Sunday, 21 October 2012

More on Golu Park/Forest/Village Setting

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In the last post (click here)  I identified some ways in which you can start your own "grass" for your golu. Here are some more ways in which you can "greenify" your golu.

1. Sod: If you have a backyard, you can always cut up a small patch of grass for your golu. Actual, real, grass. Grass as you know has a very shallow root system, so you don't really have to dig deep. This is what I landed up doing.
Line a shallow cardboard box with some plastic, sprinkle water regular -- but don't over water, you don't want to over water  your plants. Most importantly leave it in a sunny place. If you don't have enough sunlight in your golu room, leave the light on during the day.

2. Artificial stuff: that green plasticky indoor outdoor carpet will be perfect for artificial grass, if you are into that sort of thing.

My own rural/forest scene was made from mustard sprouts, grass I dug up from the backyard, some snips of barberry shrubs (that made trees) a rock and some sand.
Tribal people hunting some deer. With a "mountain" in the back ground

the mustard seedlings that will become the fields

The mustard fields and the "puliyaattakkaran' procession on the village road the connects the forest to the clearing

Pitch perfect!
The karagattakkaran performance at the village clearing!

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Saturday, 13 October 2012

Growing Grass for your Golu

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What kid does not want a park in their golu? Or a zoo? Or a cricket pitch? Every year, as a kid I used to fight for my rights to free space. In the context of golu of course, this would be a park, zoo, cricket pitch or all of the above.

When we were kids we used to use either whole moong ( or mustard seeds ( soaked in water and then sowed in a shallow pan of soil. Water it lightly regularly and you will have a glorious patch of turf for your golu needs. In Chennai, these things did not take long to grow and was the best quick fix solution. In the cooler climes of north america, though, it might take a little longer to grow these.

However, there are other options for the North American golu aficionado.

  1. Moong or Mustard seeds: just as described above
  2. Actual grass seeds: available, usually at the start of the Fall season at any garden or big box stores. Read germination time instructions and sow in doors in a large shallow potting dish (punch holes in the bottom for adequate drainage). Usually germination times are about 2 weeks. Remember  you need them to be a little taller than new seedlings, so give ample time.
  3. Onions/ Garlic: Bare root onions/garlic are often available around this time of the year. They can be sown in a pot and are fairly quick to "show their green". They tend to be slightly thicker than what you would call grass, but on the flip side, you could potentially get a harvest out of it later.
  4. Cat grass: If you are in a pinch and have forgotten to sow anything in time, these things can come in handyAny pet store carries them practically year round. Looks like grass: here are some pics for you of this thing: google images for cat grass. You may even find it in the pet aisle in grocery stores.
If you use any of these tips to create your patch of green for golu, I would love to hear from you. 

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Friday, 5 October 2012

October is here!

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The month of Navarathri (here was my last year's Navarathri write up and the golu) and Halloween is  here. Yet, my mojo is not! Whatever has happened, I wonder. But I did drum up some enthusiasm to at least glue the broken bommais ("dolls"/"sculptures") back together.

The husband bought me some "dolls" for golu this year to increase my repertoire, so to speak. But since the packaging wasn't quite up to par, some of these guys arrived broken! Boo hoo!

The karagatta kaaran came in two pieces -- but at least he was neatly severed.
(Click here to know more about the folk dance form called Karagattam. And here are some neat images of the dance)

Same thing happened with this guy carrying a pot (presumably one more of the karagattam entourage!) 

 But the lady with the pot on her head was not so lucky. She lost her head and the pot with it. Even with gluing she is not going to look whole. But, isn't that part of the charm of golu? Each "doll" carries the mark of its history.

 But what upset me most was this lovely (I believe Rajasthan made) brick breaker. He lost his thumb and his hammer and it is quite the challenge to stick that back! And some of his broken bricks are rolling loose and will need some way to stick them back.

I think even he is a bit saddened. Don't you think?

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