Posted by: deblinaganguli | September 13, 2010

One Morning in Kumortuli: Realizing a Childhood Dream

I am always crazy about Durga Puja, the most popular Bengali festival. When I was a child my excitement used to began as soon as the artisans start building pandal. I remember the prolonged waiting for the four days, or should I say 6 days because for us (my friends & me) puja started right from Panchami. I spent my childhood in Lake Road and was a part of the famous puja of Samaj Sebi Sangha. The opening ceremony used to take place on Panchami. On that auspicious day all the girls in the neighborhood wore white saree with red border, while some of them blew conch shells, some others sprinkled flowers during the inauguration.

I remember how we planned round the year for those few days when our parents allowed us to go anywhere, eat anything and stay in the pandal till 12am. Every year our club organized cultural programs and we started rehearsing 2 months prior to the puja.

Years have passed and things have changed a lot except my excitement about the puja. As a child I wondered how artists could make such beautiful idols. I always wanted to watch idol making but no one bothered to take me to Kumortuli.

Finally this year I decided that I will visit this place and see how the artists make the clay idols come alive. So, I went to Kumortuli with two of my friends Koustabh and Moon Di.

We met at Shovabazar metro station and took rickshaws from there to reach Kumortuli. We boarded a hand-pulled rickshaw, which is rare to see on South Kolkata streets these days. In my childhood we used to ride such rickshaws often. After years I relived my childhood once again.

When I reached Kumortuli I realized that what I have heard about this place is absolutely true. The narrow lanes took us to the area where the artists were busy making idols.

Idol  Making, Kumortuli

Idol Making, Kumortuli

Since the next day was Ganesh Chaturthi we also got a glimpse of numerous Ganesh idols as well. Let me share a snap with you.

Ganesh Idol

Last Touch

More pleasant surprises were waiting for us. I went to the studio of the famous artists Mohan Basi Rudra Paul to see the beautiful idols of Goddess Durga.

Goddess Durga

Durga Idol by Mohan Basi Rudra Pal

We got an essence of typical North Kolkata in Kumortuli. I wondered how they move out    such big idols through such narrow lanes. I was happy to roam around and capture a few snaps. At the same time I was sad to realize how difficult life must be for the people who live in such unhealthy places devoid of enough light and air.

Narrow Lane

Kumortuli

We were taking snaps suddenly I was overwhelmed to discover an idol which was absolutely awesome. The face of Goddess Durga was so beautiful and so lively I stood there mesmerized. It will be unjust if I don’t share the snap with you.

Maa

Ya Devi Sharbabhuteshu Matri Rupena Sangasthita

Since it was Friday and we were getting late for office we had to leave the place reluctantly. But one more pleasing experience was waiting for us on our way back office. We were planning to take a bus to Bagbazaar. Suddenly we saw a tram and didn’t hesitate a moment to board the tram without even knowing which way it was headed. After years we got a chance to take the joy ride which used to be a part of our childhood. Kolkata has lost some of its wonderful features and tram is one of those. We really enjoyed the journey and I didn’t miss the opportunity to take a few snaps.

Tram

Joy Ride, Kolkata

Visiting Kumortuli was a life time experience and I am so happy that finally one of my childhood dreams came true.

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Responses

  1. Thanks to you Deblina. It was because of you I could visit Kumartuli, watch idol making and ride tram, which was really fun! And the ride on hand-pulled rickshaw revived childhood memories. I wish to go back there again next year, hopefully with you. 🙂

  2. hain re, Kumortuli-ta besh majar jaega. pujo-r aage toh ro bhalo. oi typical purono kolkata-r flavour-ta ekhno besh paoa jae.

  3. tobe tora erom maja korte geli r amae bolli na!!!!!!!! dukho peyechhi

  4. since childhood we use to hear that God has created us with their hands…..and on earth, places like Kumartuli just returning the favour back to God. May be Idols could not replace the finest creation done by ALLMIGHTY,

    M not fortunate to visit that famous place of kolkata, but yes i had seen so many times in my childhood the people devoting themshelves to give clay a life.

    even now also I dont miss opportunities to visit those places as it comes when ever we use to go for selecting the idol for our Puja.
    Thats y i said some how i can feel the aroma of wet mud from those snaps….

    Tram is one of those peculiar and special characteristic which differs KOLKATA from rest of India….
    Although it is loosing its existence, but stiill i congratulate those administrators who some how still managed to kept alive this mamoth heritage

    hopefully both speciality of Kol will reamin intact for ages to come……
    amen….

  5. […] The busiest day of the year was September 13th with 51 views. The most popular post that day was One Morning in Kumortuli: Realizing a Childhood Dream. […]


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