For eight years, from the time the kid was two to ten, I would keep a fairly extensive golu. The golu stand in itself was never big, given that our living room is fairly small, but I made sure the paraphernalia were all in place – a fancy rangoli, environmentally friendly home-made newspaper bags for tambulam, and hand picked gifts for the visitors. I had pictures of my golu over the years in my old blog, if you had been following me there, you may remember. They are all gone into the great wide open now.
The past two years, I downsized. The move probably reflected my need to minimise. Also, I am more conscious of the family’s comfort level as well. When I had a big golu, I would displace the furniture and have the family tip toe around the golu and lock themselves in their rooms if they wanted privacy. Now I feel that my need to have a big golu must not inconvenience the others in the household; so, no more moving of furniture, no more over-use of leg space and no more fuss.
Coincidentally, last year, my cousin, in the process of shifting homes, found a miniature wooden golu stand, at least fifty years old. It belonged to our grandmother, and was one of the many satellite golu-s paati built around the humongous 11 step main golu that touched the roof of our ancestral high-ceilinged agraharam house. This golu stand that my cousin didn’t want, and consequently, I took possession of, is fifty inches high, with five tiny steps that can hold tiny dolls. Last year, I bought tiny dolls that fit the tiny steps and set it up at an unobtrusive corner of the living room. This year, I followed the same practice. Here it is:
Do not be mislead by the apparent height of the golu. The top most stair reaches my hip and the stand has been placed on a couple of cardboard boxes for height.
As with all earlier years, you see on the right of the golu, the little silver idol of Saraswathi, the goddess of learning (in its throne, with a tiny coral necklace and gold thirumangalyam). It is a family heirloom and could be a hundred years old. There was a matching set for Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, which went to my cousin.
So, if you are in the Chennai area, please visit me. A simple newspaper bag of tambulam shall be given, along with loads of goodwill and cheer. If you are away, you’ll still get the goodwill and cheer from me, sans tambulam.