It’s that time of the year when we, Bengalis, celebrate our annual festival,. Durga Puja. As a friend of mine described it, it’s the second largest festival of the world, being celebrated by Bengalis worldwide.
In Delhi, the place where you can watch the festival in all its glory is, of course, Chittaranjan Park (CR Park), where most Bengali people had settled earlier, in times of partition. Try the Dakhshin Delhi Kalibari on Outer Ring Road also for the celebrations. In my neighborhood of Dwarka, there are at least a dozen of the community pujas held each year. Check out the one in Sector 22, 10, and 3.
The essence of Durga Puja, or Sharodotsav, is praying to the Goddess Durga’s idol. This year I had a wonderful chance to visit Kumartuli, or abode of the potters, that area in Kolkata, India, where artisans pour their love and devotion to create the myriad forms of the Devi or Goddess. These idols are supplied to puja pandals or organizers of the festival across the world.
Take a look:
The clay beginning:
And the painting being done:
The idol gets ready to go home to be idolized by numerous devotees worldwide:
Artists add the final touches:
And they are stored:
And finally homeward bound:
Stuck in a traffic jam:
Some glimpses of Goddess in other forms:
Have a wonderful Durgotsav, sharodiyar shubhechha roilo.