of Dolls and Beaches


Weeks prior to Dussehra, colorful clay and paper-mache dolls flood the markets in Chennai. Many many years ago, a newly wed couple strolled through these market streets. The girl grew up in Mumbai and the boy worked in Chennai. The girl fell in love with the dolls and they set up a simple Golu. The girl and the boy in this story are my parents and that was the beginning of a tradition. This is one of those stories I never get bored of hearing again and again from my mom.

Golu is an artistic arrangement of dolls in odd numbered steps with increasing levels of divinity in the dolls as you traverse up the steps. The above picture is our Golu for this year. Hopefully with a few more trips to India, ours will resemble its traditional counter parts.


Another memory close to my heart is related to the food served during these days. One of the best street foods in Chennai can be tasted along its beaches. A visit to the beach is not complete with out the Thenga-Manga-pattani sundal or the Coconut-Mango garnished legumes.

We had a few friends over this weekend and some sang songs just like the good old days. For Sundal, I made my favorite beach delicacy sans coconut and spent the rest of the week visiting others.

I am linking this post to Pree's 'Beyond Five Days of Durga Puja'.

6 comments:

rama October 11, 2010 at 5:38 AM  

Your golu looks very nice. Oh! the thenga, manga, pattani sundal of the Madras beach, takes me back to Madras beach.
Happy Navarathri, enjoy the festivities.

PreeOccupied October 11, 2010 at 5:58 AM  

So sweet, am glad you are keeping up your Mum's tradition. Happy Durga Puja to you. The Sundal looks awesome.

GB October 11, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

Love your "golu"...and the sweet story behind it!
Have a great Navratri!

Patricia Torres October 11, 2010 at 10:54 AM  

Oh.. your golu is awesome!! Lovely post!! Hope you have a great festive season!!

Geeta,  October 11, 2010 at 3:01 PM  

Thank you guys.

shuchita October 11, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

what a cute story Geeta,lovely post, do post the traditional food recipes also if you can.

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