Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Durga Puja and transformation of Kolkata: time to think beyond

Kaleidoscope along with the boss is roaming around the city for last couple of days in order to make sense of the greatest festival of Kolkata - the upcoming Durga Puja. He finds the pre-puja works as astonishing especially the ways in which art works are progressing. Kaleidoscope had been a regular spectator of the festival, but never had an insight of the background of the festival.

The beauty is to be found at each corners of the city, from far north, north, central, south and to the far south. Huge pile of materials for construction, dozens of labours working round the clock, and organisers with their excellent management skill are transforming our known Kolkata into a hyperreality and fragmented micro-environments comparable to art works in art galleries. 

Artists from art colleges, their students, labours with acquired skills are working together to make things happen, to entertain the spectators, pursue their creative impulse and often to spread specific awareness through symbols in an abstract way now popularised as theme.

Talking to the organisers, artists and observing the great transformations of the city is unexplainably vivid. There is no patterns in narratives that are coming out of the study regarding the history, thoughts, plans, executions, institutions and institutional structures which is making this study more fascinating.

A few art works. (Courtesy:

While Kaleidoscope is observing this great transformation, he is in a quandary... While the city of Varanasi can promote its Sandhya arati which is just a repetition of similar actions over time to pool tourists, why cannot our state do something to promote this art form? Why cannot we show to the world about the nature of art work performed by our talented artists? Why does the Puja restrict itself only to a few localised awards?


  1. Hmph. Are you familir with tapati Guha Thakurta's ongoing work on Durga PUja pandals? I'm not, but I know that it has been happening for sometime. Might be of use?
    On another note, why does anything happen anywhere anyway :P

  2. A novel endeavour.... all the best