a toy's luck
Thinking of Golu or display of Bommais ( toys made of clay) during Navaratri, the fate of two animal gods at home,evoked a lot of memories..
Years and years ago, maybe half a century ago, we had a small set of Bommais,or clay toys.. Rama Pattabhishekam(Coronation of Rama) Set. with Rama, Lakshmana Sita and of course the respected tailed gentleman. Hanumaji..
An old (female too) relative once on a visit to our home, acted in an excessively friendly manner, handled the Pattabhishekam set and while praising the beauty of the set let Rama slip from her hand (I do trust it was an innocent action, but even after years and years of rumination, I am not yet definite about it.. still I always tend to grant the benefit of doubt,, and why should I accuse a departed soul?) and Rama crashed to the floor fracturing the arm holding the arrow and the tiny hand of clay also won eternal freedom from the mainstream toy..
True, what has happened has happened.. Those were not the days of quickfix or fevifix, and I am not sure these "fixes" would have succeeded in undoing the damage anyway.. But our tradition has it that we should never retain at home a toy which has suffered a deformation.. Rama had to be put in the well.. and technically, as members of the "set" madam Sita and bro.Laksman and the primate lieutenant were all to go to give the handicapped Rama company in his watery abode..
As a child, I had very little emotional attachment to the Royal Personage, but the cute monkey fascinated me.. Puffy chin, red eyes,with hands held together in respect and utter supplication, and the tail in the shape of "S" held inches above the head with the tip shaped as a lotus bud of black hue, the imp of a toy, was a treat to my imagination, naughtiness and obedience bundled together..
I was in charge of providing the set of toys their new accommodation.. But I could not bring myself to the cruel act of dropping the toy of that small monkey God into the well.. And, not caring about the consequences, I just placed the tailed toy in the loft our old house hidden for ever from the stare of evil eyes..
There is only one lady in our house, and the other two members are males and close friends of that God hiding in the loft.. It is believed,( and that belief is a boon to us,) that to have Bommakkolu, there should be at least two ladies in the house..
So there was no golu in our house by way of exhibition of toys ( and distribution of Sundal too ) for the past quarter of a century..
But recently I met my friend in the loft when I climbed there with all the difficulties of an old man, to change a tile in the leaking roof.. But I have quietly left him there... because he always holds a lofty place in my mind
The second toy of an animal God is that of a Ganapathi.. His story is very simple.. Almost contemporaneously with the Pattabhishekam episode, we had to place that toy for pooja during a Vinayaka Chathurthi, because for some reason or other, we could not find a fresh mud idol for worship .. And after the pooja, when time came to drop the idol into the well, my father felt that the Pullayar( ganapathi) was very beautiful, and should not be thrown away.. From that time that Ganapathi occupies our daily pooja
So good time and lack of it can affect even toys..