“Where are all the Golu Park dolls?”, I asked my mom over the quiet lunch. “enda kanna. It
must be on the loft”, she looked at me curiously. Without waiting for my reply she continued “Do you want me to pack that so you can take it Singapore? “. That was a lovely gesture I thought. She understood that I missed Golu and I might be interested to have them. Only she could understand me without much words. “Nothing ma, just wanted to see them”
( pic courtesy : Google )
After lunch I managed to get on the big stool made specially to access loft, and like a director of a movie, she guided me to the location among boxes of stuff. Golu is a 9-day festival where we adorn the home with beautiful mud idols of god. Park is basically a miniature village usually set up around Golu on sand. Its decorated with plastic houses, trees, villages, trains etc. “ Paathu kanna there is so much dust, why don’t you wear a kerchief mask, you are allergic to dust “ she raised her usual concern.
There it was, my beautiful memories in a dusty little carton box. I dusted it off and opened it right there sitting on top of the stool. “Kizhey ukandhu paaka kudaadha, why don’t you come down kanna, you are sweating so much, fan podatuma?” I replied “hmm” as I opened the box. Like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the nostalgia hit me. I saw all sorts of toys I loved and adored in my Golu Park. The houses, the vegetable selling lady, the sour grape fox, Palm trees, small temple which I usually put on a makeshift mount, the trucks, the train, cars and other toys that are too damaged to make sense of.
When I was a child, Golu was my favorite festival, I loved it better than Deepavali. I usually make a zoo, and a village around a train track, one small mount with temple and stairs for village people to climb, a pond with ducks and fishes and loads of sprouts from raagi seeds. Raagi plants looks like tender Korean grass, with tinge of yellow on bottom. I would set up the miniature village nicely, plant seeds and water it overnight. Every morning when I wake up, I walk right to the Golu park to see how much the seeds have grown. “You got to wait a day or two for it sprout kanna” my mom would say. I would pout with pretentious sad face and look at her as if she has to do something to make them grow immediately. She would smile and say “see you have to water it regularly kanna, now you go to school and by the evening we would see, but ne samatha erundha dhaa valarum (be a good boy and it shall grow)”. And when they grew the village would come alive beautifully. I would literally jump up in joy, as if my mom and I created a village of our own.
I sat there for good 10 minutes. In the corner of my eye, I could see my mom, with both hands on the hip with her protective pose. I put back things carefully as they were and came down. Then we went on to do packing things as that was my last day of the deepavali trip. “Why don’t you rest for a while, can I cook your favorite tomato curry and chapathi? You can have it on your way back or tomorrow for breakfast? “She went on to do the cooking.
“Do you like to have some water? “the flight attended shook me back to reality “ errr… sorry? “She repeated her question and I managed to nod. I looked around and saw most passengers dozed off, and except for the lights from some of the monitors the aircraft was dark. There I was flying thousand miles away from home to my second home. Far from faded dolls and my aged mom, both still looked beautiful and deserved more care than they have now. Perhaps my raagi seeds would sprout tomorrow and perhaps my mom and I would create a village of our own.