Off to Malgudi, this gombe habba

Mythri Arun, 32, a homemaker from Banashankari, decided to make her doll display of R K Narayan’s ‘Malgudi days’ more authentic this year. She downloaded the route map of Malgudi town and replicated it at her home. Mythri, who has been setting up the gombe display for the past eight years feels she can live the memories of her grandmother through this. “Every family should follow this; children actually enjoy and learn a lot through these dolls,” she says.

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The railway station, the dispensary, the clock tower, the four main roads, farmers ploughing the fields and the village houses – all of this exudes her creativity.

Navarathri is a major Hindu festival which is celebrated for nine days. The tradition in Karnataka is to keep ‘pattada bombe’ representing the king and queen of Mysore and also represent mythological stories through the dolls. This tradition is followed by many families in the state. This also gives them an opportunity to exhibit their creativity.

Maitri displays many themes other than her unique ‘Malgudi days’. “The usual Pattada bombe, the scenes from Ramayana, Vishnu’s ten incarnations with vaikuntam set in the centre, Krishna’s Govardhanagiri episode, the story of Aandal who is an incarnation of Godess Lakshmi and the very famous ‘Kanchi Garudotsava’ are the other themes I demonstrate every year”, she said with pride. “The ‘pattada bombe’ is 90 years old and was given to me by my mother-in-law”, Mythri added.

Vimala Nagabhushan, 49, a homemaker from Hanumanthanagar has been celebrating this festival with pomp and glory for the last 14 years. She is also the founder of ‘Chaitanya Mahila Mandali’, a women’s organisation that encourages and promotes creativity. Vimala has procured prestigious district level award for doll making  from ‘Akhila Karnataka Brahmana Mahasabha’ and also awards from many private organisations.

She has trained many women in doll making. “I am into doll making from many years now and also take orders; I have a collection of over 10,000 dolls”, says Vimala. She exhibits an extensive theme every year giving attention to each and every tiny detail. This year the theme is Hindu marriage rituals.

She has given equal importance to every scene that she has depicted, the rich look and the intricate detailing is maintained even with the person who looks after the shoes of the guests at the wedding. Gauri pooje, Kashiyathre shastra, sapthapadi, mangalyadarane shatra, the reception scene and all the other rituals are depicted in great detail.

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