“Navaratri is something I look forward to all year long because I hold Gollu extremely close to my heart. In fact, I start planning the next year’s Gollu right from when I’ve finished setting up the dolls for this year. That is how much I tressure this occasion. The reason for this is that it takes me on a nostalgic ride down my childhood, when I would visit all my neighbors and relatives to see their Gollu and admire the wonderful collection of dolls in all shapes and sizes. I would be in awe of how they came up with the setup overnight and always wanted to do it too.
I have been setting up Gollu in my house for close to 12 years now, but this year has been the closest to my heart. I have two beautiful daughters and this year, they both stayed up with me all night long on the eve of Navratri to help set up the steps. It takes close to six hours to finish the process of setting up the seven steps and another two hours to wipe all the dolls and arrange them perfectly. They also suggested we get a Kumbakarnan for a new doll. They did all this with me and have been spending their holidays helping me prepare the savories and snacks, calling the neighbors home, packing the festive goodies for the visitors, etc.
There is a sense of bonding when we sit down as a family for the festive preparations and meet people we don’t meet otherwise. This is an occasion to get creative together as a family. While a lot of rescheduling in terms of regular life happens during these nine days, it all seems worth it when you get to finally catch up with your long lost relatives and friends as you visit each other’s Gollu.
It is a great time for parents to tell their children all the mythological stories associated with the numerous dolls. This tradition should be continued and parents should ensure that the kids understand the importance of setting up a Gollu and carrying on the legacy.”
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