The monsoons making way for a soothing breeze, the sight of ‘kaash phool’, the sudden appearance of towering advertisement hoardings all over the city and the splattering of innumerable garment stores throwing ‘too good to be true’ offers, all this and yet so much more, mark the arrival of Durga Puja, popularly called Durga Pujo among the Bengalis. It lasts for just four days but for those who have been a part of these celebrations in Kolkata itself, would tell you how it stays with them for a lifetime. Essentially, the festival celebrates the victory of good over evil but for a Bengalis, it is more and beyond. It is the homecoming of Maa.
Come Pujo, the finest artisans from all around the countru are found at the craftsmen’s haven, Kumartuli, to bring their favourite deity to life. With more than 4000 craftsmen housing in over 500 workshops in those bylanes, Maa Durga along with her children are moulded with extreme devotion and care. Not just in Kolkata, from past few years even Chittaranjan Park, the capital city’s Bengali hub has a band of idol makers who move in from Krishna Nagar to make idols for the festival.
As I write this, there would be thousands of craftsmen lending their final touches to the deities which are awaited by everyone. These pictures below will give you an experience of how Maa Durga comes to life.
Artisans gather soil from Sonagachi (the largest red light area of India) and mix it with clay that is used for sculpting Maa Durga. It is believed that the soil of Sonagachi is pure and holy, as the men entering the area leave behind their purity and virtue.
Source: Sunnil Kalinndi
Dedicated artisan carves out Maa Durga’s feet. It is a ritual among Indians to touch the feet of gods and goddesses to seek their blessings.
Maa Durga is known to pick up the sword every time evil has threatened good. Every time her devotees have needed protection. Here, the artisan carves out Maa Durga’s delicate fingers.
It is said, Mahisasura or Asura was trying to destroy mankind and Maa Durga took him in a battle and defeated him. You would have noticed in every idol of Maa Durga, how she has struck her sword in Asura’s neck. Asura was fighting in the form of a buffalo in the battle.
You would have noticed Bengali women are often complimented for their eyes. If you notice the artisans shaping Maa Durga’s eyes, you would know where it comes from.
Vision of power, strength, determination and sheer beauty.
Lion is known to be a ferocious hunter, a beast. But this beast gets tamed by Maa Durga who is the symbol of power and strength.
Maa Durga also known as Mahishasuramardini, Shakti Maa, destroyer of Mahisasura is gifted with ten mighty arms that carry her armory.
Though the artisan looks tired right now, he is excited for the next morning in which he will complete sculpting Maa and getting her ready to meet her devotees.
Maa is adorned with a delicate saree.
I can already hear the anjali, I can already smell the dhunuchi, my feet are already swinging in dhak-er-taal and my heart is filled with hope and happiness.
Subho Pujo you all, Maa aeschhe!
Article And Pictures Source : ScoopWhoop