Navarathri – 9 nights. It is the celebration of the Trinity Goddesses – Parvathy, Lakshmi and Saraswathi. It ends with Dusshera aka Saraswathi Puja and Vijayadasami. In the northern states of
When my mom started keeping Kolu when I was a kid we started with 3 steps, that too managed with trunk boxes and tables etc. Then we proceeded to 5 steps and then as we collected several dolls we bought the Kolu stand and here is our Kolu with 7 steps.
So lemme now show you it all step by step. Starting from the first step. The first step generally has figurines of Gods and Goddesses. At the centre is Lord Shiva holding Lord Ganesha aka Pillaiyaar and beside him is his consort Goddess Parwathi holding Lord Murugan aka Karthikeyan. A typical family picture! See the beaded flowers at their feet? Those were done by my mom when she was a school child in her 9th grade. Beside them is Lord Buddha. And next to Buddha is a mother feeding her child. According to me a Mother is the best creation of God and she is a creator herself. So I prefer keeping her equal or higher than Gods. To the other side are Gandhiji with his 3 monkeys and Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshmana. I consider Gandhiji as my leader and guide and so I keep him too there atop. The 3 monkeys denote see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil as Gandhiji instructs.
In the second step are Dakshinamurthy and Annamalaiyar and Unnamulaiyammai. Dakshinamurthy is Lord Shiva who is an ascetic. He sits south faced under a tree. South is Dakshin so Dakshinamurthy. He is flanked by 4 rishis – saints.
Beside Dakshinamurthy are Annamalaiyar and Unnamulaiyammai, yet other names of Lord Shiva and his consort Parwathi with the Saiva Nalvar. The little figurine beneath is Lakshmi Hayagreevar – the horse faced incarnation of Lord Vishnu who is a specialty God for knowledge and wisdom.
On the third step are 3 different scenes. The first one is a Krishna Leela.
The second scene is Lord Rama, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmanan and the oarsman Gugan. It is the scene where the 3 are on their way into a forest for exile. In the front as you may see there are some little figurines. At the centre is the Pancha Mukha Ganapathy – the 5 faced Lord Ganasha. The beadwork of the Shivalinga with the snake and a Kuthuvilakku – traditional lamp between second and third scenes were again among my mom’s 9th grade work!
The third scene is Kamakshi aka Parwathi hugging Siva Lingam. She had actually made this Lingam with sand beside a river in Kanchipuram and started praying him to accept her as his wife. When the river started bulging with overflowing water, the lingam was at the verge of dissolving when she just hugged it that it doesn’t dissolve. With her love and warm hug, Lord Shiva accepted her and married her.
On the fourth step are 4 scenes. Wow! Just while writing this I noticed, I’ve arranged 2 scenes in 2nd step, 3 in 3rd, and 4 in 4th… Cool…!!!
Ok. The first scene is Lord Krishna with his wife Rukmini and childhood friend Kuchelan. Kuchelan aka Sudama is a father of 27 kids who is highly affected by poverty. Well, what would you expect out of a guy who has 27 kids.!!! Since
The second scene is Avvaiyum Navarkaniyum. Avvai is an old lady poet who was proud of her knowledge. So Lord Muruga in the form of a little cowboy sits atop a Naval Maram – Jamun tree. When Avvai asks this cowboy to pluck and put down some Jamun Fruits, he asks ‘Sutta Pazham Venduma.? Sudadha Pazham Venduma.?’ (Do you want cooked, hot Jamuns or normal Jamuns). She laughs and says, ‘How do u cook Jamun’. He says, ‘Its possible’. She says, ‘Ok. Gimme Sutta Pazham. He plucks and throws the fruits down. She picks ‘em up and blows the sand stuck onto it. On seeing this, he asks, ‘Seems the Jamun really hot, you are blowing it.?’. Immediately she realized, this is God himself!!!
The Thulasi Maadam in the front is again Mom's talent! The little figurine beside is Veenadhara Anjaneyar – Hanuman with Veena, the musical instrument.
The third scene is Thirukazhukundram. It’s a place where eagles take food from the hands of the temple priest like a pet animal. Eagles are Lord Vishnu’s vahanam – mount. The little figurine is Lalithambal – an incarnation of Goddess Parwathi.
The fourth is Bharatha Pillayar. It is believed that Lord Ganesha aka Pillaiyar, wrote the Mahabaratha, one of the longest epics in
K for now. This is going really long. I’ll get back with the last 3 rows and the side display soon.