30th September ‘ 2014
We left early, at around 4 p.m. for our first destination, Suruchi Sangha, a 55-yr old consistent performer in the Durga Puja market. Mesmerised by it’s innovation, we entered into World Peace, the theme of Suruchi this time. Amidst the local Chhattisgarhi set up, the little birds on the trees looked so real as if they were just about to fly. A luscious Fish Cutlet filled our empty stomachs soon after we proceeded towards Jodhpur Park – 95 Pally, which had brought 3D art into their idol for the first time. The television just outside the pandal constantly showed the sponsors and makers of the 3D Durga. Next in line, was Mudiali Sarbajanin Durgotsab, which was celebrating its 79th anniversary with the complete idol wrapped in it’s beautiful theme of ‘Environmental Consciousness’. Exactly opposite to Mudiali, was Shib Mandir which took us back into time, creating a boat which depicts the glory of Chand Saudagar, a devotee of Shiva. The makers celebrate their freedom by expressing their religious emotions using art. However, the religious part is more of an excuse for the viewers, who feel the freedom by going around all the pandals in the city.
It was already 9 p.m. now, but the spirit of euphoria set in during this rush was enough justification for the fact that we would be hanging out with Durga Maa till at least 5 a.m. in the morning. Selimpur Pally, the next venue created magic by using lanterns to light up the entire pandal, offering a visual spectacle to the crowd. Our next move was BabuBagan Club Sarbojanin. Oh My Goodness ! Holy freaking Shit ! Woah ! This is what we had actually come for, but we couldn’t believe our eyes. In front of us was a huge goddess carved over the gigantic mountain cave of Pavitra Bhumi, BB’s theme this year. We entered the cave. It was as if we were caught up inside a dense forest, surrounded by tons of old temples. Brilliant ! And the best, uptil now. We suddenly became the jury & started ranking the top 3 we had seen till then. Ekdalia Evergreen Club, the next in line & one of the massive crowd pullers of South Kolkata had ornaments for the Durga idol specially crafted by Tanishq. Even though it didn’t manage to beat BB, Ekdalia gave us something special. We witnessed the most colourful pujo – Phalguni Sangha, a small one beside Ekdalia, which used puppets all along the pathway into the pratima’s house. Stop ! Enough of hopping. Lets eat ! Two hungry souls hogged on to the sumptuous Chicken biryani before proceeding to Singhi Park, our last big banner Pujo of the day. In addition to the whole pavilion being traditionally decorated with stunning artwork, the colorful and bright red-golden murti of Singhi added to the grandeur of this iconic Pujo.