October 2, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Short Story: Dancing Doll of Tamil Nadu by Safrine.N

2 min read

Safrine. N’s story has the elements of surprise, thrill, and a lot of mystery to keep you hooked till the end.


Amma and Akka can never tolerate a speck of imperfection. Bommi’s day was busy running errands constantly. The lush green garden laced with the mellifluous voices of sparrows never failed to amuse her. She never felt tired since a glimpse of this splendid scenery was enough to rejuvenate her dampened spirit. “Bommi, Ai Bommi” was the voice that persistently filled every nook and corner of “Rangarajan’s Illam”. Sitting at the centre of the Varupettai village in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, Rangarajan’s Illam was known for its austere look and the spic and span of each room never failed to attract the passers-by. “Pasumpon Veedu” which translates as the “Golden House” is indeed the apt title bestowed on Rangarajan’s illam. This covetous title made the illam a place of popularity. Envious eyes pried the illam with such palpable hunger sending heat waves that directly targeted the sole reason for the illam’s fame and popularity- Bommi. 

As young and fragile as she can be, Bommi swirled in the illam with such rigor that Varupettai even thought that she was a miraculous angel gifted by the Almighty to this undeserving family. Very little did they know that Bommi’s life was as eventless and dead as the Patriarch of the illam– Rangarajan who chose to end his life without witnessing the fame and adulation his house experiencing at the present time. Bommi arrived at the illam when she was seven years old. Seven long years have passed by and since then she has been the unacknowledged faithful helper but this soul’s loveless life found true meaning in a relationship with a secret companion – her cute little “Bommai”. Bommai was a dancing doll clad in a green dhavani and adorned with dangling ornaments, she epitomized Bommi’s lost desires and past dreams. Bommai lived in a cozy corner of the iron box secretly lying down day after day waiting to be cuddled by Bommi whose sole purpose in life rested on the lively conversations she had with this dancing doll. Bommai didn’t arrive in her hands so easily. Apart from being allowed to eat three meager meals per day, using the old dress of Akka and a pair of worn-out chappals, Bommi was not supposed to expect anything from Amma– the strict matriarch who refused to show any kindness to this tiny automaton.                                                         

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