Doctors keep royal tradition alive through doll show

Dr Poornima M, wife of Dr Jayanth B N, at their dolls’ show (left); Dr B S Nagaraj, father of Dr Jayanth B N, with their dolls show (right top); Dr Jayanth B N, his wife Dr Poornima M and son Adithya J with their dolls show (right bottom)
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Dr Poornima M, wife of Dr Jayanth B N, at their dolls’ show (left); Dr B S Nagaraj, father of Dr Jayanth B N, with their dolls show (right top); Dr Jayanth B N, his wife Dr Poornima M and son Adithya J with their dolls show (right bottom)

Highlights

It is that time of the year, when Mysureans pull out their dolls wrapped safely and kept in their wardrobes to tastefully arrange them during Navaratri festivities

Mysuru: It is that time of the year, when Mysureans pull out their dolls wrapped safely and kept in their wardrobes to tastefully arrange them during Navaratri festivities.

With the dolls representing 'pattada' raja and rani on the top row, as the king was considered embodiment of God (raja prathyaksha daiva), people come up with display of odd number of colourful dolls on each row, besides spreading them out across their hall, depicting mythological themes, pilgrim centers, history, great personalities, moral stories, festivals, culture and traditions, to educate young generation in a beautiful way. Goddess Durga is worshipped in nine forms on each day of Navaratri.

And on Vijayadashami day, when Dasara jumbo savari procession usually reaches Bannimantap grounds, pattada raja and rani will be put to sleep, to mark the culmination of the doll show. But however, the show is kept on for at least a month for the joy of their kids and to let visitors see it.

And one such outstanding dolls show has been hosted for 47th year at "Hemadri", the house of noted city-based doctors Dr Jayanth B N and Dr Poornima M at Sriramupura second stage in Mysuru. They have spread out their precious collection of over 3,000 dolls in their 20x14 feet hall .

Speaking to The Hans India, Dr Jayanth said, "My mother late S Vijayalakshmi Nagaraj was inspired by Dasara doll show of her grand-mother Jayalakshmamma. My mother grew up witnessing Dasara jumbo savari procession on Vijayadashami in which Maharaja of Mysuru was carried by an elephant as he sat in the golden howdah.

After Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar stopped jumbo savari procession, after the privy purse was abolished in 1971, my mother Vijayalakshmi started doll show at our home in 1973," he said.

To relive the past glory of bygone royal era, in this dolls' show, they have recreated the entire Dasara proceedings of royal era with miniature dolls, including jumbo savari procession in which the maharaja sat in golden howdah carried by elephant.

And they have also depicted 'khaas darbar' of the maharaja then in which music and dance concerts were performed, the soldiers who participated in it. They have ensured that all these are much similar to the paintings on this, which are there in Mysuru Palace. While erstwhile royal family is carrying on Dasara tradition even today, they have depicted 'paada pooja' of Maharaja by Maharani after private darbar, 'Saraswathi pooja' by Maharaja during Dasara, 'aayudha pooja' in which Maharaja worships royal weapons, royal animals like pattada aane (elephant), pattada kudure (horse), pattada hasu (cow), adda pallakki (golden palanquin).

And also owing to Covid-19 pandemic erstwhile royal family of Mysuru is not hosting Varjamushti kalaga (symbolically) as part of Dasara tradition this year. But Dr Jayanth has depicted Vajramushti kaalaga (wrestling) with miniature dolls. And they have also depicted Vijaya yathre of Maharaja (brief procession within Mysuru palace premises) in silver chariot from Mysuru Palace to Bhuvaneshwari temple where he will offer Shami pooja.

While Dasara jumbo savari procession may be simple, traditional and confined to Mysuru Palace premises this year due to Covid 19. Dr Jayanth has showcased grand jumbo savari hosted by State government, on usual procession route from Mysuru Palace to Bannimantap grounds through his doll show.

They have put up dolls of Nandi dwaja, Veera gaase, police band which will all be part of Dasara procession. And they have even depicted mayor going in procession on horse back, people from different backgrounds including international tourists, witnessing Dasara procession.

They have also decorated dolls with beads, mirror work, kundan stones, golden paints to evolve with themes of their choice. Kinnala dolls are decorated as Annapoorneshwari, Maheshwari, Jagathprassotika alankaaram. And they have also depicted 'Sharannavaraathri pooja' for Goddess Vyshnavi.

Traditionally they have also arranged dolls in nine steps too depicting 'Navadurga', 'Ashta Lakshmi', 'Dashavathara', philosophers and several other dolls. Being doctors, Dhanvantri doll is their priceless possession.

"We have five sets of pattada gombes, including those given to my mother during her wedding. They were passed on to my wife as gifts at the time of our wedding. Decorations of pattada gombes done by my mother was unique, and I tried to retain it.

I lost my mother 9 years ago. When my mother was alive, she had won prizes for our dolls show, in the competitions hosted for households by Dasara exhibition authorities and other organizations. She had even got 'Sthree kala Shakthi', 'Sthree kala purne' awards too given by different organizations," Dr Jayanth said.

They have got this huge collection of 3,000 dolls from across the country, which they have bought for 5 paise to several thousands and some of them are more than over five-decade old.

Dr Jayanth recalled, "My mother began the dollshow with her collection of few Chinese ceramic dolls, later we added dolls from Puducherry, from Tamil Nadu including those from Madurai, Coimbatore, Kondapalli toys of Andrapradesh, Krishnanagar toys from West Bengal, wooden toys from Varanasi, those from our own State including terracotta dolls, those bought in and around Bengaluru, Channapatna toys, Kinnala dolls of Koppal.

We have stuffed dolls from many artisans all over the country. And miniature dolls prepared by mother with beads are among our collection. R J Singh's Ramsons Kala prathishtana of Mysuru, which gets dolls from at least 12 States from across the country, helps add new ones to our collection every year, and they bring our imaginations to reality," he said.

While Dr Jayanth is a surgeon and his wife is a gynaecologist. This huge doll show is the result of their efforts for more than a month amid their busy schedule. "We started arranging dolls soon after Ganesh Chathurthi, we plan to keep it for the whole of October month. My father Dr B S Nagaraj, a retired veterinarian, my son Adithya J who is in class 8, have joined us too in coming up with the show," Dr Jayanth said.

Everyday 'aarathi' is done to the dolls, and 'bombe baagina' with bangle and kumkum are given to women. Group of women visit this dolls show in the evening and sing bhajans. Lalitasahasranama is also recited every day at their home.

Dr Jayanth said, "We wish to carry forward our rich tradition to our next generations. Preserving clay dolls is tough, so we are slowly switching over to wooden and hand-made dolls. And we are hoping to keep more kinnala dolls, which are easy to decorate, to match changing themes of shows every year," he said.

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