This might be a slightly offbeat post, but nevertheless thought I would write about it, as promised in one of my earlier posts...
Early September every year, I get very excited and active about getting the dolls
ready for the Navarathri Golu at home.
From my childhood we have had this habit of keeping a very grand Golu at home and my mother always comes up with innovative ideas every year. During our school days, it would be theme parks and zoos, mythological stories and what not !!
In my school days most of the time my athan(actually my chithappa M.S.KrishnamoorthyIyer
Athan always wants kuppalu to participate in his house activities. Smiling kuppalu always accepted. So the entire family would be ready to start. Mr MSK was a busy man in all activities .He was a famous contractor in Manamadurai. My chithi(Meenu) was very kind to me and wanted kuppalu her yelder sister, to participate each and every function in her house.
I can't forget Manamadurai; my Athan,chithi my kalu mama, Balamba patti and my relatives resided there.In my Athan house, Golu was very grand. Just think of 50 years back there was the biggest Golu and the dolls were very big.
People in Manamadurai came to my chithi's house to see the biggest Golu. For Golu, my chithi cooked sometimes 8 to10kgs of sundal(delicious eatable). The entire Somanathapura Aggraharam and other people in all fields admired and astonished the massive Golu. At that time I made Golu alangarams and decoration with Jambu.
In the Navarathiri times myself along with 15 to 20 boys and the leader 'RS' of the group had been to every house to see the Golu and get sundal. But boys along with RS couldn't eat sundal when they got. The leader RS and we assempled in Athankarai and shared. After that we played Kabadi and local games (Thanapena thandiripena ...) in the Athankarai and then went to Ananthavalli Amman temple. There??!! my Kalu mama stood in the midst of kids, children and teenagers asked them to sing the Mahishsura Marthini slogams.
In this context I want to tell you one thing. My brother Ramaseshan(who is very talented and pious) stood first and sang many slogams and songs. He learnt many slogams in his early days from my mama. My mama asked the children in the somanathpura Aggraharam to assemble in the bajanaimadam. He preached many slogams and Neethikathaikal to the children.
Friends,Relatives It is not easy to share all of my Manamadurai experiences in this simple text. Something Amazzzing!!!!
This festival, according to me, is not just a mere display of dolls, if one wants to do a real good job of it. Its not as simple as some might think it to be..Lots of planning goes into it, its about collecting nice dolls over the years and maintaining them properly.
If one chooses to exhibit a thematic display, I think the real challenge lies in using the same sets of dolls in many different ways each year and showing one's creativity.
After all,one can't keep buying dolls every year for every theme !
Buying the right kind of dolls is another art by itself. One has to look for nice features carved on the dolls, pleasant colors, the right sizes so that,when they are displayed, there is a sense of proportion and symmetry.
The real work is only after the festival, when the dolls have to be carefully packed,
cartons to be labelled and safely stacked away.
I attempt a detailed and meticulously planned Golu at home, with a different theme every year.
This 2008 year, it is something a different golu. My wife Girija, sons vivek,Ragu, daughter-in-law Lavan, grandsons visvesh and Haresh are equally enthusiastic and helped me a lot in their own ways!
I am sharing with all of you a few photos of this year's Golu and also a few photos taken during this Navarathri in 2008.
This year the theme is a show of so many Alangarams(Lakshmi,RajaRajeswari,GajaLakshmi,Saraswathy
and Sivapoojai are special features.) just like in temple.
1.Sivan Parvathy with Lord Muruga(Somaskandar) in the vrushabam
2.Ramar,Lakshmanar,Seethai and Hanuman
3.AshtaLakshmi( in the centre Pillayar)
4.Azhwarkazh with Andal and Lord Krishna
1.Lord Krishna with Gobikaikal(Gopika Krishnan)
That is Lord Krishna dance with Gopikas.
The theme is Gopikas are the Dhevarkal. They wanted to dance with Krishna.
Lord Krishna fulfilled their wishes.
In the world Lord Krishna is the Purushan (male) and all the others are Sthreekal(Female).
It is also called as Rasakkreedai.
Lord Krishna steals the sarees of the Gopikas and hides it in a tree. Also he himself hides on the tree.
Varities of bommaikal in the golu padi.
1.The full view of this year Golu.
2.Kalyana set with Nadaswaramand guests are taking food.