Thursday, October 06, 2005

creativity at its best - pujas 2005

Creativity is second nature to us. Any living being creates. God has created the Universe and hundreds of thousands of living beings from the tiniest of humming birds to the largest of the elephants. He has created human beings, he has ordained that they, in turn create offspring so that the continuity is maintained. That is why we have in our midst people with visions of creation. Some of them are artists, some are authors, others are industrialists – each one of them views the world in a different perspective. To a vocalist, the world is sa-re-ga-ma-pa; to the sculptor, the world is chisel and hammer; to the painter, the world is an exceptionally large canvas, paint brush and colors. All of them come together during the Durga Pujas to present their best – the lengths they go to for creating their products is mind boggling. In an effort to satisfy their inner desire to give to the world their best, they try to replicate monuments just by looking at their photographs. Whilst many use conventional material, others go in for the exotic like pandals of leaves of the sal plant, or made out of matting or of whole spices, areca nuts. One of them constructed the pandal out of hundreds of dhaks (a sort of drum). Another has made extensive use of shellac. The conventional bamboo and tarpaulin pandals have receded into the background - probably due to reduction in the number of mangroves. The artisans have changed routes before it is too late; they have opted for alternate materials. During the Pujas, creativity is at its best.

Traditional domestic Pujas are still conducted in a few households in Kolkata – among them, the one of Sabarna Roy Choudhury started in 1610 is the oldest. Next are the ones of the Black Zaminder Gobinda Ram Mitra and Raja of Shobha Bazaar Naba Krishna Deb. Others are the Chaltabagan Ghosh family and the Seal family of Chorbagan from 1856. As the noted author Shankar said recently in an article – ‘the Pujas have not changed a bit over the years. It is the same Evil, in the form of Asura, being overpowered by the Goddess Durga; what has changed is our perspective!’ How very true.

other interesting links –

amaar duniya


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The worship of Goddess Durga is very popular among Hindus. She is also called by many other names, such as Parvati, Ambika, and Kali In the form of Parvati, She is known as the divine spouse of Lord Shiva and is the mother of Her two sons, Ganesha and Karttikeya, and daughter Jyoti. There are many temples dedicated to Durga's worship in India.

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