What better time to take stock of all this than on Kali Puja, the day of the celebration of women’s empowerment and that too from Kalighat, this blessed place by the Adi Ganga.
The five days of Puja lighted the streets of Kolkata, the City of Joy unlike any other day, so is the much awaited view of the place of Khidirpur where the unity between two varied religions of Hindus and Muslims is depicted more prominently than anywhere else.
A place where every corner presents the view of a new pandal, a new look of idols, a new face of spirituality, the community puja of Kabithirtha Saradotsav is no new name for the inhabitants of Kolkata that stands out of the rest for its unique style and unique form of the idol, for its high rated spirituality that follows the path of simplicity. It had started in 1953, whereby it first introduced the Natraj figurine of the idol, an architectural beauty created by Kamal Pal in accordance to descriptions provided in the Vedas.
The scripture, which narrates the story of Maa Durga and the fight for righteousness also provides with the descriptions of the Almighty in mortal being. It is that description along with the thought of being the wife of Lord Shiva that comes alive through their idols.
At a time when there is a fight between old aged traditionalism and modern theme based Pujas, this community strives towards creating a right balance between the two. As the name suggests, the Puja is held at a place where the memory and fame of three renowned poets Michael Madhusudhan Dutta, Rangalal Bandhopadhay and Hemchandra Bandhopadhay, is bountiful to provide a field of communal harmony and nationalisation which backs the club’s ideology. Also, it is a place where caste takes a good form to maintain the rituals orated by the first priest to this Puja selected by the community of Sanskrit Pandits.
It is a club that congregates all religions and castes equally, respecting their traditionality. Also notable facts are that the one and unique Dunlop Puja Guide of earlier days showcased this among a very few selected Pujas that took place in North Kolkata.
It wouldn’t be out of place to note that at a time when souvenirs made of palm leaves were the only things used, this club introduced souvenirs made of paper thus striking a small note of advancement. Finally on the request of the club members, here are names of some of the founders of this place – Pannalal Chatterjee, Gopalchandra Pal, Bishwanath Mukhopadhay, Mrinalkanti Chattopadhay and Kokhon Saha.
(Coordinator, Class XII, St Thomas Boys School, Kidderpore)