Matryoshka Dolls: Tanka

matryoshka dolls

Indian Bloggers

Ever since my childhood, I have been fascinated towards Russia. It was my dream to visit Russia (USSR or Soviet Union at the then time). But despite being married to a navigation officer and travelling to many parts of the world in merchant ships, my dream to visit Russia never came true. My love for Russian nestable dolls is equally archaic.

matryoshka dolls

matryoshka dollsI read about them in a Russian magazine called ‘Sputnik’, which I subscribed as a kid. I always wanted to possess an authentic set of ‘Matryoshka Dolls’ in my kitty.Later, I even named my daughter Maitreni, (nickname-Maitri) after Matryoshka (name of the Russian village where the dolls are made) or Matryona (a graceful lady in Russian). Though, the name ‘Maitreni’ is derived from Sanskrit (from an Upanishad called ‘Maitrayani’), it sounds quite like Russian.

matryoshka dollsA couple of years back, my younger brother, a captain in merchant navy, visited Russian shores and bought this genuine Matryoshka doll set for me from a ship-chandler. It has been handmade from a single block of wood and then hand painted intricately. What I find so special about these nesting dolls is, they remind me of a woman’s multi-faceted personality and her ability to multi-task and manage various relationships simultaneously.

matryoshka dolls
My today’s tanka expresses a woman’s feelings for how she accepts multiple challenges in life, yet she has to prove her mettle according to people’s expectations. And sadly, how she hides her own self inside, to prove herself right, just like these Matryoshka dolls!

~ Tanka ~                                                                                                  ~ Tanka ~

Still, marionette

Treasure trove of personas

She combines them all,

The masqueraded beauty

Or the enshrouded majesty

Sangeeta Mishra

Tanka is a form of Japanese poetry containing 31 syllables in 5 lines composed of 5-7-5-7-7 syllable count normally evoking human emotions.

  • I too, have been enamoured by Matryoshka dolls right from my childhood and my favourite story character was mitushka or mishka equivalent of bear in russian…And yes I too had those blue Soviet magazines subscribed at our home though I don’t remember if that was Sputnik or some other… I simply liked Matryoshka because of their ability to nestle inside each other which, somehow spelled security and coziness to me. I also love their umbrella cut, black skirts with bright floral prints! Those magazines used to be full of images of Russian girls with scarves on their heads , dancing and laughing! As for the verse, it’s marvellous, as always, Ma’m! 👌👌

  • Rakesh Pandey

    So these beauties have a name! I first saw them at a friend’s place and found them cute as a button!

    Loved the tanka! ‘Treasure trove of persona… ‘ Isn’t that symbolic of womanhood? A daughter, sister, mother, wife, girlfriend… various avatars rolled in a single shell?

    It’s awesome! Both the dolls and the tanka!

    • Truly said Rakesh Ji. The way a woman manages various roles and relationships, seems, the ethos of these nesting dolls. Or If I say only a woman can do that, I’m not wrong.
      Thank you so much for your appreciation. I feel gratified and humbled with your kind words.

  • Matryoshka dolls are fascinating. Loved your post

  • Jyothi D’mello

    Powerful Tanka and your Russian dolls are a beauty 🙂

    • Thanks Jyothi. Glad that you liked the dolls as well as my words. 🙂 <3

  • A very warm welcome to both of you on TSS.
    Truly said. A woman’s growth is portrayed through these nesting dolls. Thank you so much for you sweet words. 🙂
    Thanks once again for dropping by. 🙂

  • Beautiful poetry…lovely dolls!

  • always adored them, but never knew their name…Wonderful tanka

    • Thank you so much Sadhvi. Glad that you liked the post. 🙂

  • Those dolls are lovely and the way you explained how you named Maitreni and how much you love them is really amazing Sangeeta ji :)) And connecting them to the real life woman is superb. I delighted in reading this post Sangeeta ji, thank you for sharing this Tanka :))

    • Thank you so much Prasanna. As always, your comment makes me joyous. Glad that you liked the post. 🙂

  • themoonstone

    Love these dolls.. You brought back my childhood memories !

    • Thank you so much. Glad that you liked it. Welcome to TSS. 🙂

  • I am fascinated by them too 😊😊
    Loved the tanka, so powerful 😊

  • Very well said. Love the way you’ve described emotions of a women.

  • That is such a different symbolism. Though I do feel Some women these days have come out of their shells 😀 Hoping for the rest shed their shells soon

    • You are right Amy. Some women are able enough to break all the barriers, yet the majority is still stuck in the MAN-made constraints. Hope all of them could be empowered ASAP. 🙂