Navarathiri was limited to Quarterly exams till my school days and study holidays in college days. At work it was just a Ethinic wear before the computers and a visit to Chandra Mouli's grand golu and his moms prasadam.. Arrangement of dolls was not a part of my life until I got married. My Mother-in-law (MIL) loves celebrating Navarathiri with Golu and rejoice the glory of Goddess Durga. This year 2011 I am also a part of the Golu arrangement along with my MIL ( helper, learner, assistant.. How ever you can comprehend!! ). I have started this post on the third day of Navarathiri. Who knows when I will finish it. But I am determined to bolg and preserve all the memories of my first Golu. May be I will have many parts for this post. With all this in mind, I am going through the gallery of snaps that I have taken from the day one.
After a great struggle with the helpers whom we hired, we brought down the dolls or Bommais from the attic. All the dolls were wrapped carefully last year and stored in boxes. I was amazed to see my MIL's collection and love towards her dolls. She had more joy and pride seeing the dolls. I was only able to observe a grubby shapeless old newspaper covered things all around . I understood her emotions only when I unpacked each doll from the wrap. That's the bond between my MIL and her Dolls. She was able to see beyond the wrap when we brought them down. Slowly we had to unpack each doll and carefully place them. meanwhile our helpers screwed the rack in a stepwise fashion.
There came the right day and time to start our arrangement. Malya ammavasai is auspicious to start of the arrangement. Meanwhile I was busy Googling about Navarathiri and stuff to know more. By the way we have our Granny who is magnificent than Google. I came across many contest and previous year prize winners arrangement. Mind-blowing ladies of chennai have lots of creativity. So I decided to be out of contest this year ( Beginners should only observe). I dusted all the rack that is arranged and selected the right place and tables to be arranged and wiped then and started covering them with a white cloth. As expected unable to do alone.( tired of running around the rack with a white cloth) patiently waited till my MIL arrive from office, curious to see what is inside each wrap. Googling to get more ideas. Concluded with an idea to set a village. Go green was also in mind. This time its limited to Village set up. Aaha Aaha evening came, MIL arrived. We both wrapped the 5 step metal stand with a white cloth. and MIL was ready with the Kalasam and Marapachi Bommai which has to be kept first. I will not miss out to mention about the small readymade kalasam that Granny and me were searching for the whole day. May be this year an authentic kalasam with mango leaf and rice was a special start. My Happy hours starts now. I quietly settled down to unwrap one by one while my MIL stood near the rack to place them accordingly. It was delightful to look at each doll as I passed on to my ecstatic MIL to spot the right place for it. We had Marapachi Bommai in the first row and a crowded Marriage set above that. Vinayak with different musical instrument beside it. the most attractive one was the Rasalila Krishna and the Crawling Baby Krishna. Perumal and Thayar, Astalaksmi and Hanuman with the Sanjeevi moutain was also placed in the top step. Krishna dancing on the five head snake was the highlight. The Rama set, Annapoorani, Andal, Annamalaiyaar, Ranganadhar, Laksmi, Saraswathi were all in different steps. Dhashaavatharam was set right after a bit of surfing. ladies with ammikal, aattukal was in the second row along with Chettiar and his wife. It was late for dinner and we ended the day with 90% of arrangement. All this while granny sowed Navadhaniyum ( 9 seeds ) in two bowls.
|MIL busy arranging the Golu.|
|Ramar and Astalaksmi.|
|Vinayak with Different musical instrument.|
Day1 : Happy Navarathiri. We are all getting ready for our pooja and prasadam. We had Lime rice in the morning and Sundal in the evening. Mil was busy decorating the Golu each day. My village set in still in mind, with my MIL's permission reserved a place and table for my village and gathered few dolls from the collection and preserved it. We did not forget to water Navadhaniyam. I started my work for the village set up. Wrapped the wooden table which is of low height and wider frame with news paper and plastic, spread soil all over it. MIL had many sets, one of them was villagers celebrating Pongal. Siol was wet as I picked it up from my pot. I placed the house and laid a road and placed cars in it. Coconut trees and Cattles. Pongal set was neat and pleasant.? I was asking for Raggi seeds for paddy feild. and serial light to decorate the whole Golu. ( only this much for shopping ). We had colour kolam everyday in front of the Golu which added more colours to the view. I was always busy clicking fpr photos from all sides. Days were filled with more joy with the Golu in House.
|A closer view of our Village.|
Day2 : Today's prasadam is tamarind rice and Kadala for morning and evening. Happy about having different items on my plate. Started inviting Family and relatives to have a visit. Just noticed my neighbor who's window is adjacent to our house peeping into our hall. With a warm smile I greeted Hi Hello and we both exchanged invitations to each others house for Navarathiri and she was amazed to see our Golu.(Just before that day I was complaining about that lady to my MIL for her harsh and raspy voice which almost spoils my mood every morning.) Evening Chiky arrived from office with a pleasant surprise. Guess what!!! Serial Light... Serial Light.. Serial Light.. Wow.. Just then My MIL with the Raagi seeds. How blessed am I??? My shopping list is all done. In a Jiffy we started sticking the lights in the corners of each step and lighted the Golu. I was busy sowing the raggi in the village soil and watering it. Atlast the day came to an end with the light decoration. While dinner we had a hearty laugh for this thought of mine. "What will happen if all the dolls and Divine beings get life and start to talk and walk. Each one had an expression and couldnot stop laughing aloud. I said "I will get into the Sanjeevi Mountain on the hands of Hanuman and see whats inside". Granny with all smiles said " This Huge crawling Krishna will craw our hall" . My MIL was thinking about the Marriage set. Day ended with all smiles and happiness.
This post will end with Day2. Snaps and updates of rest of the days will be in my next post. Hope you too enjoyed my very Firt Golu. Suggestions and views are welcomed. See you soon with Lots of Prasadams and snaps. Enjoy Navarathiri!!!