The sad tale of abandoned toys…


No, I wasn’t put up for adoption by my biological parents, if that’s what you’re thinking, nor am I deprived of the basic attention that any normal teenager requires. In fact, this post covers my regret at having abandoned the most important things of my childhood. It’s not education – I’ve quite a few plans for it but abandonment isn’t one of them. That thought does cross my mind a lot given that some college dropout went on to change the face of the IT industry, but let’s forget it since there’s no way I am going to pursue IT. It’s my once-prized toys that are facing this ordeal.

My playtime, that wasn’t spent outdoors, would be used up playing with the numerous soft-toys and barbies that I owned. My first Barbie was dark-skinned and had brown hair, and she usually ended up playing the villain in most stories I concocted. I was partial towards those blondies which is not to say that mishaps didn’t happen to them. They were treated to occasional visits to the spa which was nothing more than an overnight dip in a bucketful of water. And I’d apparently beautify their faces by applying multiple layers of make-up(a permanent one) and have duly come to regret it. Over time their hair would grow uncombable and would then need to be cut off – something my father really enjoyed doing – or would be tied up into a very unbecoming ponytail. Some even lost a few limbs in the journey, but what’s life without a few hardships?

My soft-toys, especially the dolls suffered a similar fate. Some of them lost an eye or a nose, mostly because they were detachable. And some have even split open in places, revealing their cottony entrails.

My first stuffed doll was named Kumkum. I don’t know where we picked up that name from or who named it either. But I was pretty attached to her, or so it appears if you look at my photo album. I acquired my second doll a few years later and I turned my loyalties towards her, abandoning my once-beloved Kumkum. And by a puzzling coincidence, she too was named Kumkum.

A theory: Two people sharing a name are called name-fellows. Under the present circumstances (which includes a dire need for such a term to be coined), can’t we call the two dolls the name-foes or name-enemies of each other?

Anyway, I have come to reform my ways and give equal preference to both who now sit side by side with a story to tell. The newer Kumkum’s face has been painted and now wears an assortment of clothes from back when I was small. The older one hasn’t suffered any bodily harm except that her hair is falling off in clumps. It’s probably because of the neglect she once faced which might have led to depression.( I’m only assuming that depression causes hair loss; it could have happened because she wasn’t washed, but that isn’t a very interesting theory.) There also is a rabbit – a white bunny – among the survivors. He maintained a snow-white fleece for years because he would be deposited in the washing machine from time to time. But I don’t think he has been washed in five years nor do I have reason to believe that he’d like to be spinned underwater, let alone survive it.

So, why were they abandoned, you ask? It was because – and I hate to admit it – I grew up. Much to my annoyance, my mind and body have been growing over the years and there’s no chance of my becoming Peter Pan. I have dressed up my only unharmed Barbie and placed her beside my books, more out of a sense of duty towards her than any affection. I do love her but not as a child does; I am not very often drawn towards her, and the fun I had arranging her house for hours at end has disappeared, replaced by a sense of needlessness. I don’t even bother to look at the other dolls for days, and even when I do, I don’t take them out and admire them as I used to, don’t talk to them, don’t sew them clothes, don’t take pride in them anymore.

I shifted all my soft toys to the top of the cupboard because they used to produce a lot of dust. I can look at them everyday but they aren’t touched or cuddled with and are leading a purposeless life. I still feel for them, want to play with them (I am only a teenager: that is still allowed). But that feeling isn’t enough for me to put aside my books or my phone and devote time for them. Clearly, I have failed. They played a big role in my life, faced hardships for me, delivered me out of loneliness, and I haven’t returned an ounce of it. I abandoned them. They are alone, and I am no different, but we can’t be together any more. I know I sound like those overly dramatic, love-stricken, heart-broken teenagers( sorry friends but your relationships sometimes sound ridiculous) but this is how I feel.

I have been toying with the idea of giving them away. It’s most ironical given that I’d made a big fuss when my parents had given away my stuffed Santa without asking me. But that wasn’t my decision. They had violated my property rights, had illegally donated my personal item. But if I myself feel the need to pass on my toys, it will be a different thing. I won’t regret it or keep on pining for something which has been given away because I chose to part with it. It will be for the better if my toys are given away. But I haven’t found anyone deserving of my possessions; I keep on finding faults with all the kids, making a mental note of their flaws. I am still dubious about whether I should give them away. I haven’t even told my parents about it( Hi Mum!) because no sooner do they hear my part-decision, they’ll be eagerly looking for kids to get rid of my dusty toys for good.

But I have decide one thing for sure. Even if the receiver pulls out their arms, flings them about, drools over them in their sleep, I will know that my toys will be cared for. And caring doesn’t have to mean that they will be put in a showcase, seldom touched, but in first-class condition. Caring means that they too will have all the fun that I had because of them and that fun will last until they do.

7 thoughts on “Abandoned

  1. I had a similar problem. In fact I had two problems. One was what to do with my collection of porcelain dolls which I had collected over the course of my childhood and out-grew and the second was my much loved soft toys and dolls. I have to boys but they will never be interested in porcelain dolls and had no interested in my soft toys and dolls either.

    In the end I gave some of my porcelain dolls to a friend’s daughters (who I know will adore them and care for them) and I donated many of my soft toys to the children’s music program I volunteered for, under strict instructions that if they ever decided they no longer wanted them, they were to be returned to me. I kept the toys that meant the most to me and I dare say they’ll always be with me.

    Good luck with your toys. I totally understand the need to find them a good home where they’ll be played with and loved.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey Vish! (if it is okay to refer you as loonyloonyvish is just too long). Firstly, that is such a sweet post as you beautifully draw out the innocence of early childhood and the now. Loved the name though, Kumkum. It is strange we end up with such strange names, it is probably the ring to the name or may be it is one that belonged to someone we particularly enjoyed being wit .
    I too had a doll . It sat in a pink cardboard box for as long as I remember. I got that one after the previous one doubled as a scarecrow (to ward off the birds from building nests in the balcony). Strangely, I named it Kinkini, I have no idea why. I still wonder where the doll disappeared for it no more sits in its usual place.
    Years down, the little pink doll remains fondly in my memory, so I definitely understand why you seem to have difficulty parting with a few of yours. So as long as you find it the rightful owner, let is sit (dust and all) holding on to some fond memories of innocent childhood.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I love that name! I am referring to your doll’s name here. But yes, you can call me Vish or anything else that pleases you. I can’t imagine your doll but if it was associated with the colour Pink, it must have been pretty(I love pink) . That also reminds me of a puppet doll I had been gifted and which we weren’t allowed to touch. It is still there but I don’t think it’s happy so I occasionally move it’s hands or turn her head: basically anything you can do to a puppet(but it’s done with absolute secrecy😉).
      Still looking for the right owner, though (not really).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dolls are not meant to be sitting around contributing to the beauty of a room setting but is prettier ( rather happier) in the hands of a happy toddler, so here I my home, dolls look pathetically happy – literally. My children feed it their food, dunk them in paint and they even look faded after many cycles in the washing machine, but is not that what dolls are supposed to be?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My dad bought me this baby mickey mouse toy from Disneyland a long time ago. I cherished it so much that I slept with it every night. This was over 20 years ago. When we moved from India, it got pushed into a box of things we weren’t taking with us. Years later I found it at an aunt’s place and begged to take it back (while my mom shook her head in disapproval). I took it back and kept it with me for the rest of the time until recently. When my niece turned 2, I gave it to her to play with and she loved it for a whole year before it went into her endless pile of toys. I still keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get thrown out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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