Deepali Kosta Kabi shared her daughter’s reflections on dolls and teddy bears in her childhood.
From Shatakshi Kabi:
As a kid, I always connected people’s behaviors to their features and outfits. As I was discovering emotions and feelings like innocence, jealousy, loneliness, etc. within me and around me, I connected them to certain characters I made up in my head. And this is what I used to give life to my dolls. For instance, innocence to me looked like big black eyes, droopy ears and a tiny nose. And any doll of mine which had these features would always remind me of that certain emotion, Teddy was one in particular. While I played role-playing games with Teddy like every other kid, he would always fill the role of the character who represented that particular emotion. It was something I expected out of him. I expected him to always make choices out of innocence and also always make mistakes because of innocence itself. In some of my dolls, I saw parts of myself that I didn’t like. One doll in particular, I forget her name, was fat, with frizzy orange hair and tiny round black eyes and she wore an ugly blue frock. I saw loneliness, shyness, unattractiveness in her. Although I never was fat nor did I look anything like her, but still, weirdly, I saw all my insecurities in her. And I treated her the worst. She was always the one who was yelled at, neglected, and insulted in all my role-playing games. Somehow, that gave me a certain satisfaction. A satisfaction that I wasn’t the one who was experiencing all this. Some dolls represented characters or people that I dreamed of being like. One doll in particular was this joker named Takkaiya. He wasn’t one of those creepy Chucky-like jokers trust me. He was funny, carefree and always happy! He reminded me of being that person. And I loved him the most. I carried him everywhere with me, even always slept with him by my side. His red nose and loose clothes and massive hands gave me joy every time I looked at him.