'....Ya Devi sarbabhuteshu Shaktirupeno sanksthita
Namostasyi Namostasyi Namostasyi Namonamah.......'
-- Two lines from the sanskrit sloka,which is chanted during Durgapuja
Translated in English, this sloka means :
The Goddess who manifests Herself as the Entity of Power,
I salute Her again and again,
I bow in front of Her.
Priest worships the Goddess with a lamp in his hand.
PurvaPally,Rashbehari Ave .
A child's impression of a DurgaPuja pandal, A competion of 'Dhunuci-dance' going on and viewers are in rapt attention !
Ruby and I look forward to these few days of festivity , not because of the revelry and pandal-hopping with the crowd, but because we enjoy to capture the artistry which make some of the pandals and images memorable in our cameras.This is how I have now a large nos of photos in my HDD....not so much in the Internet though.
A great devotee that we are of the Goddess, we have several idols of Durga at our place....from Dokra art to clay model to brass work and ceramic work.
Off late, I am looking for anti-hero image of Mahisasur and do not miss out him during our photo-walks.
Anguish of Mahisasur.PurvaPally,Rashbehari Ave.
Puja of 2008 started with an invitation for Ruby to be a 'distinguished' guest of a local Puja('Amra Kajan'-Airport crossing on Banamali Naskar Road) and the judge of a painting competion of the local children.We covered the local area on foot during our morning walks on two successive mornings.Twice we went out for longer duration and braved the onslaught of throngs of crowd.
Durga with golden colour. Behala Club emphasised the design of baluchari saree. The designs are often from events and scenes from Hindu Mythology.
I should have counted the nos of designs on display !
A clear view of the saree Devi Durga wears... an example of excellent craftsmanship !
Evenings of Sasthi,Saptami and Astami we enjoyed staying at home,watching the TV presentations.We marvelled at the Pandals and creative spirit displayed at Coochbihar, Purulia and Siliguri. I wonder whether we should visit Purulia on one of the Puja days of 2009 .....the silver-clad Durga being the attraction.The Pyramid/Sphinx' pandal at Siliguri is awesome....so was a pandal in Calcutta decorated with 80,000 pieces of terra cotta tiles and images !
Nearer home , the baluchari saree designs in Behala Club pandal,the 'poto-para' (a lane where the Idol-makers live) ambience of Behala High Scool puja , the neem-timber decoration of Adarsha Pally,the beautiful cave and Ajanta-inspired Durga in Ajeya Sanghati and gorgeous Devi idols at Purba Pally, Parnasree and a rather unknown Puja in Roy Bahadur Street at Behala were remarkable. Remarkable is the sand-made models in another Behala Puja.
Devi Durga , sharaisharyashalini ( gorgeous), Roy Bahadur Road, Behala
I share with the readers photos of some of the pandals, decoration and activities Ruby and I shot during the first few days of this great festivity.
Barisha Club, Behala created a mix of Egyptian ambience with typical 'big-eyes-short-arms' image of Durga, a very pre-valent of style of this area. A bit over-done !
There are disappointments too. 41st Pally of Haridebpur, which has used wooden branches of various sizes and shapes for decoration and a kind of bird's nest for housing the image of Durga was not upto the mark though it attracted a lot of crowd.
Collage of photos taken by Ruby @ 'Potopara' , created near Behala High School.
Young volunteers showed us around with a lot of enthusiasm. At 6.30 am, of Saptami,
we were the among the few visitors in this pandal. Felt no rush.
(VIEW FULL SIZE BY RIGHT-CLICK ON THE COLLAGE)