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Updated: October 6, 2013 23:56 IST

The allure of innovative dolls

Staff Reporter
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Dolls on display to mark Navaratri at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Bangalore on Sunday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
Dolls on display to mark Navaratri at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Bangalore on Sunday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

‘This year, sales have dipped as prices have gone up. There are fewer takers for traditional dolls as more people prefer porcelain and plastic ones’

Charlie Chaplin, a cricket team, Hanuman carrying the Sanjeevanam plant, Krishna and his Gopikas, squirrels building the bridge to Lanka and a crow dropping pebbles into a pot of water are some of the innovative dolls gracing shops in the city’s Malleswaram area with Dasara festivities in full swing.

People from different parts of the city are thronging Dasara doll shops to purchase at least one new doll for their ‘bombe’/ ‘kolu’ collection as per tradition.

The shops are doing brisk business . “I have sold nearly 90 per cent of my goods,” says K. Chitti Babu, proprietor, Kamala Idols .

A third-generation doll seller, Mr. Babu says no single doll is a particular favourite, but that customers pick up dolls based on their preferences.

This year, the shop has introduced a rather innovative theme for doll arrangement — a ‘vegetable wedding’. The pale green ash gourd dons the all important role of groom, while the perky brinjal makes a pretty bride in her purple garb.

Intentional or not, the onion is the villain of the piece as the overpowering ‘mother of the groom’ while the green chilli, the groom’s sister, pokes fun at the bride.

Bringing the families together is the sweet pumpkin who plays the plumpy priest. “Unfortunately this quirky set has been sold out,” says Mr. Babu.

Sri Balaji Idols, another third generation shop, has gone the traditional way and introduced the whole Ramayana set which costs Rs. 1.4 lakh.

“Six customers purchased the Ramayana set,” says K. Raju, owner, Sri Balaji Idols. Another speciality on the market this year is a Mysore Dasara set. Replete with chariots, elephants and a procession, this package will loosen your wallet by a few thousand rupees.

According to Mr. Babu, the prices of dolls have gone up by at least 20 to 22 per cent this year.

“This year, sales have dipped as prices of dolls have gone up. Also, there are fewer takers for traditional dolls as more people seem to prefer porcelain and plastic ones,” rues Balram Janaki, who has been selling dolls for four decades now.

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