With Pujas here, the excitement for dressing up and going pandal hopping will always be the same. Nothing can stop them be it the crowd, heat, or a whole damn pandemic, especially for the people living in Kolkata.
A lot of hard work goes into creating these mind-blowing pandals. This is where Rintu Das comes in with his unique themes for Durga pujas every year. He is the pandal director and the brain behind a Maa Durga sculpture that is being honored at Barisha Club pandal in South Kolkata.
This year’s theme was ‘Bhaager Maa,’ meaning the ‘mother divided’. It was based on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and what the migrant workers had to suffer during the first covid wave.
“There is so much tension all around. Questions about whether Maa will again have to be displaced are all very real. Will she be stuck between India and Bangladesh? Is her identity a question mark?” said Rintu when asked why he went with this theme.
Making Of The Sculpture
Debayan Pramanik, Pratap Majumdar, and Sumit Biswas were the ones behind the execution of the idea. These college students worked extensively on the sculpture. It took them almost 3 months to complete it.
The sculpture is of a woman who is seen holding on to an idol of Durga and few children who are trying to seek refuge behind her. This portrays her determination to continue with her worship no matter what her personal circumstances might be.
The idol of goddess Durga is symbolic of the difficulty hundreds of mothers had to face when they had to leave their households and walk towards uncertainty.
This year the team wanted to make the sculpture as close to reality as possible. For this Debayan used real models to create the idea.
“I requested my sister to be the main model and the kids you see in the final sculptures are modeled around kids from my neighborhood. They were all kind enough to pose for me when I was conceptualizing this final sculpture,” he said.
He also drew inspiration from movies like Bishorjan and its sequel Bijoya.
Last year too Rintu gave tribute to migrant workers. He wanted to show how the goddess has become one with all and shared the same pain that everyone had to go through.
Just like this year, the sculpture had no jewellery, weapons, there was no use of bold colors, grey was used extensively to give a sober look and feel. The idol was not even painted.
Instead of weaponizing the sculpture, she was shown holding sacks of foodgrains, to portray that she only fights hunger. She was given the look of an ordinary rural Indian woman, doing everything she can to protect her children.
“So many, walking day after day, night after night. Sometimes getting not even a little food, or a little water. Mothers, girls, are all walking. That’s when I thought if I worship this year, I will worship for the people. I will honor those mothers,” said Rintu when asked about what gave birth to this idea.
This sculpture was made by Pallab Bhowmick. The idol like the rest was not immersed but was kept as an art exhibit in one of the museums. This was because it was not a typical clay idol but was made with fiberglass which allowed it to be preserved for a longer time and took him two months to sculpt.
However, this was not the idol worshiped at the pandal, this was just to represent the theme. A traditional Durga idol was worshiped and offered prayers to. It still managed to receive the same popularity.
Rintu Das’s thought-provoking themes have always been quite popular with netizens. Within no time the sculptures in Behala’s Barisha Club were on every timeline. People couldn’t help but notice and feel a connection with the idol who was embodied in the simplest of forms. The Goddess with all her children tucked under her did tug at heartstrings.
Image Sources: Google Images
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This post is tagged under: Migrant Mother, Rintu Das, Kolkata, India, Durga Puja 2021, thought-provoking, sculptures, pandemic, mind-blowing, pandals, Barisha Club, Maa Durga, National Register of Citizens, migrant workers, Bangladesh, Debayan Pramanik, Pratap Majumdar, Sumit Biswas, college students, goddess, Bishorjan, Bijoya, jewellery, weapons, Pallab Bhowmick, prayers, pandal, popularity, netizens, heartstrings