Creating scenes from mythology and social themes using painted clay dolls was an important part of Navaratri festivities during my childhood. We did not have many dolls in our house. All that we had were the traditional rose wood husband and wife ( which you may notice at the centre of the top step in the picture) a set of a dozen or so birds, a couple of painted wooden dolls, a replica of patton tank which used to give out sparks and made firing noise when dragged on the floor, a petrol tanker and a painted clay idol of goddess Saraswati. We used to display all these on my study table, the only table that was available in the house. I envied those who had hundreds of dolls and created elaborate displays of royal court, zoo gardens, scenes from Mahabharata and so on and so forth. Over a period of time this practice had waned and the display restricted to the traditional rosewood dolls of husband and wife and goddess Saraswati. In the recent years I find that the old practice is gaining popularity once again and many of my relatives in Bengaluru spend considerable time, energy and money arranging the doll's display. Americans over do everything and so do the indians in America. Elaborate displays are done and lots of people are invited to view the display and enjoy the lunch/dinner. While returning from one such dinner the day before, I saw this dentist’s office in Northville, which had a ‘teeth fall’, similar to a waterfall, cascading from his windows.
I checked the map and found that the place was not very far from where I stay, and decided to walk over and take a closer look. Last evening I went there and as I was taking some pictures the dentist came out to arrange lights for illumination. I introduced myself and he was very happy to show me around his clinic and explain the concept of his ‘teeth falls’. He says that this arrangement was aimed at creating awareness in the society about children’s teeth which ‘fall off’. Each teethfalI has 1100 models of a molar tooth and they are made in his clinic. I got an invitation to be present in his office (In US it is a dentist's 'office' not a 'clinic') for the Halloweeen day parade on the 29th of October and also a gift of two teeth (costing10$ each) as a memento of my visit to his clinic. He has arranged a painting competition as part of his awareness programme. One may buy a tooth for 20 dollars, paint it and submit it for competition. It is available for 10 dollars if you just want to buy it for 'fun'. Proceeds go to a charitable mobile clinic which attends to children who can't afford dentist's fees.
I walked around Northville taking in the Halloweeen mood and while going around I found that very close to the dentist’ place a twenty one mile walking track begins and runs next to a protected park known as Hines park. The next day we went for a walk along the track enjoying the pleasant surroundings. Walked about eight kilometers. Following are some pictures of Nortville and Hines park.
|A historical house in the centre of Northville with the traditional Halloween 'decoration' on the front lawn|
|People enjoying the pre-halloween mood in the centre square. Traffic is blocked for the evening, Pizza, burger, ice cream vans are out and music is on.|
|Cycling/ walking path running along the road next to the Park.|
|A lake always enhances the beauty of a place. One of the many, in Hines Park.|