A GUJARATI TRIBAL DOLL)
(A story by Carole Bumford)
Our Creative Writing Group recently had to write a story about one of my six dolls which I had given them as a choice, for our homework. I chose to write about this lovely Gujarati Tribal doll from INDIA.
I hope you will enjoy it!!
My name is Dhanya which means “lucky” and also “great”. I AM lucky because I am very happily married to Girish, whose name means “Lord of Mountains”. We have a wonderful son called Shankar, whose name means “He who gives happiness”. He helps Girish with our animals. We have nine chickens for eggs and meat, seven goats and two cows for milk only, because as Hindus, we do not eat beef. I make cheese using the goats milk, and I sell some of the cheese in the Market.
We live in a very comfortable mud hut with a thatched roof, in the
, which is in village of
Kutch Gujarat, West India, and
is famous for being the birthplace of Mahatma Ghandi. Inside the hut the walls are ochre coloured
with hand painted patterns beautifully done by Shankar. We have comfortable platform beds covered
with brightly coloured blankets which I wove on my loom, which once belonged to
my dear Nani (Grandmother). Above the
beds are wooden shelves holding my lovely treasured dishes which were a wedding
present off a dear friend. On one side
of the hut there are storage boxes made by Girish, which Shankar has painted in
colourful floral designs, and one of them even has exotic birds painted on
it. The boxes hold some of our clothes,
and my best gold jewellery, which were also wedding presents. Some clothes also hang from the beams, which
gives the hut a colourful and cosy feeling.
On one of the shelves above the bed, are my dolls which Girish carves
out of wood. I dress them to sell them
in the Market to passing visitors in the summer. The dolls are always very popular. I make tiny jewellery out of scrap pieces for
them, and paint henna patterns on their hands and feet. Sometimes I also give them a nose-ring.
My long embroidered silk tablecloths are also very popular too, and of coarse I get more rupees for them as they take so many hours to embroider. Women visitors from other countries like to take them back home with them for presents.
Today I must collect firewood which I will carry on my head, to repair the roof before the start of the monsoon heavy rain. We will save some of the wood to use for firewood, for the cooking.
I will take one of my dolls which I have just finished dressing, to the Market today, as there is a lady visitor waiting to buy one. The lady lives in Wales, in the United Kingdom and she has lots and lots of dolls, so mine will have plenty of company when she gets there, and she will be well looked after. She is a lovely lady and she especially likes Indian dolls because she loves their colourful costumes.
I always enjoy my walk to the Market, listening out for any birds along the way, and I always love the tintinnabulation of the goats bells as they go skipping happily across the rocks. Their bells can be heard right across the valley.
Girish is busy with the animals today and Shankar will help him to load our cart onto our fine bullock. They will be working in the field. It will be a little cooler when I get home, so I will sit outside and prepare our meal of chapattis stuffed with lentils and vegetable curry, rice and spices, and onions grown in one of our two fields. I will drink tea out of a saucer, in the old Indian way, and Girish will drink chaas, which is chilled buttermilk. My friend Anjali, whose name means “offering with both hands”, will join me for company. She is very lonely as a lot of her family have moved away to
, Bahrain and Oman , to look for work. Yemen
Tomorrow I must rise very early to fetch water from the river for washing the dishes and our clothes, but after that it will be a very special day as my cousin’s daughter Maheswary will be marrying a man from Delhi, who is a Jeweller with his very own shop in Delhi. There will be much celebrating with lots of special food and viewing the wedding gifts, and in the evening there will be music and traditional Indian dancing which will go on for several days. There will be a guest musician there, playing the veena. The guests will all be wearing their very best traditional, colourful Gujarati costumes. I will wear my very best bright cerise coloured sari, and my treasured gold bangles right up to my elbow on both arms. I will also wear my new gold nose-ring with a gold looped chain and two rubies, which I only wear on very special occasions. I will be having henna patterns painted on my hands and my feet. This will be done in the Mendi pattern.
Yes! I have the right name, “Dhanya”, as I AM very lucky!
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