May 12, 2021

Anupama Hoskere on puppetry in life and being the creative mum

It’s world puppetry day today on March 21st and at Mums and stories we are featuring Anupama Hoskere, one of the noted puppeteers of the country.

Anupama Hoskere is a charming individual who is striking a fine balance between her roles as a puppeteer and a mother. It took quite some time for her to talk to Mums and stories as she was busy with her youngest daughter’s 12th grade exams.

“I am blessed with good kids. I have three children and the eldest is an architect and a dancer. I have a son who is an engineer like me and my youngest one is still studying and she too is a fine dancer.

My children have seen the struggles but have been raised in the world of puppetry. I am given to believe I am only woman puppeteer in Karnataka. I don’t expect my children to carry the burden of being puppeteer or carrying on the legacy. But whenever there has been an event or festival organized by our organization – Dhaatu–a non profit organization, my kids have come together and helped me in each and every stage.

I was never pressurized to be a puppeteer but I have to admit I was fascinated by dolls. In fact there was no on to guide me to make dolls or puppets. I make the wooden puppets and I love being them.

I do however want more children if they have the interest to learn this art form. This summer too we will be having a short summer camp.

I am also a Bharatnatyam dancer and a gardener too and I have found immense happiness in this world of being who I am,” she says with a huge smile.

“ I had my mother and grandmother who were with me when I was growing up as I had lost my father quite early in life. I remember I used to be so fascinated with dolls that once I had declared to my friends that it would be one of my doll’s wedding the next day. My mother came to me the next morning and said we had to leave to Mysore to see our grandfather as he was quite sick. I just cried and pleaded with her to let me be at home as I had my doll’s wedding. After some time she did leave me with someone to take care of me and I carried on with my doll’s wedding. All my friends had come for the wedding.

It didn’t really occur much to me in my childhood but now when I look back I feel it was a great gesture from a mother who understood what the dolls meant in her daughter’s life.

Sometimes I have been working for 13 to 14 hours making puppets and that time my family has stood with me because they do know this is what makes me the happiest. I have a small team and it has taken us years of struggle to organize classes, events and festivals.

My children have grown up in the presence of puppets unlike me where I had to struggle in making them. They know the process and have been with me whenever I required them. My son in law too had come to me to learn puppetry and ended marrying my eldest one. ” she says with a hearty laugh.

“But I have to say that my husband Vidyashankar has played an equally important role and I would like to acknowledge his support. For me there never has been a time when he wasn’t there in my puppetry career.

I want to reach out to more people, more parents and even set up a museum for this art that the family has been so involved. I am hoping things will fall in place.”

Mums and stories wishes this dedicated mum-puppeteer lots of happiness in life.

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