The Santa sitting next to the till looked cute. His head bobbed whenever a customer placed their shopping bag on the counter. Shop, shop, he seemed to say, shop till you drop. Is that for sale?, she asked of the shop assistant. Sorry, that’s just for display. There are others in aisle number...18.
The Santa doll would look good on her golu steps. He would sit next to Chettiar and Chettichi dolls. Sort of like a strange cross-cultural exchange in the toy world. The two bulls which she inherited from her mother would go on either end of the step. She wondered if she could get her mother-in-law to ship Lakshmi-Saraswathi dolls. They would have to be packed well though. Otherwise they would end up with chipped noses. And no matter how mach PVC glue you applied, it would never quite look the same. There’s still time for all that, she thought, it’s only December yet. There’s almost 10 months between now and Navarathri.
Soon it will be Pongal. Then Maha Sivarathri. In April, it will be Rama Navami followed by Varusha Pirappu. And come June, there will be one festival after another. Janmashtami, Varalakshmi Nonbu, Vinayaka Chaturthi, Navarathri and soon thereafter, Deepavali. In between, there will be an assortment of smaller family occasions like birthdays and anniversaries to mark and celebrate. But it is always a good idea, she decided, to keep her eyes peeled for valuable additions to her doll collection.
Merry Christmas, wished the sales assistant, handing her the shopping bag. And to you too, she replied looking up at the Santa one more time. He didn’t seem so cheerful now. Paavam, she thought, just one festival every year.