The Toy Cupboard


The days seem to whiz past, the hands of the clock seeming to move faster, when nobody watches them.  The newborn has become a toddler, a tween and a teen. 

Picture courtesy – @ Can Stock Photo

Slivers of silver in the hair; time seems to have stopped briefly, only in digital pictures and short video capsules. 
I stand before the Toy Cupboard in the children’s room. I remember  my discussions with a carpenter (fifteen years ago) to design a toy cupboard that would be both child-friendly and visually appealing. The toy cupboard was delivered, and has been used ever since.

Toys are no longer in the ‘radar’ for my kids. Maybe it is time to retire the cupboard and buy something that would be more relevant.

Easier said than done. I stand before the cupboard looking at clearing some old toys. There are dolls and vehicles, predominantly. 

Barbies, dolls that can close and open their eyes, doll accessories (tons of them) from mini-wardrobes to laundry kits to party and dinner sets.  Echoes from the past waft around, a giggle here, a smile there, a teacher’s game, a mom bakes cookies game, playdough colours stretch these memories into wonderful shapes and vibrant moments.

Afternoons spent combing and braiding dolls’ hair. Then, the move to loom bands and badge-makers, and beading and card-making. Wonderful glittery afternoons spent with coloured tape, beads, string and sequins.

Then, there are the dinosaurs and trucks and cars and Transformers and Ben10 Aliens and more trucks, and magnets and tools and diggers and mixers. Days spent chasing imaginary enemies around the home, the sounds of vehicles moving furiously, accompanying the dash through the house.

Bows and arrows and Nerf guns, a warrior here and an action hero there, peeking from under the cot or standing up bravely for a cause.

Cuddly toy comforters, bits and pieces of broken toys, so many more – each and every one of them associated with a precious memory.

Where did the years fly? I relive those moments all over again.

I may not retire the cupboard. At least, not just yet!

Welcome to my Golu (Doll display)


The last week has been so crazy, in a wonderfully beautiful way, as we celebrate one of the nicest festivals in India – Navratri.

Navratri means ‘nine nights’. While there is a lot of spiritual meaning to this festival, these nine days in most Indian  homes spell joy, fun, food, music and dance, and of course a lot of camaraderie and bonding, not to forget all the vibrant and colourful sarees.

So,  that was why I was MIA from blogosphere this week. The festival is nearly done, and I am back.

People from our community celebrate Navratri in a unique way! We put up a display of dolls (yes, dolls). Dolls that have been passed down from our ancestors, dolls that we have collected over the years, dolls of every possible type.

These dolls are arranged on steps (these stands can be assembled). The stand is then covered with a cloth and serial lights put on them.  On the eve of Navratri, the dolls are brought down from storage and put on display.

I have a few hundred dolls, mostly terracota dolls. Once we set up the dolls, we invite friends home to see the display and have food.  I had a lot of friends visiting this week, and had lots of fun.

One of the most important dolls in the Golu (doll display) is the ‘Marapaachi’ doll. These dolls are made of wood, and passed down from generation to generation. These dolls usually come in couples, man and woman, boy and girl.

We dress them up in different costumes, every year. Each year we add new doll sets to our collection. Over my next few posts, I will share pictures of a few special doll sets that I have at home and the story behind them.

This is a picture of my Golu. With new dolls, my Golu is expanding horizontally as well.  Below the picture of my Golu is the picture of the ‘Marapaachi’ dolls, that have been handed down in the family.

Each doll is special, each doll has a story and so many associated memories. I love my dolls, each and every one of them.

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        Main Golu, Sections 1, 2, 3 & 4

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                      The Main Golu

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                 Section 2 of my Golu

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             Section 5 of my Golu

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The Marapaachis – handed down from generation to generation.

Hope you enjoyed these pictures. Over the next few posts, I will talk about my favourite dolls and their stories.

I look forward to catching up on all your blogs too!

A metal trunk and a table cloth


After my siblings and I left home to pursue our dreams, my mom put away the things that each of us treasured, in three huge metal trunks, one for each of us.

They clanged and made loud noises each time they were opened, allowing us a peek into our past and the things that meant a lot to each of us.

Just before I got married, my mom asked me if I wanted to take the trunk with me. I was attached to the trunk and decided to take it to my new home. I still have it,  a big blue one.

But before my wedding, I cleared the trunk. What fun it was, it had yellowed books by Enid Blyton, a tennis ball that I got free with a chocolate drink, hundreds of stickers, my slam books from high school and university, a book where I copied my favourite quotes, pressed dry flowers from our garden, a few beads and pebbles, and a table cloth from our craft class in school.

We had a compulsory craft class from Grades 6 through 8. Each year, we were expected to complete two projects. We learnt how to make plastic wire bags, a green parrot lampshade, embroidered handkerchiefs, a table cloth and many others.

The tablecloth was white in colour;  we had to draw floral patterns at the four corners and in the middle. Then using all the stitches we had learnt, we had to embroider the cloth.

My mom was very happy with the final product and displayed it proudly at home, for everyone to see.

As with everything else, newer, better things took precedence and the table cloth faded from memory, till it resurfaced when I cleared the trunk. I still have it with me. Here are the pictures.

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A tablecloth with memories of our childhood trapped in its stitches, of pretty flowers and picnic baskets, of butterflies on a meadow, of carefree school days gossiping with friends as we sewed on….