On the tragic day of my "mukhe bhaat" ( it WAS tragic, in one pic I had lots of flowers on me and I was biting a gold bangle ), I got a giant bear, and a doll. My dida and my mother thought that the doll was too beautiful to be given to me, so they made a glass case for it.
The doll now stands proudly in my grandmother's drawing room beside a small shelf where Ramkrishna, Sarada Ma stare out of their frames in December, wearing sweaters. I kid you not. And the same people gasp when they see a dog wearing a nice red coat in winter. Doggie can't feel cold, Sri Ramkrishna in photograph can.
I digress. So dolls. One of my relatives gave me a miniature room set, it had a dressing table, dining table, almirah and what-not. I was very impressed. I broke the almirah. The dressing table is still there.
Then came the grand moment when someone from Mumbai gifted me a nice doll, a Barbie doll (fully clothed), I was fascinated with it. Then I tore out the hair. Gosh they are such malnourished dolls.
Why do these new kids prefer video games? Cars crashing, people fighting, animals jumping...ewwww!
Then there was my friend who had many dolls. MANY. She even celebrated their birthdays. I did not go, I was too paka . I thought they were silly. I mean HEYLO ! they did not talk like humans or jump and lick like puppies. Still, my friend was better than Saratchandra mahasay's Lolita (forget Nabokov you fool! this one is an innocent puppy compared to that sexy err..nubile...err..whatever). This Lolita wanted dollie dear to get married and then ended up being a "Parineeta" herself. Poor girl. It's like you are playing "kumir danga" (croc vs. land -a fascinating game) and then being told that you will be transformed into a kumir for the rest of your life. Ouch!
So this friend loved her dolls and had a huge collection. Not Barbies but really fat, plump, nice dolls.
That year during Durga Puja "Laal Komol Neel Komol" was being staged. They asked for one of her favourite dolls because Rakkhoshi rani had to eat a baby in one scene . (Again I kid you not!) So very unwillingly my friend gave this doll after repeated assurances that it would be returned in one piece.
They stripped it, and Rakkhoshi rani while eating (yes, yes, pretending to eat) pulled out its hands and legs. When the natok was over my friend found the doll's broken body , a hand and its dress were missing. It was sad. Though at that time I found it to be funny. I thought she was stupid to give it in the first place. I was too selfish. Still am.
My mother bought these soft-toys. There is this place called Phoria-pukur, where she went to a dry-cleaning shop long time back. She gave clothes for dry-cleaning and went back around two years later with a vague description of the clothes and a sob-story of a lost bill. While they tried to find "boudi'r sarigulo", my mother roamed around the street where so many soft toys were displayed. Once she came home with a honuman eating a banana.
Then in "Swet Pathorer Thala" Sabyasachi very lovingly told Aparna Sen that since girls play with dolls , they start to think they are dolls and then the world plays with them like dolls. (How profound and how sad. He must have been jealous, after all men play with he-man, and superman and we don't treat them like superheroes ...aww they should play with golden retriever pups instead). Anyway, so Aparna (like a fool) sets her basket of dolls afloat and says goodbye. I hated her. Letting beautiful dolls sink just because her husband said some shit.
Once in an art and craft class a teacher taught us to make dolls out of a sock. It was sheer torture like all other Art and Craft classes. Why do they have these classes? Art and Craft, PT (Physical torture), S.U.P.W (socially useful my ass! NO NO my ass is not socially useful...pardon me). Our P.T teacher was so thin that her limbs looked an add-on feature, you know body ke sath hath-pao muft! muft! muft! She made us jump and do what-not. GOD I hated her.
One of my nephew plays with a flying helicopter and a niece watches MAA with her thakurma. Both scare me. I avoid them.
Childhood and lost innocence are very poetic...you feel sad and you pen down sublime stuff - Time wields its axe on innocence-innocence lies buried in the sands of time-the time-icicles freeze childhood in the deep freezer of the mind like tiny little crystals of memory-etc etc, you get the drift.