This Navaratri, I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Kalyani, my husband’s colleague Sangeeta’s mother. She is a crafter par excellence, whose love clearly lies in making traditional Indian dolls.
Ever since Sangeeta saw my blog she would always remark as to how nice it would be for two crafters to connect and was keen that I meet her mother. We finally got to meet her during the Navaratri festival when we were invited to their place to see the golu (this is a tradition in South India, where dolls are displayed at homes in odd numbered tiers – I have described this in a previous post of mine and it is also described here). I was completely awestruck when I finally saw her mother’s work. I can only hope these pictures do justice to her supreme skill and levels of detailing. Each and every doll is completely handmade – yes, right down to the clothes and the accessories (except for the heads)! Most of the figurines have a mythological story attached to them.
1. A general display. The decorations that you see are also handmade!:
2. A kathak dancer
3. Lord Krishna on a weighing scale – part of the Tulabharam story. I love mythological stories and this one is a lovely tale about how love is supreme and outweighs all things materialistic. You can read the story here.
4. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati atop Mount Kailasa…
5. …and Lord Muruga, their son
6. Goddess Laxmi, part of a permanent display set in their house