The days have gone when being a part of a giant family festivity was a foregone conclusion. Some of the most beautiful traditions from all over world happen right here in Andhra Pradesh and our Vizag. The Navratri festivities have begun and the most colourful and cute Bommala Koluvu dolls is making all of us smile. An event that is synonymous with Dussehra and Navrati in Andhra Pradesh ties up the entire household in festive cheer. A participative tradition, Bommala Koluvu dolls never fail to amp the Puja time good spirit.
Bommala Koluvu dolls – The literal translation of this Telugu word is Court of Toys. Young girls and women display the different forms of Goddesses And her presence in the form of a display of dolls, figurine etc along with court life and other scenes of everyday lives. This is done to mark the advent of Navratri or Dussehra. The tradition like many in India has evolved to become inclusive. So the goddesses are cherished and the many vital parts of one’s life such as marriage, household, city or town etc are also represented.
In Vizag: Celebrated along with other festivities, families go to great lengths to lend a unique touch to their family’s Bommala Koluvu dolls. While some follow themes, some go for unique dolls collected from different places, some others go ahead with extra decorations and so on.
The outtake here is that traditions that spread love, pique the curiosity and inspire the younger lot survive across generations. A simple but quaint ritual Bommala Koluvu has transcended the diversions of virtual entertainment.
One such family that has gone to persevering extent for keeping the tradition alive is that of the Mother and Daughter duo of Malladi Meenakshi and Uma Bala. Meenakshi is an 88 year old lady who still lends a guiding and working hand with her daughter Uma Bala who is 55 years old. They have lent a personal touch to the setting and arrangement of Bommala Koluvu dolls that has made it a form of art. Their popularity has grown and the pictures of the display painstakingly done by them lends justification to the fact. Over 2 days it what it take them for achieving the degree of perfection and more than 18 hours of toil. Their happiness at sharing their snapshots belies the labor. It is a labor of love.