Rabindranath Tagore’s wonderland from ‘Tasher Desh’ will come alive at a Durga puja pandal here, which this year is recreating the Nobel laureate’s popular dance drama.
The dance opera which was penned by Tagore in 1898, portrayed the then society in a satirical light by using the metaphor of cards to capture the sterility of caste and class.
Milan Samiti’s pandal in Mayur Vihar here has been made out of similar cards and takes one back to the wild, unfettered and chaotic land that Tagore had drawn in the play, over half a century ago.
“The pandal is made out of playing cards, 3’x2′ in size. We have added elements like butterflies and grasshoppers to the decor to reproduce the wilderness of the original settings,” says Mrinal Biswas, General Secretary, Milani Samiti.
The pandal will also house 25 sculptures of Saheb, Bibi and Ghulam in plaster of paris and paper-mache, created by city-based sculptor Sudip Ranjan Raut.
The theme, conceptualised by Biswas and another member of the committee, was chosen to celebrate Tagore and his Nobel winning book of poems ‘Gitanjali’ that has completed 104 years since it was first published in 1912.
The gate to the pandal is a recreation of the facade of the poet’s iconic ‘Shilaidaha Kuthibadi’ in Kushtia district of Bangladesh where he is said to have lived a part of his life and translated ‘Gitanjali’ from Bengali to English.
“We have made the gate like his house in Bangladesh – pyramid in shape with three stories, in brick, timber and tin sheets,” says Biswas.
Tagore also wrote some of his memorable verses including ‘Sonar Tari’, ‘Katha-o-Kahini’, ‘Chitra’ and ‘Chaitali’ among others in this house.
The traditional Durga idol with long drawn eyes, made by Tapan Chitrakar, a local artisan has been procured from Ashok Nagar here.
The music and food, too will be in accordance with the theme, with popular Bengali singer Saumya Bose inaugurating the festivities with three of the most popular songs from ‘Tasher Desh’ and the daily ‘bhog prasad’ will be a combination of some of Tagore’s favourite delicacies.
Biswas says that the committee has a budget of Rs 60 lakhs for the celebrations this year, out of which Rs 13 lakhs have been spent on curating the pandal alone.
Popular personalities from Hindi and Bengali film industries including playback singers Ankit Tiwari, Bappi Lahiri, Zubin Garg and Raghab Chatterjee will perform, besides a host of local performances as part of the cultural programmes.