Saturday, August 25, 2012

Doll building?

It is not often that government offices or buildings bring up nostalgic memories of childhood. But Kuralagam is one such. Children of the 1970s might remember this as the go-to place for golu dolls and by all accounts, it continues to host the annual doll sale that might attract kids to visit it even in this day and age. 

In an area of Chennai that is filled several buildings that are over a hundred years old, this one is a kid itself. A little over 40 years old, Kuralagam (a rough translation would be "the essence of the kural) was built to house several government departments that were being crammed into the Chepauk offices. These included the Commercial Taxes Department, the Commissionerate of Handlooms and Textiles, and the Khadi and Village Industries Board. The last named continues its practice of putting up golu dolls for display during the Navaratri season.

Those dolls were the big reason for children to go to Kuralagam - and maybe to imagine government offices as being colourful places. What with flavoured milk from the Aavin counter in the building, you can't fault a kid for thinking this must be one of the "Best Places to Work"!

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