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Pattachitra gets its place of pride this Durga Puja

As the biggest festival for Bengalis approaches closer, the theme Pujas are getting their acts together before their formal inauguration. Many of the Puja committees are banking on terracotta works of Bengal and Odisha to attract visitors and catch eyeballs. One such organizer is Silver Oak Estate Durga Puja in Rajarhat. The theme is Pot o Putul er Majhe SOE.

ASHOK CHATTERJEE |

As the biggest festival for Bengalis approaches closer, the theme Pujas are getting their acts together before their formal inauguration. Many of the Puja committees are banking on terracotta works of Bengal and Odisha to attract visitors and catch eyeballs. One such organizer is Silver Oak Estate Durga Puja in Rajarhat. The theme is Pot o Putul er Majhe SOE.

Amit Mukhopadhyay, president of the Puja said, “We are bringing in the handicrafts of different districts like Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum. There are 30-40 varieties of puppetry representing different districts, apart from the pattachitra (paintings on canvas).” The pandal will be surrounded by all sides and the dolls (2-4 feet) will be displayed inside it. The 7-year-old Puja last year had a terracotta-themed pandal.

The organizers said the outer periphery of the pandal will be painted by the residents of the estate. Painting by the residents, which stretches up to 30-foot radius, has been a regular feature of our Durga Puja and has been well appreciated with prizes by the judges. There are 450 families residing at the high rise complex. The idol has also been shaped in keeping with the theme.

The benevolent look is accentuated by the cotton sari-draped Ma Durga, representing the village look, who represents the Bramhani avatar. The background single structure will depict the artwork of Bengal. Another Puja committee, Aurobinda Setu Sarbajanin, Ultadanga has embarked on the theme of art and craft work, passed on over generations. Mintu Patra, media manager, Aurobinda Setu Sarbajanin, Ultadanga, said, “Our theme is ‘bahan’ (bearing heritage).

We are inspired by a small village in Odisha, Raghurajpur, consisting of 20-22 families, which has been awarded the heritage tag from INTACH for its artworks. The villagers have been preserving their cultural heritage in giving shape to pattachitra art for 500 years.” The villagers are experts in creating masks, timber toys and painting on the walls of their huts.

The committee wants the villagers and their art to get highlighted to more people. “We even plan to have stalls by them,” said Patra. The artist, Madhurima Pal, said, “We are replicating the village here with their huts, decoration around homes and various aspects. The idols have been done in keeping with their pattachitra style of drawing.

The major installations they are making in Odisha and they will give finishing touches to them here.” Pal said through models they are trying to show how the art is passed on from one generation to another.