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2023 - The Year That Was

Places impact you for a variety of reasons. And the same place impacts different people in different ways. This is especially true when it comes to spiritual experiences, where every single person’s experience is unique. And personally, every spiritual experience is unique, the same person can have different deeply spiritual experiences at different places, at different times. This thought has emerged because of my own experiences over the years, but especially so this year, with different and unique experiences at various places I have visited recently. I began this year with a visit to Baroda (Vadodara) with friends. It was meant to be a relaxed trip, a touristy trip, with our sons. We enjoyed ourselves to the hilt, but the highlight of that trip was a visit to the Lakulisha temple at Pavagadh. It was the iconography of the temple that I connected with, and I spent a few hours simply lost in the details of the figures carved around the temple. There was an indefinable connect with

Navaratri 2010 - Day2

The most interesting thing for me during Navaratri are the Golus. This is one festival which allows me to unleash my creativity, which makes it that much more special to me! Not that I have been keeping Golus for so long..... I don't remember the celebrations when I was a kid and we lived in Delhi, but since we came to Bombay, we were unable to keep the Golu, though I grew up hearing about all the kinds of things my uncles made. My maternal uncles, especially the oldest one, is a whiz at making up wonderful stuff from just about anything (though my cousins wouldn't agree, probably because he doesn't do it anymore!). Hearing all the wonderful things they did always made me eager to try things out, but I was able to get a chance only when I got married. Since then, every year, I have tried to make things interesting, and think I have succeeded so far. I have more ideas for the years to come, and just hope I will be able to continue.....

Meanwhile, at my mom's place too, the Golu has started again, and every year, my mother and aunt think up wonderful stuff and try to recreate the kind of displays they used to make as children...... Last year they had a indoor and outdoor sports themed Golu , and the year before, they had their huge collection of dolls all over the house! This year also, they have some wonderful displays... Here are some pics.....

This is the main part of the Golu - the steps

On one side is an arrangement of dolls... all of them performing folk arts.... there are dancers and drummers, even the traditional marriage nadaswaram players.

On the table are assorted dolls and toys representing the things used at home... from washing machines and fridges to vessels, grains, ....the list goes on and on.....

This is a continuation of the same thing..... See those dolls.. Beautiful, aren't they?

Take a closer look.... Do you know what they are made of? Old, discarded, plastic bottles of liquid soap!! Amazing, aren't they? The faces are available in the market, but they have been painted by my aunt and the hair has been stuck on! See how creative they are!

Moving on to the next exhibit - this is  a representation of the first avatar of Lord Vishnu - Matsya Avatar. The fish is a stuffed toy and the boat is made of clay...Both have been made by my aunt and the boat is filled with seeds collected over the last few months by my mom... and tiny plastic animals collected by my aunt when she was a kid... Apparently they used to get such stuff with Binaca Toothpaste! They are far cuter than the McDonald toys or the Kinder Joys we get these days!

For those of you who want to know more about it, here is a write up conveniently provided....

And here's Samhith's favourite one this year - Dinosaurs!!!! My aunt is a zoologist...which is why she is Samhith's favourite maami patti (grand-aunt)! All these dinos are the 'make-it-yourself' jigsaws my uncle bought from Malaysia (I think). 

Here are a few more sets.... This one depicts the story of Manu Needhi Chozhan, a king renowned for his fairness. To read his story, see my earlier blog about my mom's Golu.

And finally, here is the section devoted to Krishna..... Samhith's favourite toys in the house!

Before I end this post, here is one final decoration.... the lamps have been collected over the years, and the crochet doily has been made by my aunt. Patty, I guess you will like this! I remembered you when I saw those flowers in the centre!


  1. ive been keeping golus since I was a kid and i just love it..this is the only year ive given it a miss ..beautiful golu out there

  2. Absolutely amazing display of Dolls Deepa. I was waiting for this post of yours to see the Golu at your mom's place. :) I am waiting for pictures of your Golu. My Golu is not as elaborate as this, but I keep modifying the arrangements every year in the 5 steps that I have. This year I have collected lots of new Ganeshas. You can check out the pictures on Facebook. :)

  3. @Lakshmi: how come you have never posted any pics? even on your other blog? I would love to see them!

    @Sangeetha: manni, everyone has been asking me to post pics...and thankfully I went there yesterday itself.. I am looking forward to seeing yours..

  4. As you said it is not really common in Delhi but I love what I see on your blog.

  5. Amazing clarity of pics
    The golu itself looks so well put together, and shiny.....

    feel quiet awed by the enthusiasm still maintained by yr mum and do yu help her out too...?
    what an awesome family

  6. @Mridula: It is certainly not common in Delhi, but the area where we lived was full of South Indians, all of whom used to keep it!

    @ssstoryteller: Thanks sowmya..i cant help her at all... when they started keeping it again,I was at the hostel,and then I got married and had my own to keep. It is my sister (my mama's daughter) who helps out now...

  7. You have a good collection. Happy Navarathri greetings to you!

  8. Golus... Very new to me!!
    This is the first time I hear of it, and These are very beautiful to see :)

  9. That is an amazing collection and a fabulous display.. You know I love this post of yours.. and wait patiently every year.. Happy Navrathri to you... Hope you hare having a fabulous time..

  10. OMG.lovelly piece to read and what a treat for my eyes.l am collecting those binaka toys you mentioned.l would love to have few if you wish.atleast share the photos of your collection mail id

  11. Wonderful piece of work and it really kindled my childhood.l am also collecting binaca toys.please help me build my collection.l would be very grateful if you help me.atleast share with me the photos mail id no 8124037399


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