Durga Puja – Nothing Short of a Bienalle?

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If you’ve never been pandal-hopping in Kolkata, you have never seen this side of the City of Joy. As Durga Puja arrives, the city gears up to a whole new level of excitement with colourful lights setting the stage for the most sought after festival of the city. From the brightly lit alleys, to the sound of the dhak and gong peeling through the night and mouth-watering delicacies available at almost every street corner, the bar of excellence is only being raised with each passing year.

So deep is the love for this festival in peoples’ hearts that no matter how long the queues are before the biggest of the pandals, or how crowded the streets are, they wait patiently in their heavy silk sarees or crisp batik shirts to catch a glimpse of their beloved Goddess.

Each year, the puja organisers try to attract visitors with the most innovate puja pandals constructed. There are unique themes and artistic renditions and sculptures that not only aim to be distinctive but also deliver a message. By addressing relevant topics affecting a daily man to current affairs, pandal-hopping is not only a matter of fun but also a way to realise the kind of ideologies that are dominating our society.

Every year, artists come up with different themes to delight visitors, which involves months of planning and tedious amount of hard work. There exists a level of friendly competition amid the Puja organisers and this year the Kolkata festive landscape was adorned by the Goddess made of Bamboos, characters of Satyajit Ray’s books coming alive, animals and birds lighting to express the theme of Holi in Autumn, to pandals made as a Pagoda and the Kolkata-Dhaka Express Train – there is something for every art enthusiast!

There is but one problem: It is impossible to visit every pandal in the city in the span of a week. And that’s a pity as every pandal is an installation par excellence. The craftsmanship, the conceptualisation, the finesse and the level of detailing is nothing short of an annual exhibition that could draw a global audience.

If only the Government was more futuristic in its outlook and curated the annual Durga Puja Festival into an art festival drawing audiences across the globe! After all do we not make it a point to attend the Venice or London Art/Design Weeks if we happen to be around town then?

Write by phần mềm gốc

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