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Two popular puja committees of Kolkata will be exploring time travel as their themes this year.

Ratikanta Dutta |

This Durga Puja, spectators will be stunned with an experience of time travelling in North Kolkata as sculptor Subal Paul has come up with two unique themes for Hatibagan Nabin Pally and Jagat Mukherjee Park puja committees.

The theme unveiling function for Hatibagan Nabin Pally was attended by the various members of the organising committee including Atin Ghosh, Supratim Ghosh and Dipto Ghosh. Performing artists Jagannath and Urmimala Basu, artist Anindya Chattopadhyay and singer and film director Pilu Bhattacharjee were also present.

Organisers of the Jagat Mukherjee Park included Gopinath Ghosh and Pulak De. Others present were painter Subrata Gangopadhyay, business persons Soumyojit Laha and Subhankar Sen, fashion designer Tejas Gandhi and music composer Partha Paul.

Speaking at the theme launch of these two prestigious pujas of North Kolkata, Paul said, “As we all know that North Kolkata is known for its rich history and heritage, we are trying to showcase it as a kaleidoscope in this year’s theme at Hatibagan Nabin Pally’s puja.

Libraries and books are gradually becoming oblivion in the modern society. E-books have replaced hardcopies. Hard bound or paperbacks are becoming things of the distant past. As a result the libraries, of which books are the flesh and blood, will cease to exist. It is the responsibility of mankind to preserve this traditional and enriching source of knowledge. For many of us, books and libraries still emanate that warmth and personal feeling which is lacking in the digitally formatted e-books.

This Durga puja, Nabin Pally Sarbajanin is endeavouring to recreate this precious feeling that will transcend viewers to the nostalgic world of libraries. It will be highlighting the present challenges of this ancient source of books and move devotees to pray to the Goddess for enlightenment to preserve this rich tradition.”

The theme note has been written by singer turned director Anindya Chattopadhyay of Chandrabindoo fame and veteran artist duo Jagannath and Urmimala Basu lend their voices for it.

On the other hand, since the last couple of years, Jagat Mukherjee Park has created a name for itself in this age of theme pujas. Its last two themes of “Bongaon Local” and “Jolchhobi”, also created by Paul, have attracted a large number of spectators. “This year, with the theme Time Travel 2218, we are trying to dream ahead of time. It will take spectators to explore the future, two centuries ahead from now. The advancement of science has encouraged us to dream of a dinner party on the moon. Man has developed the Nano Robot to diagnose diseases.

Will scientific progressions trigger a conflict between man and machine? Or will he remain rooted to his customs and traditions even in this era of rapid technological advancements?

Though focusing on the future, the theme will also remind viewers regarding how man has originated from mother, who is the manifestation of Goddess Durga. Durga puja is a celebration of good’s victory over evil. Even in the age of science and technology, the Goddess remains the main source of creativity, strength and inspiration to fight against the unholy. In this journey, the time machine will stop at 2218, to witness human life at that era,” said Paul.

The committee organisers are thus hoping to gift spectators a puja that would shine forever in the memories of all