Besides grandeur and opulence, Durga puja in Kolkata is known for its captivating and diverse themes, each pandal depicting a different aspect of life or a top-of-mind subject. Every year, preparations for this mega festival run into months, with organising committees brainstorming ideas, hiring artists from far and wide to give shape to those ideas.
This time, too, it was no exception, as some of the city’s crowd-puller pujas chose unique themes to enthral audience – be it the cycle of creation and destruction or the human rat race. At Hazra Park Durgotsab in south Kolkata, organisers have shown the proliferation of modern machines and its impact on everyday life.
“Our theme ‘Tandav’ shows the cycle of creation and destruction. Modern machines and technology have helped human civilization grow leaps and bounds. But nothing can escape the supreme power of Mother Nature. That is why Nature, by all means, should be nurtured and respected,” Sayan Deb Chatterjee, the joint secretary of Hazra Park Durgotsab Committee, said.
Another big-ticket marquee in Kalighat area, ‘Pratapaditya Road Trikon Park Sarbojanin’, has decided to honour car mechanics who remain covered in soot all day long as they work hard round the year to fix vehicles, sometimes for a paltry sum of money.
“We recreated a garage with rundown motorcycles, chassis of a truck, tyre parts, mobil cans. We wish to show people the daily struggle a mechanic has to go through via installations. The deity will be placed on a truck,” Biswajit Mitra, one of the craftsmen involved in the decoration, said. Close by, Tridhara Sammilani, this year, has decided to depict the maddening race called life.
“Every person has a journey, a battle to fight… Our puja projects this truth in a symbolic way to show the effects of motion and this run for survival and success,” one of the organisers, Debashis Kumar, said.
At Chakraberia Sarbojonin in Bhowanipore, the committee has chosen the theme ‘Bodhoday,’ (realisation), trying to generate awareness about mental health.
“We wanted to talk about the issue of depression and frustration gripping us as we go about in our lives. Durga puja fills us with positive vibes. Hopefully, it will light our lives with happiness, too,” one of the committee spokespersons said.