Have you ever seen a Golu? I saw it for the first time when I was 21 years old, just after my marriage. You have to understand the situation here. To me dolls and doll houses were objects from my childhood. Of course I remember Gharonda during Diwali but it was when I was a tiny tot. Advent of science, in the form of television and video games, has long ago taken the small-small pleasures out of my life.
So when my MIL started to take out dolls from a huge box during the Navratri days, on the first year of our marriage, I had started giggling. After many blank stares from her and some irritated looks from my DH, I settled down meekly to help her out. She had already asked our house help to keep three tables of the same width but different height against the wall. After the ladder formation was formed, she put a silken cloth over it, covering every inch of the structure.
The thing that attracted me about the whole scene was the reverence on her face. If I was not so jaded in life with all the religions being hammered in my head and yet remaining a non- believer I would have definitely thought she was seeing some avatar of HIM while she decorated the steps.
Slowly and surely the Golu started taking shape. Dolls in every form started adorning the steps. Dancing dolls, smiling dolls, sulky dolls and traditionally handcrafted dolls; all stood in an order of a military rank. I was damn fascinated by the whole process. I suppose the little kid inside me came out and against my will I started enjoying it. I even brushed a hair or two off some of those dolls. It was a weird feeling. Like catching up with something I had lost earlier. Lost innocence?
In silence we both worked together. Unknowingly, in tandem with each other's movement. At last everything was set. The fairy lights twinkled along with the hand painted diyas. The dolls looked illuminated in that light as if taking a life of their own. Without thinking, I hugged my mother-in-law. A think I had never done such a thing before. She hugged me back. Then we both looked at each other, a red hue creeping up her face - which I am sure was in reflection to mine.
"Make tea - or are you planning to play with dolls the whole day? " she asked me roughly, slightly pushing me away.
Thank god she was normal .. or I had almost liked her at that moment.
FYI : Those who don't know what a Golu is .. here is a link to see what it is all about and why it is done.