The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pujo Diaries 2017

Here's a trail of Pujo (as Durga Puja or Puja is commonly known) which was celebrated in September 2017 in Kolkata.

This pandal (marquee) in Telengabagan which is a popular puja of north Kolkata. Theme puja (Pandal and idols of goddess Durga and her four children are designed following a theme) rules these days pushing the traditional puja to sidelines. The theme of this puja was child labour.

The interior of the Telengabagan puja (below).

The themed idol of goddess and her children in the Telengabagan puja. This reflects the current trend of idols of goddess Durga and her children.

A unique Durga idol with nine hands on one side, in Shnurir Bagan puja, north Kolkata.

Kobirajbagan Sarbojonin puja with the ship-themed pandal.

A classical Durga idol. A rarity in big pujas now.

A peek into the suburbs now. The book-fair-themed pandal of Shitala Mandir Samaj, Barrackpore, in north suburbs of Kolkata.

A tribal village has been recreated in a Barrackpore puja.

A jamindar's mansion has been recreated as the pandal in a popular puja in Barrackpore.

Live human models in the above-mentioned pujo.They stayed still for hours on end.

A swan-themed pandal in a puja in Ichhapur (north suburbs).

The idol of the above-mentioned puja. There's a certain playfulness in the design.

The classical war goddess avatar of Durga which is a personal favourite. It's a rare kind of idol these days. This one is at College Sqaure puja which has been blissfully defying the trend.....thankfully.

The houses in the locality are sometimes included in the pandal design  of a theme puja. This one is at the Nalin Sarkar Street puja (north Kolkata)

An art installation on the theme of an asylum in the Nalin Sarkar Street puja.

Kumari Puja on Ashtami day is another ritual which is followed in the Ramakrishna Mission centres. A young girl is selected for worship. This one is at Ramakrishna Vivekananda Mission of Barrackpore (which, though shares the same ideology, is a breakaway of the famous institution).

The roads get dressed up, too. This is Hatibagan Sarbojonin puja (north Kolkata).

I like the creativity of Hatibagan Sarbojonin and this year was no exception. The theme was 'Birds'. The design with cages and small wooden birds all around with their chirp as background music created a world of its own.

Chandelier is a tradition of puja pandals. Various pujas flaunt big, majestic chandeliers.

The Kashi Bose Lane puja (north Kolkata) was on the theme of evolution of music. The transistor radio and tape deck took back to the old times.

A small instance of the puja craze would be this. A small part of the queue for the Santosh Mitra Square puja (central Kolkata) past midnight.

Sindur Khela- the send-off ritual of the goddess on the last day- Dashami.

After the round of smearing the goddess with sindur (vermilion) is done with, it's time to do the same to each other among women (originally meant for married women).

The vermilion brings out a rare kind of feminine beauty .

'Sindur Khela' is equally popular among young and unmarried women now for its fashion quotient. Media photographers get them to pose for their 'Dashami' work.

Finally, Bhasan/ Bishorjon or biding the goddess adieu. Its immersion of the idol in the river.

Though a painful moment, bishorjon is obesrved with much fanfare. And free-flowing 'bhasan dance' to the beats of dhaak is a popular subculture.

I was lucky to witness this classical form of bishorjon. The idol is balanced on the edge of two boats and several rounds are done before the boats move away from one another.

#Puja #Pujo #DirgaPuja #DurgaPuja2017 #DurgaPujaKolkata #DurgaPujaKolkata2017

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