As a child growing up in the ‘80’s India, I had the privilege to visit the fair ground and make loud demands for small earthen figurines. These were miniscule statues of great people, all dead, and therefore deemed fit to be gods as well as toys. They included Ramakrishna and his wife Ma Sarada, Netaji Subhas Chandra, Mahatma Gandhi, Radha-Krishna, Charlie Chaplin and Buddha.
I knew who Buddhadev was. He was made of plastic, a delicate blue in color and entirely hollow. I stored coins in him by removing the white cap just below the lotus on which he sat. When I shook him, the coins would jingle pleasantly. I don’t remember who gifted him to me.
Periodically, I bought illustrated books with the coins. In time, it included ‘Buddha’, ‘Angulimala’, and ‘Jataka Tales’ from the Amar Chitra Katha series. Angulimala, the outcast who killed people and wore a necklace of their chopped fingers, who turned Buddhist, and got stoned to death when he came back to town to beg for alms as a monk – was myRead More »from Buddha Blues