Sangeetha.

Kumari of Nungambakkam has a room full of dolls she had collected over a decade. Every year, she makes sure her entire family involves in setting up the doll display. This year, she has made a very simple display with different Indian weddings. “Every year, we have a theme. Last year, we displayed dolls with the theme ‘rasa’. This year, we have made it very simple. With the present collection, we have set up Indian weddings,” she said.

If budget, time and space is anything to go by to make grand thematic displays, there are still those who celebrate Kolu in a humble way, displaying just idols. Rama of Velachery is the only person who had to plan and set up the steps and place the dolls as her children have no time to help. But she makes sure, there is a display everywhere with whatever collection she has.

“There is hardly any planning. I usually have idols of gods, the ‘chettiyar’ doll and of course the women with lamps. I will have a cricket match or a park set on the floor for the kids,” she said. Despite the dolls turning out to be expensive, Anitha buys at least one new doll a year. “I used to have a display with with small themes like wedding, forest, temples etc. Now you can’t buy a doll for less than `100. I have restricted my collection to idols of gods and I buy at least one or two new dolls annually,” she said.

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