76-year-old S Devaki decided to utilize the spare time she had during the lockdown to recreate beautiful scenes from Indian mythological tales using old Barbie dolls.
There is no right age to do what you love. 76-year-old S Devaki from Kerala proves this by creating some beautiful scenes from mythology using old Barbie dolls.
This BSc graduate in Chemistry chose to be a homemaker and look after her children instead of doing a job. But she was always interested in arts and crafts. She chose to do it only in her free time though. She is also an avid reader. She had always thrived to learn new things. Once her children were married, she dedicated her time to her grandchildren and, in a sense, the cycle repeated itself. But she doesn’t regret any of it.
Now that even her grandchildren have grown up, she has time on her hand. And that was when she started looking for things to do. “Somehow, my childhood came back to me and I recollected all the handiwork I would do and decided to try my hands at it again,” Devaki shares, adding that the 2020 lockdown provided her with the much-needed free time. That is when she saw some of the Barbie dolls lying around the house left by her granddaughters. An idea struck her. And she began to convert the Barbie dolls.
First, she made ‘Brides of Kerala’, by converting 3 Barbie dolls to represent the brides of all 3 major communities in Kerala – Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. She used material that was lying around at home to make their sarees and jewellery. Since the Barbie dolls had golden hair, she had to paint it black to give them an authentic Indian look.
With the confidence she got from making the first set, she started experimenting with various themes. She has made Hamsa-Damayanthi inspired by the famous Ravi Varma painting; Chandalabhikshuki, which is a part of the poem written by Kumaran Asan; and the Shakuntala doll.
The detailing in each doll is what makes her work stand out. The intricate work in each piece of jewellery, clothes and hair is all done by hands and Devaki spends a lot of time on these. So far she has done 16 Barbie dolls and now she has run out of Barbie dolls, she says. While she has not been making these with the intention of selling them, she says she would be happy to take on orders, as long as the doll is provided to her. “It was never meant to be a business but a passion that I happened to rekindle,” she concludes.
Credits: The Better India
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