dasara: Bengalureans deck up homes with doll displays for Dasara | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Ahead of Dasara, Bengalureans are preparing to decorate their homes with doll displays themed on various issues. While Kannadigas call these displays Bombe Habba, Tamilians celebrate the festival as Bommai Kolu and Telugu speakers as Bommala Pandaga.
Shanta Nagaraj, a homemaker, is planning to arrange her display on Mysore Palace and KRS Park models. The Isro Layout resident says her collection comprises more than 1,000 dolls and the Pattada Bombe (main doll set) is more than 100 years old and has been in her family for generations. “This year, I will exhibit all my original dolls, traditional and miniature antique pieces, stuffed dolls, clay kitchen set and Channapatna dolls,” she says.
Shanta is also expecting more visitors this year.
Deepthi Srikanth, a logistics professional, says like every year, she will celebrate Dasara with her sister Preethi Ramesh. She says compared to last year, the Dasara celebrations look livelier this year. “Shops are filled with buyers and the situation looks much closer to normal now. I have already received an invite from five of my friends for the celebrations,” she says.
Deepthi and Preethi narrate the stories and themes of their arrangements to their visitors, and Deepthi says it is especially rewarding to meet children. “They remember what we had explained to them the previous year and ask us questions,” she says, adding that they will also follow the Navratri colour codes.
Srinivasan Raghavan, 63, a resident of Indiranagar, told TOI that with people getting vaccinated, things are looking better and he hopes to welcome more visitors to see his doll arrangement. His theme-based arrangements attract more than 100 family and friends every year.
Raghavan, who has been decorating his home for Dasara for 40 years, says he has put in a lot of effort for the arrangements, and even travelled to the actual location of his model — Nava Narasimhar temples in Ahobilam (80km from Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh) — created with more than 300 dolls. “I have created a miniature model of nine temples,” the Indiranagar resident says, adding that he planned the design three months ago and created details like mountains, caves, waterfalls, river bed rocks, bridges and rusty road to the temples in the last one month. Relaxation of Covid restrictions helped him travel to Ahobilam. “I could get all the details accurately and even got my raw materials easily as the pandemic had waned,” he says.
Low-key celebration

Some Bengalureans are also choosing to keep their guard up and have a low-key celebration. Arun Ramachandran and his wife Archana Gopalakrishnan, who used to display more than 500 dolls, have decided to not have any display this year. “Our friends and groups, some of whom would travel all the way from Chennai to see our decorations, have huge expectations from us. Though many have been vaccinated, the situation is not completely normal yet. So, we are being cautious,” the Hebbal resident said. With 150-year-old idols passed on to them through generations, Arun says these decorations are like mini-projects for them that involve a lot of planning.
Another Hebbal resident, Krishna Prasad, says he will wait for another year before he returns to his 32-year-long tradition of displaying 800 dolls based on myriad themes. “If I display the dolls, I can’t stop my friends and family from visiting. But for everyone’s safety, I will limit Dasara this year to family puja,” he says.

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Sagar Biswas

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