To showcase their extensive bombe (doll) arrangements after two years, many homes in Bengaluru are now decked up and looked forward to visitors this Dasara. From the old to the new, people are honouring the age-old tradition in their unique ways. The Hindu visited a few homes to check out this year’s displays.
With their dolls adorned in colourful wedding attire, M.S. Thirumalachar, 81, and his daughter M.P. Padmashree have chosen ‘Bidadi Mane’ or traditional wedding rituals as the theme for the doll arrangement this year. “We spend a huge amount of money on weddings, but we tend to omit certain traditions nowadays. I want to remind people about the original rituals of weddings through this arrangement,” said Mr. Thirumalachar, a retired official.
His doll arrangement depicts rituals such as the welcoming of the groom, Sumangali Prarthana (blessings from the elders), Saptapadi (7 steps of marriage) and many more. Sourced from across the country, Mr. Thirumalachar has over 500 idols. He has also kept a rare idol of Sammohana Gopal on display this year.
After putting up a small arrangement for two years, Charvi Dev Prakash, a resident of Vidyapeetha, has set up an arrangement of 500 Dasara dolls this time.
“Doll arrangement has been happening for over 50 years in our house. This time, along with Mysuru Dasara, there is Ramayana and the entire life story of Krishna and Raghavendra. We are maintaining COVID-19 protocol for our visitors. We have kept sanitizers everywhere. We have also scheduled time slots in the mornings and evenings and limited the crowd to 80 people at a time,” she said.
Savitha Sriman, a resident of Basavanagudi, has been observing the tradition for the 12th year now with her family. Avid collectors, she and her husband Sriram Rajaram, have over 200 dolls from all over the world.
“We got involved in doll arrangement in 2006. Generally, I choose the places from India or the stories from the past as themes, which can provide some knowledge to children who don’t know about it. Wherever I go, I find dolls of that particular place and collect it. More than 500 people visit my house to see the arrangement,” said Savitha, a nursery school teacher.