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Spectacular South Kolkata Sites

Tehnaz Dastoor

It is the aim of our website to take our viewers throughout the Pujos to different areas of the city, highlighting some of the best pandals based on theme, decoration and fabrics used. We hope to give you a small taste of the festivities in our week-long coverage of the 2017 Pujos here in Kolkata.

Suruchi Sangha

The theme for this year’s pujo was ‘unity in diversity’ aptly displaying the Under 17 Football World Cup which will be played in Kolkata. Hence, just like the numerous players representing their individual nations in the tournament and playing harmoniously with the teams from the rest of the world, the Puja Pandal wanted to show that we too, as Indians can co-exist, despite our differences.

The structure showed a honey comb displaying the unity among bees and the major fabrications used were bamboo and natural loofah. The side of the pandal showed how from cradle to grave we use things made of these substances.

Mudiali Club

Gaman - The pandal displayed the traditional forms of travel, i.e. by foot, elephants or the palki as a mode of transportation used to carry Ma Durga. In this display, the palki carried on foot was utilized as a mode of transport to carry her through the jungle.

The organizers stressed that they wanted to maintain ‘sabeki’ or the original form of Ma Durga at Mudiali. Hence the fabrics used were recycled cloth bags, foam and paper.

Tarun Sangha

Tarun Sangha wanted to stress the idea of ‘peace’ and ‘non-violence’ in these difficult global times where there are numerous threats to our existence made on a daily basis. As you walk in there are scenes of Gautama Buddha’s life and the path he chose to ahimsa.

Shib Mandir

Moner Jol Chobi or the ‘Reflection of the Mind’ was aptly displayed at the pandal with Ma Durga’s reflection resonating with the viewers.

As you enter the designated area there is a boat lit up which guides you through the area. The oars on the top and the wooden planks and gangway take you to the top where the Durga is proudly displayed.

Netting for the fishermen, gamcha, and hurricane lanterns, oars and twigs all tie into the theme aptly.

Ballygunge Cultural

Towards the left of the pandal, there was live sufi music being played by Sajda Boys who entertained a large number of people that had come to visit the pandals.

Speaking with Amitava Sinha, the President of the Organizing Committee, I was informed that the pandal paid homage to brass and copper as the elemental metals which were integral to the pujos. Hence although the images were made out of clay the copper finish added to their charm and the beauty of this pandal was awe-inspiring.

On either side of the pandal were large effigies of Ram and Hanuman.

Samaj Sebi

It was good to have spoken with the organizers of this pujo as the intellectual theme would have not been easily comprehendible to most that had come to view the Durga.

The organizers portrayed the journey of man from a carefree existence and a happy childhood to adolescence and the burden of their education causing them to become caged like animals. Then as the child grows into an adult, after he pursues his studies, he leaves his home and parents to move overseas and thus hardens himself to the plight of his lonely parents. However, in the end, he returns and begs his parents to forgive him and the psychological ‘locks’ that had shackled him are broken free, causing him happiness once again.

This was a clarion call for the Bengali NRI community to keep in touch with their parents and elders and not dispose of their feelings in a heartless manner.

Maddox Square

As I approached the park I found that unlike the other pandals, Maddox was still under preparations. The committee members explained that due to the size of the given area, they choose to keep the pandal decorated in a traditional manner rather than spending large sums of money on it. Instead, they feed around 2,000 people bhog every day during the festivities.

The ladies from the surrounding areas play shindhurkhela here with much joy as this really brings out the ‘community’ spirit.

Tridhara

The theme for Tridhara was ‘badal’ and jharna’ with the inverted umbrellas used to make birds and the nets tied in with the theme. A number of boxes were used to construct sky scrapers between which the beautiful Durga was displayed in all her glory.