Italy, a nation synonymous with history and culture, stands at a crossroads, confronting the intricate challenge of immigration amid a swiftly ageing population.
Durga Puja is the biggest festival of Bengal, a state known world over for the puja grandeur. Such is the excitement of the festivities that people wait for the occasion throughout the year.
Kolkata being the capital of the state of West Bengal, millions of people visit the city every year. The visitors include people of different states as well as countries. There are several places to visit in Kolkata. But there was nothing related to Durga Puja, which a person can see at any time of the year, until 2016.
Durga Puja is celebrated with a lot of pomp and grandeur every year. People could be seen enjoying every moment of the festivities. But on Vijaya Dashami or a few days after that, the idols are immersed and the pandals are removed when the city sheds its festivity. Like any other place, the common sight of people going to work, returning home, and doing their routine chores returns once the festivity is over.
“Baro maashe tero parbon” is a common phrase used for Bengal which means “thirteen festivals throughout the year (twelve months)”. The city always has some festival or the other. But no other festival is as hugely celebrated as Durga Puja. So, there was a dire need to keep a part of the festival alive, throughout the year. This was done in the year 2016.
In 2016, Artist Purnendu Dey created the pandal and the idol of Ahiritola Sarbojonin. The theme of their Puja that year was “An artist live by his/her work and his/her life revolves around the studio”. The pandal was a replica of a studio. Their motto was to pay tribute to the artists for their artistic contributions. The pandal was a combination of traditional and modern art. Books written by famous artists were also there.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee started the ‘Durga Puja Carnival’ a few years back. Every year, after Vijaya Dashami, a grand rally is organised where the best idols are chosen for showcasing. After the event, the idols are immersed in the Ganga. In 2016, the idol of Ahiritola Sarbojonin was selected among the 39 idols of the carnival. From there, the idol was selected by the Metro Rail department for preservation in Esplanade Metro Station. The idol was taken there but was too high for the metro station. Then it was decided to be placed in Park Street Metro Station. A week later, it was taken there.
The beautiful work of art represents the culture and festival of Bengal. Now, a tourist can visit the city and witness a part of Durga Puja at any time of the year.