BENGALURU: While the streets are bustling with Dasara shopping, and families are charged up to set up gombe manes, Bimba Art Ashram in Basavanagudi, has a different vision about keeping up this tradition going. Deepika Dorai and Deepak, the couple who founded Bimba Art Ashram, don’t just want to tell stories through dolls but also want people to connect with them spiritually.
They have a Gollu Kaksha (Doll’s Room) which was set up in 2002 and was never dismantled. This year, for the first time, they have set up the wooden sculptures outside the doll room with the theme of Goddess Ganga and stories revolving around her.
This concept is Deepika’s brainchild. “I wanted to show goddess Ganga in her various forms. She is a source of energy that brings in conscious knowledge. This was my way of saluting her,” says Deepika, a professional Bharatnatyam dancer.
There are about 13 wooden sculptures, including those of Rama, Sita, Krishna and Yashoda, along with a sculpture of Goddess Ganga in the centre. All these dolls have been hand-carved by Deepika which took her about 4-5 years.
After the storytelling, Deepika performs an aarti with a prayer which we hear for the first time. “I believe the goddess is in every form and the prayer should be my offering. So it should be a prayer that I understand and that comes from my heart,” says Dorai.
Bimba was formed in 2001 when they were in Chennai and it moved with them to Bengaluru in 2008. Bimba, which means reflection, is currently set up in a 100-year-old building in Basavangudi. “There have been multiple changes before we finally brought Bimba to its current address. We just went with the flow,” Deepak says.
At Bimba, Deepika performs an hour-long Rasaloka, an art form of storytelling using dolls, sculptures and puppets. People from different parts of the world travel to Bimba to experience Rasaloka and the creative environment of Bimba.They are open every Saturday for the Rasaloka but all nine days during Navratri.