Bring born and raised at ‘The city of joy’ i.e. Kolkatha and being a Tamilian, I get to inherit the mixed qualities of a Bong and a Tamilian. So the month of October is always a special to me. Yes, you guessed it right. It is the month of Durga Pujo and Navarathri golu.
During my childhood or the Kolkatha/Howrah days, the wait for this month would be quiet long to watch the mighty pandals raise with unique concepts every year, to watch the beautiful idols of Maa Durga, Lakshmi, Sarawathi with Vinayaka and Karthik, to enjoy mouth-watering snacks at the stalls set up in the pandals, to dance with friends and enjoy to the core. After we moved to Tamilnadu, we didnt get to see Pujo and so my concentration shifted to enhance the beauty of Golu at our home.
For folks who are not aware of what it is, ‘Golu’ is the arrangement of various clay dolls or idols of gods in 9 steps to mark the Navarathri celebration which is celebrated for 9 days. Friends and family visit each other, distribute sundal (the South-Indian snack that is prepared with sprouts and nuts), sing bhajans and classical songs and have a gala time.
Implementing our creativity in Golu is the special feature of this occasion. Coming from a highly creative family (as we are called by our neighbors and friends 😉 ), the Golu at my home has less clay dolls and more bead dolls which is created by my granny and my mom. Kundan rangoli, Teppa kulam (pond), the park that would have real grasses, floral decoration using waste plastic bags, various bead dolls depicting various incidents from mythology, mock village set done using used ice cream sticks are few highlights of our golu. Apart from these, we would add a new item or our idea every year. We kids have our own contribution to the golu as well. We have always been encouraged by my mom to do some creative craft to display in the golu. I remember during my childhood days, it would be my drawings that would be hanging above the 9 steps and I would be beaming with pride when someone asks about them. As we grew up, the creativity unfolded as never before.
Me and my mom would always get a minimal budget for this celebration from my dad and we used to plan it effectively. So instead of spending it in purchasing clay dolls (purchasing a new doll every year is a custom 😛 ) which are quiet heavily priced in this season, we do brainstorm to generate ideas to make Golu that year more special and different from previous years. So the immediate effect would be on using the waste things at home. It could be a waste CD that had to be thrown out or a box which we would have got when we purchased garments or even the wall clock that had stopped working. My mom has the habit of saving such things with a foresight that it could be used creatively for Golu. So we work not just a month ago but almost throughout the year for this occasion. It would be more like a project 🙂
I conclude this article with my thought that, Golu is not only a celebration of joy or a community get together but above all that it is a good platform to showcase your creativity. I have been blessed with a wonderful family who have encouraged me to use my right brain. I wish every kid gets this opportunity to use their creativity and exhibit their talents in such occasions which shall invoke the interest in them to innovate new things in future.
May the goddess of courage, wealth and wisdom bless us with best things in life 🙂