Golu or doll display for Navratri is one of my favourite childhood memories. Appa would get on the high stool to get the plywood and aluminium frame out of the attic. Boxes of carefully stored dolls and toys, some of which had been passed down through generations, would be lowered with great excitement. The brass would be enthusiastically scrubbed. Appa and I would set up the steps. This is how I learnt what a spanner was, and how to use it.
I think I inherited my love for golu from my grandmother. Back in time, her Navratri sorrow was that she didn’t have a little girl who would bring her friends home for golu and who would go and invite the neighbours . To cheer her up, my uncle would go out on his cycle to invite the ladies for golu soirees. How grand those evenings would be! She would deck up in her finery and make chundal by the bucket! She would unfailingly relate this story every year.
Once our golu was up, the battle would begin. She would sermonize on how the golu was sacred and not to be touched. I would insist on being able to play with the dolls and toys on it. My mother would mediate and it would be settled that I could play with my dolls/toys which would be set up on the bottom-most step. Everything on the other steps was strictly out of bounds.
Last year (2012), for my first independent golu; my first golu as a married woman, my parents gifted me a lovely set of clay dolls depicting a wedding. In the spirit of our wonderful trip to Kenya, I had created a little Hippo pond as a side feature. This year, this fall will be my first fall. In India, atleast in my part of it, we have only 3 seasons. Summer, Monsoon and Winter. I have heard so much about the colours of fall. This will be the first time I will witness it. It’s still early in the season, the leaves are just starting to change colours. I am so excited, that I’ve made it this year’s golu theme.
PS – Scroll over the photographs for details 🙂