Friday, August 29, 2014

Bombe Mane 2014 - Brochure

They come alive, they sing, they talk, they joke and make you laugh. Do not worry it’s not a gaffe! Looking beautiful, smiling wide, breathing gently and whispering a welcome, they softly tiptoe into your hearts. Each one of them dressed in their finest. This is Bombe Mane and ‘they’ are all dolls. No mystery here; this is the fabled doll festival of Dasara at Mysore.

Go beyond the façade of these dolls, the bright visage frozen in place and eyes that seem to have winked or glanced past you. They have been brought alive with nimble and dextrous fingers of crafts persons across the country.

In keeping with tradition, about ten new dolls have been created at the design wing of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP) for the tenth edition of ‘Bombe Mane’. The evocative murals of Durga Puja, by late artist Y. Subrahmanya Raju, in the wedding pavilion of Mysore Palace has been created as doll tableaux. Navadurga clay dolls have been fashioned according to the description given in the Sritattvanidhi of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. Artist Ravish of RKP converted the Mysore style figures of Sritattvanidhi into line drawings, which were the basis for the Navadurga dolls.

The Navagraha set containing the nine divine planets, according to Hindu cosmology, is fashioned to mimic its original counterpart which can be seen at many temples across south India. A mini model of the Silver Chariot, which is used in various rituals during the Dasara by the royal scion of Mysore, is eager to be part of the doll procession of your own. Ready to join them are the elephant carriage and the famed golden palanquin being drawn by two draught cattle.

Miniature kitchen set in terracotta with quaint rangoli designs and the set of mini puja paraphernalia in gold paint is a doll collector’s favourite. Mini models of Town Hall and St. Philomena’s Church will surely enliven your own Mini-Mysore.  Cute birds, animals and hordes of other dolls seem to smile; some gaily tripping, lightly skipping, large and small, flock to mingle and frolic in your home.

Here is a devotee with his precious portable shrine; his foot stomps, his throat growls, his hair twirls and face scowls. This is Jogappa carrying Maaramma or Durgamurgi deity on his head. But then, he is just a doll and this is his customary attitude. Painted tapestries of Phad, Kavad and Kalamkari hangings. These are portable shrines on the move.  

The portable shrine is a special feature in this year’s Bombe Mane. While this speaks of an unknown aspect of doll worship, the other section features dolls of various styles of classical dances titled, Dances of India. 

Come, walk into the gala land of glittering gudda and guddis and reawaken the child in you. 

Dasara is here. Celebrate and rejoice, my dear!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Golden Palanquin of Wodeyars

In a cob-webbed part of a storeroom deep in the warrens of the Mysore Palace lies a palanquin covered with burnished gold. On the penultimate day of the fortnight-long Dasara festivities it is this palanquin that would be placed in a carriage and conveyed to the great temple of the Goddess Chamundeswari on the Chamundi hill.

There the Utsava murti of the Goddess would be, after performing several rituals accompanied by the chanting of incantations, placed in the palanquin and taken in procession to Devikere for float festival.

The same palanquin is also be used by members of the Mysore royalty on important occasions like birthday, upanayana, etc. Royal house extends the rare honour of the palanquin procession to the visiting pontiff of the Sringeri Mutth and the Rajaguru of the Parakala Mutth who is the spiritual guide of the Wodeyars.

The following is the miniature model of the golden palanquin which will be unveiled at the tenth edition of Bombe Mane on 4th September 2014. A limited edition of this model is available for the doll lovers who want to enrich their doll Dasara procession.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Silver Chariot

If you have been fortunate to attend and observe at close quarters the great Dasara festivities of the past and if not, you may have stood in the great courtyard to witness the last scion of the Wodeyar Royal family coming out of the palace sitting in silver carriage drawn by a pair of draught cattle on his way to worship the Shamee tree in the precincts of the Bhuvaneshwari temple in the Palace grounds. The cattle whose distinctive clean lines and white color marks them as belong to the famous Amrit Mahal cattle breed, a heritage breed of livestock of Karnataka.

Flanking the Prince’s carriage are liveried servitors who swirl silk cloth fans (udees pavaday), yet others whisking Yak hair.

A little digression here is needed. In the 40s and 50s, youngsters would be gifted Hornby toy train sets and one would added this and that till one had a full-fledged railway station with trains coming and going. The Dasara Procession doll set is something like that. You begin with the basic set piece and keep adding other pieces till you have your own customized Dasara processions.
Bombe Mane has created a replica of the silver carriage that could be a mantel piece, a talking point on your coffee-table---or form a part of the Dasara tableaux that you will be establishing in your den or wherever you find place. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mini Kitchen Set in Terracotta

There are two kitchen sets on display. One in ochre-red earth and the other similarly painted one has been decorated with rangoli patterns.
This is a new addition to Bombe Mane 2014 which will go on display and sale from 5 September 2014.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Navadurga Dolls

Devi Parvati or Durga is propitiated in nine different forms which chronicle nine phases of her life. These nine forms of Devi are collectively called as Nava Durga. Various scriptures, puranas and agamas list different versions of Nava Durga.
The first book of Sritattvanidhi, Shakti Nidhi, lists following Nava Durgas as per Shaivagama. 

Śailaputrī, Brahmachāriṇī, Chandraghaṇṭā, Kuṣhmāṇḍā, Skandamātā, Kātyāyanī, Kālarātrī, Mahāgaurī and Siddhidātrī.
Each of these Nava Durga provides different spiritual benefits for a devotee. Together, these are worshipped during the Navaratri (Nine Nights) celebration in autumn. The first nine days of the bright lunar month of Ashwina (Ashwayuja) is celebrated as Sharannavaratri.

L-R: Shailaputri, Brahmacharini, Chandakhanda
1. Shailaputri
Among the Nava Durgas, the first one is Shailaputri. She is the ‘Daughter of the Mountain’; she is holding a trident and rides a bull, Vrushabha.

2. Brahmacharini
Goddess Brahmacharini is the second form of Durga. Unwavering in her austerities she is the paragon of devotion. She holds a rosary in her right hand and a water pot in the left. Bliss shines forth from her face. Worship of Brahmacharini fills the devotee with happiness, peace, prosperity and grace.

3. Chandakhanda (Chandraghanta)
Chandakhanda is the third form of Durga; she lifts her right hand in abhaya mudra offering protection. Eagle is her mount. A slayer of demons, Chandakhanda is repository of power and bestows bravery on her devotees.

L-R: Kushmanda, Skandamata, Katyayini
4. Kushmanda
Kushmanda is the fourth form of Durga. She holds a pumpkin and pot in her hands and is seen seated on a pedestal.

5. Skanda Mata
Skanda Mata is the fifth form of the Durga. She is the mother of Skanda (Kartikeya) who is seated on her lap. Skanda Mata sits on a throne and holds lotus in both her hands.

6. Katyayini
Katyayini is the sixth form of Durga. She rides a tiger and holds a sword, Chandrahasa.
L-R: Kalaratri, Mahagauri, Siddhidayini
7. Kala Ratri
Kala Ratri, the seventh form of the Durga. This dark-complexioned Goddess sits on a throne.

8. Maha Gauri
Maha Gauri is the eighth form of Durga. This fair complexioned Goddess is seen dressed in white and riding an elephant. Her demeanor is calm, composed, intelligent and ever peaceful. She has her right hand in abhaya mudra.

9. Siddhidayini (Siddhidatri)
Siddhidatri is the ninth form of the Durga. Siddhidatri (Siddhi meaning ‘supernatural powers’ and Datri meaning ‘giver’) is the patron goddess of saints, yogis, siddha-purushas and all devotees seeking Siddhi.

Well known artist Sri K.S. Shreehari has done nine individual paintings of Nava Durga in traditional Mysore style based on the shlokas as given in Sritattvanidhi. These paintings are in the collection of Ramsons Kala Pratishtana (RKP). On request of RKP, art student Sri Ravish Kumar did line drawings based on these paintings. These drawings were given to the doll-makers at Cuddalore who created the dolls featured here, in clay.

This set of Nava Durga dolls is one of many new dolls that are specially created by RKP for Bombe Mane 2014.

In 2011 Bombe Mane, we had featured Navadurgas in the form of wooden Daiva (bhuta) figures of South Canara. You can read about it here.