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Dasara at Home

Dasara (Navarathri) has just concluded and here is a small video of Dasara doll arrangements at house. More than Dasara it was known to us as ‘Gombe habba’ (ಗೊಂಬೆ ಹಬ್ಬ) back when we were kids. For all the ten days during the festival, 50 to 60% of our living room used to get occupied with the dolls. Below is a small video shot by my sister of this year’s festivities (since there is no narration, I’ve tried my level best to explain the arrangements below the video) –

Top most step has ‘pattada gombe’ (ಪಟ್ಟದ ಗೊಂಬೆ) – depicting the royal family of Mysore. Next two steps goes for the Gods and Goddesses. Fourth and fifth has miniature crockery which my mom has collected over 40-45 years. Sixth step is a grocery shop (ಶೆಟ್ಟಿ ಅಂಗಡಿ/ನ್ಯಾಯಬೆಲೆ ಅಂಗಡಿ) – most of the groceries in the shop (especially cashew and Raisin) used to get emptied by me. And now my little nice has taken over that task from me. :)

This video was taken on ‘Saraswati pooje’ – right side of the arrangements has an idol of Goddess Saraswati, books. Left side of the arrangement has three different sets – first one is a wedding ceremony, left side of this set is of ‘Dasara Ambari’ (ದಸರಾ ಅಂಬಾರಿ). Behind the amabari is a 2 ft tall wooden doll which is dressed as Chamundi/Durga. My mom got this doll as wedding gift from her mother 35 years ago.

To the far left has a mini zoo and a small park which has toy train ride, food court, a fountain, a temple at the far corner atop a small hill.

PS: As there was no commentary during the video, my little nice offered to lend her voice with her humming and singing for the whole five minutes :)

Old Familiar Faces

by Charles Lamb

I have had playmates, I have had companions,
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days,
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies,
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a love once, fairest among women;
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her —
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man;
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like, I paced round the haunts of my childhood.
Earth seemed a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father’s dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces —

How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

We had this as part of our academics. Guess it was in 10th. One of my favourite verses.


As usual I was standing in the beach on Sunday morning. Sun was trying to glaze the water surface from his surface. As far as I remember I just stand in the beach everyday in the same place without fail and leave the waves to come and splash me. I will be in beach irrespective of weather condition. I love to (sort of) stand there and have a look at the endless waves for endless hours. Even though it is a routine for me, I never felt boredom for this my hobby, to be honest it’s difficult to call this as my hobby. It’s as routine as the waves in the sea hit the shore everyday and night. Sometimes waves may come to a standstill but then also I will be there.

[adsense] I really don’t know whether I like sea or waves or water, but still I stand in the beach. But plenty of people love to come to beach — for morning walk, for evening stride, for jogging, to play, or to just watch the waves like me. The number goes high during the weekend as they won’t be having work like me. That sunny Sunday as usual I was there in my place. As the Sun started his journey upwards from horizon, people started flowing in. People were everywhere – all around me. Some of them standing next to me playing in water, few teenagers were playing Cricket, Kabbaddi, Volleyball, Football and all sorts of undocumented or unknown games in the beach. Plenty of health conscious friends were jogging along the beach, just avoiding the waves. Lots of grandpas and grandmas were strolling around with their beloved ones, old friends recollecting there good old life as youngsters, cracking jokes, teasing one another. There I stood as if I didn’t belong to their world. I was just enjoying their life – enjoying every bit of joy, laughter, listening to each and every joke cracked, all sorts of gossips, watching children making sand castles. But no one gave second look at me, which was common to me and I was used to that kind of importance given to me over there.

Suddenly I felt something strange — waves stopped coming to the shore as if they are on a strike. Roaring sound of the sea was not there and the sea started retracting itself. People were astonished to see the sea go back like that. After few minutes, people were back to their business as if nothing happened. But to tell you the truth — till that time nothing had happened. With in no time, waves started coming towards me in a lightening speed. I was totally clueless, people around me started screaming and running towards the higher altitude places. But who can match waves coming at almost 700 to 750 KM per hour speed. Even if you can run at a speed of 35 KM per hour, which will be a new world record, you must have luck to survive. Somehow I felt that, those waves do nothing for me and I didn’t (I couldn’t) move an inch from my place. My mind was completely blank, as it is always. Few people who were running tried to get a support from me, but I was helpless. Tsunami had done its job cleanly and cruelly.

Within few seconds, everything was changed – baffling silence except for roaring waves. There were floating dead bodies, broken huts and boats, cars, TV sets. All of my good old friends – grandpas & grandmas, joggers, young players — everyone were one among the sea. But I was unhurt. I just stood there in my usual place unmoved. And I stood there as a ‘mooka-prekshaka (silent-spectator) – for the unforgettable event of my life and lost my unforgettable good old friends.

A Rock in Marina beach, Chennai.