Some more Pandal pictures, and to be fair I think I’m going to keep posting them for a while. The first few are from Dum Dum Park pandal, which was the theme of child labour. When you enter you see this huge cascades of sunflowers with children’s faces in the middle; and the entire pandal was like a playground. With all the trippy fluid patterns and UV lights it was more than a bit psychedelic. The last two pictures are from Sree Bhumi which had the theme of Padmavat, with it’s huge chandeliers and Rajasthani fort. And like this, the list goes on; with hundreds of pandals scattered across the entire city.
And it’s amazing how much time, money, and effort people spend for just nine days of temporary festivity. But it depends how you view it. I guess it only hit me, that the period was over when I was coming back in the car from the river. Yotto was playing in the background and when the beat dropped it was like a huge knock on my head like yo, the scenery’s changed. I looked outside. No more extravagant advertisements, no more drums in the middle of the streets; just empty canvases in place of what was a collection of murtis.
Though I’m no enlightened person, (no not even close), there is one thing I felt as I saw the remains of what was an entirely different world for 9 days of very high energy. That whether it’s 9 days or 102, or the few years we may live, it’s exactly the same. For 9 days we bring the deity into life by externalising all her expressions, and at the end of it we dissolve the entire thing in water. So where does it go, the spirit? It goes back inside. And with that thought, I felt a little better. Because life is just a play between the internal and external - and whatever you can’t see outside, you only have to look within, to know it’s still there.
Baghbazar Sarbojonin Durgautsav was the first Puja of Calcutta organised by people communally and not inside a Zamindar's home. In 1919 (for the first time), it was celebrated by the people of Bagbazar at the home of the Sarkars, on Baghbazar Street. This Puja
continues to be a major crowd puller.
The specialty of Baghbazar sarvajanin durgotsav is their believe on their tradition and the eagerness to hold on to their roots. They still have the same potter family who continues to create the idol of Devi Durga.
Nilanjan Pal started doing the idol of Devi Durga and later his sons kartick pal & sadhan pals hold on to the heritage of making the idol of Devi Durga.
The idol is decorated in the Daker Saaj and in the silver style. The same design is maintained with the idol.
DEVOTION . . .
Women of an elite North Calcutta house of every generation prays unanimously as they bid her adieu for one last time while she leaves for her in laws.
Abar esho Maa.
Aschey bochor abar hobey.
It has been a few days now
Or has it been weeks
Must be months since you walked past this road.
Many views I get as the day rolls away
Many sounds I hear as the night falls
Nothing compares to having you walk by
Nothing compares to seeing you run out in to the lane and grab the clothes
Drying on the line.
The other day a child ran by
Her anklet made the same beautiful sound like yours did
It wasn’t you.
Now that I think about it
It must be years
You probably have a child of your own
I hope you teach her to dance like you
Her laugh must sound like you.
Did you know your house and your lane is now growing shrubs and creepers all over it
Like it wants to hide itself from the world
Encapsulating all your memories within
I too have tried it
It is working
Soon my heart will forget
Soon the house I am built into will be covered with moss
But my eyes
My eyes refuse to shut
They say I’m the eyes of this house
I’m a window who has seen you grow
I’ve seen you go
Come back, I want to see you walk down the lane once more
Come back, before I am shut.