Strings attached

Have you seen the song " Jahan main jati hoon wahin chale aate ho"  from the movie chori chori. Where the actors performs a human puppet show, this is a form of art which  has been been underrated through all these years. Puppetry is really different from other art forms, its not like classical music or dance which some people understand and some people not. Puppet shows involves a story enacted by dolls which sometimes looks like a human or animals, which everyone understands and enjoys too. People of all age groups enjoy it, especially for the older generation this is a part their nostalgia.

Puppets have a long run in the history, its said that this art was developed 4 centuries ago. In India people used to organize  fair every year and the most popular stops were the puppet shows. They used to depict parts of mythological stories like Mahabharata and Ramayana. There are different forms of puppet shows in different states, which is because of the influence of their culture.  In Tamil Nadu string puppets were most popular, they were called Bommalatam which means  the dance of dolls. These dolls always enacted as some god or goddess and this show used to last for days. Many innovative stories were told with the help of puppet shows, the puppeteers always got immense popularity and were called every year. Many  Tamil movie  writers have said that these shows has always influenced their writings.

In Rajasthan not only string but shadow ,and rod puppets were also popular. The string puppets and rod puppets were made of wood and were beautifully dressed with colorful costumes. These puppets shows were actually classified as comedy, tragedy or devotional genre. The comedy genre was most famous as it shows conversation between two people and how it takes a hilarious turn. The puppet dance were also famous where the traditional folk dance of  Rajasthan Ghoomar was being performed by the dolls. These dolls were special because the strings are also attached to its hips so that the performance is accurate, the puppeteers are specialized and their fingers used run like magic. The shadow puppet shows  depicts historical stories and wars, here there puppets are carved in a sheet of cardboard in the shape they desire.  Many festivals are organized every year which exhibits these tradition. people from all over the world come to just witness this and enjoy this rich culture. 

Glove puppets are relatively new form of puppet show, where gloves shaped of the caricatures are wore and a person from behind enunciates the dialogues. This is mostly seen in TV shows and Advertisements to make the concepts more interesting and intriguing. With the development of technology there are digital puppet shows being developed, where puppets  shows are animated and VFX is used so as to make it more interesting, but surely can't replace the traditional ways. Puppet shows  has their own importance  they were  used in the mid 70s to spread messages and making people aware about the government policies or some advisories , like stories were performed which gave the people message under the campaign of " Hum do humare do". Surely  the art of puppetry is not as respected as it was before as there are many other ways to entertain ourselves. There are many people who are trying hard to keep this art alive and we  should also try to do this, Or else as Seethalaxmi the popular puppeteer  said "My ancestors have dedicated their whole life to this art; now it is my responsibility. After me, I fear who will take care of the 1,000 odd puppets.”