The Doll Show

If The Cot Is The Garden Where Dreams Bloom, Can We Equate The Ground Below It As The Floor Of The Garden Where These Dreams Lay Scattered?

In Homes With Children, The Space Beneath The Cot Is Normally Used By The Children Like Secret Caves To Hide Themselves In A Game Of Hide And Seek Or To Hide Articles, Which Seem To Have Been Lost And Searched For Tirelessly. You Must Have Definitely Had The Experience Of Finding A Toddler For Whom You Have Looked Around The Entire House In Vain, Finally Sitting Under The Cot And Secretly Chewing A Piece Of Paper!

The Space Beneath The Cot In A House Is Like The Floor Of A Deep Ocean With Full Of Secrets. Whenever One Bends And Looks Under A Cot, One Definitely Finds Some Article Or The Other. Sometime Ago, When I Went Crawling Under The Cot Looking For My Missing Key Bunch, I Found A Doll Deserted By A Kid After He Was Tired Playing With It.

The Beheaded Torso Of The Doll Must Have Been Lying There For Quite Some Time. Its Light Yellow Rubber Body Seemed To Have Shrunk. Though It Was Just A Doll, The Beheaded Torso Disturbed Me. The Fact That It Happened To Be A Female Torso Increased My Sorrow.

I Remembered How That Bright Yellow Doll Looked When It Was Bought Newly With Silky Soft Hair Neatly Combed Into Two Plaits, Pink Skirt And Dotted Brown Top And Glassy Eyes. The Boy Would Drag It Along Wherever He Went. It Ate, Slept And Chatted With Him. I Remember How On Many Nights, When I Gently Pulled Out The Doll From His Clutches, After He Slept, He Would Suddenly Wake Up And Start Crying. Many A Time When He Fussed To Eat, We Have Baited Him With The Doll And Fed Him. He Would Believe That The Doll Might Eat His Food And Keep Staring At Its Eyes.

I Remember A Scene From Movie The Last Emperor The Last Heir Prince Of The China Works As A Laborer In His Own Palace After Having Lost His Country, Palace And All The Wealth. He Would Be Explaining The History Of The Palace To The Tourists Visiting The Palace. When The Tourists Enquire, How Come You Know All This, He Replies, I Was The Prince Of This Palace The Kids Among The Tourists Do Not Believe This.

To Prove His Point To Them, He Looks Around For A Doll, Which He Had Hidden In His Childhood And Shows It To Them. That Is The Only Proof Of His Having Been The Crown Prince. Maybe Only A Few Toys Are The Remains Of Each One Childhood!

How Come A Doll, Which Shared So Many, Hugs And Kisses Got Beheaded And Thrown? When I Brought The Headless Doll And Showed It To My Son, He Pulled His Eyes Away From The Cartoon Channel For A Second, Looked At The Doll With Full Of Distaste And Said, Junk. Throw It Out Daddy And Got Into Papaye Show Once Again.

Does This Headless Doll Prove That Once Desire Dies Down, What Is Left Over Is Just Disrespect? Is It The Fault Of The Doll Not To Have Grown Along With Him? Where Is Its Head?

Every House Has Its Own Corner, Which Cannot Be Cleaned Up. Maybe In The Kitchen Or Near The Bathroom Or Under The Staircase, Wherever This Corner Is, Lot Of Articles Remain Dumped After People Are Tired Of Using Them. I Started Looking For The Dolls Head In Such A Corner. I Found Many Things But Not The Head. I Emptied Gunny Bags And Rummaged Through The Stuff. I Found The Head Of Another Doll. Its Body Was Missing. When I Tried Matching That Head With The Torso I Had In My Hand, It Looked Terrible.

Suddenly I Was Reminded Of The Kalinga Battlefield. I Started Imagining How A Mother Would Have Gone Searching For Her Son`S Body Among Those Beheaded Bodies. Heads And Torsos Lie Scattered All Over. It Is Not Clear As To Which Head Belongs To Which Body. Among So Many Heads, Which Is Her Son`S? The Mother`S Hands Turn Over Bodies And Heads Mutilated Beyond Recognition And Lying In A Pool Of Blood And Flesh.

All Corpses Look Alike. That Increases Her Sorrow. Have The Enemies Taken Away The Head? Can There Be Any Worse Violence Than Taking Back Mutilated Heads As A Gift From The Battlefield? Vultures And Vampires Are Waiting On The Trees To Feast On The Dead Bodies. How Many Heads Have Been Cut In The Battle? How Many Headless Bodies Are Lying There?

Though I Was Looking For Just A Doll`S Head, My Mind Is Restless. I Remembered The Beloved Who Demanded As Gift, The Head Of Yahova On A Plate. Cut Heads Have Their Own History. My Mind Bangs Against Thousands Of Lines From Various Books And Echoes Thomas Mann`S Novel And

The Exchange Of Vikramadityaâ`S Head With That Of Patti; The Story Of Lord Parasuram, Who Beheaded His Mother To Obey His Father; The Description Of A Gillett Used To Behead People In Dostoevsky’s Novel Idiot And So On.

My Son, Who Returned From The Playground Looked At Me, Went Into One Of The Inner Rooms, Brought The Soaked Head Of The Doll And Handed It Over To Me. How Do Only Children Know Where To Find Lost Items? The Doll Had Lost Its Eyebrows. The Hair Is Dripping. Must Have Been Lying In Water For Many Days.

Mud And Water Adorn The Head And The Scalp Was Exposed In Many Places Because Lot Of Hair Had Fallen Off. The Soft Hair Has Lost Its Colour And Is Fully Knotted. Where Was It? I Asked. It Was Lying In One Of The Flower Pots. So Replying, He Went Looking For The Remote Control. Since It Was Lying In Mud Along With A Plant, Its Face Was Red And Muddy.

I Thought Of Fixing The Head With The Body But It Refused To Match. The Head Had Expanded And Hence Refuses To Fit Into The Neck. I Looked Helplessly At The Head And The Body. My Son, Who Entered The Room To Switch On The Light, Plucked The Doll From My Hand And Went Out. After A Few Minutes, I Heard Him Call Me. When I Went Out And Saw, He Had Filled The Rubber Body With Mud And Planted A Small Sapling In It. Look Daddy, A New Head Has Grown For The Doll, Said He Laughing. Young Green Leaves Were Waving In The Breeze.

The Doll Stood Along With The Other Pots. I Enquired About Its Cut Head. He Showed The Street. The Head Lay Still Among The Plastic Garbage. I Could Not Bear To See That And Turned Away. Does The Mere Fact That Blood Does Not Flow In A Doll`S Body Make It A Doll? Do You Like The Song?

`You Are A Doll, I Am A Doll; Think Over And All Are Dolls`, Sung By Jesudas

That Was The Day I Started Liking That Song!

Translated From Tamil – Sudha.Narasimachari