The Children of Wild ( part 4) - ZorbaBooks

The Children of Wild ( part 4)

No one imagine the happiness of children when it’s time of the Doll’s Festival. Especially girls who have a strong craving for dolls. At the advent of April and Summers there comes a special day ” Akshay Tritiya”. This day is considered very auspicious among Indians. On this day many marriage ceremonies take place and girls wait whole year because this is the time when they get a new doll couple. They adorn them with beautiful jewellery and dress them up in beautiful garbs, keep them in cane baskets and go under the mighty Banyan tree to perform their marriage rituals.

Sona, Babuli and Romila were very happy as the Doll’s Festival was approaching. Sona asked her father to bring a new couple of dolls as the market was decorated with a series of dolls garbed in dresses of different provinces of India.There were Punjabi, Gujrati, South Indian, Bengali, Rajasthani, North East and Maharashtrian dolls. Anyone could get tempted to behold such beautiful figures adorned in discipline of rows. While coming back from school they saw them and wanted to touch them once. The temptation was long lasting. In the evening Sona’s and Babuli’s father took them to the Chowk Bazar where those craft dolls were being sold. Both the sisters chose Punjabi couple of dolls and brought them happily to their home . Next day it was Akshay Tritiya. All the teen aged girls started their preparation one day before the Doll’s Festival. It was a festive moment every year when girls went to the nearby Banyan tree placing their dolls in a basket . Every girl was decorating the basket and arranging prasadam of soaked gram pulses in small earthen pots, beetle nut , turmeric. There were some girls who used to prepare their dolls using waste products , cotton and cloth. Their dolls were a centre of attraction for everyone because the girls always showed their creativity and competence while making their dolls for Akshay Tritiya.Sona was tempted to see their dolls and thought that their dolls were better than hers. She asked Romila to come along with her. The group of girls reached under the great Banyan tree with their bamboo baskets . There was a huge crowd gathered under the tree , witnessing marriage of dolls. There was a festive atmosphere. Two dolls taking oath to be together for seven lives. After the marriage the girls used to distribute soaked gram pulses to everyone. After the rituals the dolls became a show piece in the almirah of their drawing room. It was an unforgettable day for them. They used to rest in the almirah till bada amavasya. On that day the nuptial knot in which beetle nut was tied used to be opened. Sona and Romila went under the great Banyan tree. Lo! What a mischief! A big naughty boy came and took away the doll couple of Sona. Sona started crying bitterly. Babuli went running to her house and called her aunt. She went into the boys house , scolded him and took back the dolls and gave to crying Sona. Sona was very thankful to her. Ultimately she went happily with her sister and friends.

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Sonali Mangal