A first…

This blog is full of my firsts. Small but remarkable milestones of my life have found their place in this blog and keep up with it, I am recording yet another first! Our very first ‘bommala koluvu’ at our home. Last year, it so happened that S and I celebrated Pongal festival for the first time in Bangalore, away from our families – making it a festival of our own. It was a welcome change from the usual, too-busy-in-kitchen-to enjoy-the-festival kind of celebration.

As far as I can remember, Pongal or Sankranthi always meant Bommala Kovulu at home. My parents own a collection of two suitcases full of dolls that were in our family from the year I was born. Every year, my dad would spend time meticulously preparing for the Koluvu – bringing down the suitcases filled with dolls, unpacking the dolls, setting up the steps to place the dolls, decorating the Koluvu. When all of us are home, we all would together place the first Ganesha doll on the Koluvu and each of us assume responsibility for each step, filling it with dolls. At times, the sister and I would be playing with the many dolls that we get to see only once a year. The small plastic stove or the cute looking pressure cooker gifted by my Thathi (maternal grandpa) among many other things, the stainless steel kitchen set, marble dolls that were gifted by my Mammagaru (paternal grandma) are some of the things we treasure till date. These dolls stand witness to a number of things –  our growing up from being infants to married ladies now to the-not-so-great-years of our lives to our struggling days to the many family reunions to the wonderful-blissful years to the many family fights to the change of houses.

As I always say, I am a materialistic person. I can’t let go of those things that carry many memories from my growing up days. I get emotionally attached with a number of things that don’t matter much to anyone else in the family. Partly because they are a testament to the life I love and cherish today. The tradition does not matter as much as the memories for me and that’s why, I am keen in creating new memories.

Having our first bommalu Koluvu in Bangalore takes it a step closer to my dream of making fresh memories. We may not own good or great dolls as of now or we may have made a quick make-shift setup to place the very few dolls/craft items that we own but this very attempt makes me immensely happy. I know we will collect new dolls all through this year and many more years to come, taking this tradition forward year after year, making great memories for our next generation.

Our small Bommala Koluvu at home and here’s to many more wonderful memories and firsts!



24 thoughts on “A first…

  1. That does look impressive and I can see you have used the table set your dad has made. .and the rocking chair. .wowo

    As you said I am sure over time this setup will grow bigger …

  2. I find some familiar stuff on the koluvu.. The furniture sets.. Those painted pots.. Bottle art.. 🙂
    I am also very attached to my things GB 🙂 I have a whole box of stuff here which gave us small joys 🙂 Everybody else may feel it as pure junk. I wana carry everything back to India. Jay makes fun of me telling no airlines will let me enter the flight with all these and he ll have to leave me here and go. 😀
    Happy Pongal:)

  3. Very nice GB! Hope your collection grows multi-fold! We place dolls in a similar arrangement during Navaratri. But it has been quite a few years and all our dolls are lying in the trunk. 😦

  4. this is such a lovely arrangement 🙂
    BTW GB, can you tell me the significance of this ritual of arranging the dolls/toys in a series of steps? I have seen this in many blogs; have also seen people using traditional dolls, figurines of God, etc. I would love to know about your culture this way 🙂

    • I am not entirely sure of the tradition behind this doll arrangement, M but I will try my best to explain what I understand. These doll arrangements are done in houses where there are girl children (just like how my parents started it the year I was born) to celebrate the Goddess of the house. neighbors and friends are invited home during this Koluvu, getting together singing devotional songs and are given haldi-kumkum. As I understand, it increases the creativity of the children. Also, as a part of this koluvu traditional dolls are kept – and at times, stories or puraanas depicted via dolls which helps in learning more about the religion and Hindu Mythology.
      I will get more details from my mom and share more, thanks for your interest.

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  6. Pingback: The Pongal that it was | From the Editions of Green Boochi

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