It was fall of 1992-93. I was 10 or 11 years old. My uncle had just returned from London and was visiting us in Nanded. He had brought two beautiful dolls with him. I have a cousin of the same age as mine, so I thought that they were gifts for both of us. He had a daughter who was two years younger than me. Those dolls were gorgeous huge, like life-size babies. They had shiny blonde hair, blue eyes and pink chicks and red lips! They were dressed in a flowery dress and had a pair of shoes and a purse. They came with a grooming set as well. They would close their eyes if you lay them down which was the best thing ever. I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them.
I grew up in the time when toys were the luxury. Nowadays my niece has so many toys that she could set up her shop! It’s not like I didn’t have toys… I had a stuffed doll (my sister had made it for me) and a palm sized doll. At that time these type of dolls were rare in India. We had dolls, but they were either of palm-sized or a little bit bigger. Like any other girl of that age, I used to love dolls. The dolls my uncle had brought were nothing like I had seen before. My birthday was just around the corner, so my ten-year-old self conveniently assumed that one of them is for me, and the other one was for my cousin!
However, it turned out that he had bought one for his daughter, and the other one was for my cousin! I felt so bad. I was almost heart broken. I had already dreamed about showing off that doll to all my classmates as my prized possession. I am not sure till this day why he did that! Did he accidentally forget to bring me one or his kiddo forced him to keep the other for her?
This whole incident didn’t go very well with my grandpa. He had seen how desperate I was to get that doll. So on my birthday he took me to the store and bought me a brand new doll! He even let me choose one myself! This doll was good, had blue eyes and blonde hair, but it was not the same as the other one! Even though I understood the emotions behind his gesture, I didn’t fall in love with this doll.
Years have passed since that incident; I am a grown woman now. Now when I think about it Why was I so disappointed! Was it just about the pricey doll? No, it was the feeling that someone forgot about me, or didn’t think I was important enough! This feeling of being left out was hard.
When I came here (United States) I happened to visit a lot of after Christmas sales. One day We were in Walmart, and the soft toys were like 70-80% off! I ended up buying a bagful of toys! I have two teddy bears, a Santa, Rudolf, the red-nosed reindeer, Winnie the Pooh, Hello Kitty, and three different types of stuffed dogs. But still, whenever I pass through the aisles of dolls at ToysRUs, my eyes light up. I linger near that aisle with my puppy eyes. My ten-year-old self resurfaces, and tells me to go ahead and buy it. These dolls are so common and cheap now. If I want, I can buy as many dolls as I want.
Maybe, one day, I will buy a doll or maybe I won’t! I think the longing to have a doll is more worth than the doll itself because playing with the dolls is never going to be same again!